January 6, 2011

Optimism

It's an early January tradition to look at the year ahead and make proclamations about how we're going to live better or improve our circumstances before another year passes. And let's be honest here: It's also traditional for those resolutions to be the very same ones we failed at the year before.

So I make this bold statement with full awareness of just how many years in a row I've been saying it, but not too much shame about that fact: This is the year I'm going to make it.

For me, right now, "making it" means getting an agent, and then getting a book deal, and eventually (though this part is certainly more than a year away) having a book in print and for sale everywhere and -- why the hell not? -- on bestseller lists. I mean, if I'm going to think positively, I may as well think really positively, right?

Succeeding as a novelist, even when you count success as something more modest than bestseller status, takes a long time. Writing is slow and revising is slower, and novels have a lot of pages. It takes time to learn about how to get your work in front of publishing professionals and more time to actually do it, over and over again until you start getting somewhere. I don't imagine that any writer heads down the path of seeking publication without a full glass of optimism. It's far too much work to bother with if you don't believe you're going to make it.

I believe this is my year. December may prove me wrong, but I don't see any way to move forward except with optimism.

Good Stuff Out There:

→ Jason Black lays out how to establish your characters in a book's opening.

7 comments:

KD Sarge said...

Tenacity and optimism are absolutely necessary. Good luck this year!

Bumbling said...

Yay for positive thinking! Sometimes it's half the battle.

I'm sure that you will make this your year.

Lisa Eckstein said...

Thanks to both of you, and good luck in return for a fruitful 2011!

Christopher Gronlund said...

I think we're conditioned to think talking so openly and positively about the things we're doing that it seems like boasting.

But...

It's not like you've never sat down to write. It's not like you've sat around thinking about writing for years, think it's easy, and are saying, "It's gonna happen!"

You've busted your ass for years!

We get very few things we can call our own as writers working toward a dream, so why not call the year the one where things finally break for you?

I hope it's the beginning of many great writing for you, Lisa...

Lisa Eckstein said...

Good point, Christopher. There's a big difference between optimism that might be a bit beyond what's possible (I'd like to think I have an attainable goal for this year, but then again, I thought that last year) and optimism with no connection to reality!

Anna said...

I love your outlook; bold statements are a necessity for a writer, whether the subject is a subtle narrative or an author's own future. Am thinking very positive thoughts for you this year!

Lisa Eckstein said...

Positive thoughts for both of us, Anna!

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