There will always be a debate regarding your individual relationship to the Past, Present, and Future. On a personal level, there is much to be said. Is there an event from your past that has permanently marked you and defined you? Are you afraid of your future to the extent that you focus intently on the here-and-now? I’m not here to discuss or contemplate those issues. As previously stated, this blog discusses the writer and the writing life.
So, let’s talk about what we do as writers in terms of past, present, and future. I know much of what I write in the past was, well, crap. I re-read it and see how much out of my element I was. I’m proud of my “creativity”, the notion that I had good ideas. But the overall execution was poor, to say the least. Currently, with one published novel and another on the way, I can definitely say I’ve gotten better. But is that enough? To have moved from ‘crap’ to ‘better’ is an improvement but not an ultimate goal. So what IS the ultimate goal?
I have a delightful piece of Transgressive Fiction which is well-developed but could be expanded. I’m currently working on a piece of meta-fiction as well as a novel of contemporary literary fiction. Additionally, based on my associations with a small but impressive group of poets, I have started writing poetry again. It is obvious that I am willing to move forward. But in what direction?
My association with my current publisher is solid. However, if I provided him with something totally off the wall, would he be interested? Do I do a sequel to my first published piece simply because a couple of reviewers suggested it be done? Is it reviews, royalties, or literary satisfaction that I am seeking?
The bottom line goal is perfecting the craft of writing. In this attempt, it may take several methodologies, many different courses of action. As a married homeowner with a full-time job, can I afford to be artistic or should I focus on commercial success?
There are not rhetorical questions nor are they even answerable. If I am fortunate enough to awake each morning, there is a protocol that must be followed with desires interspersed. What has happened has brought be to this point. What I do will take me forward. A sense of hope permeates my thoughts of tomorrow.
So, where are you?