Today’s question comes courtesy of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group.
I think we need to define our terms first, wouldn’t you agree? Here’s what Dictionary.com says about the word “ultimate.”
- last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats.
- maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon.
- highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life.
Here’s the thing: there’s no good answer for me. When it came to my first novel, In The Eye of The Beholder, I started with a short story. That was all. I was writing for my own pleasure. And then the story wouldn’t be quiet. It evolved into a novel. Then, my goal became to publish it. The paperback edition was traditionally published in the US and the UK before the rights reverted to me. I did the eBook myself.
Then, when a rock club I used to frequent was being not just shuttered but torn down, I wanted to write about my experiences in the music business. That became Music, Mayhem, and Bad Decisions (under its original title, You Had to Be There).
The thing is, I think writing goals are mutable. Take It Happened in Memphis and Other Stories as an example; I worked on that project for an entire year before deciding it needed to be repurposed in its entirety. Let’s face it; as authors, we know when we’ve missed the mark. My original goal was to publish it as a collection of short fiction, but it’s too disjointed. So, now the goal is different. I’m tweaking two of the stories, “Ghosts of Tupelo” and “Last Stop: Storyville,” for submission to Dan Alatorre’s latest WordWeavers competition. I’ll figure out what to do with the others as I go; some will be discarded for the time being, and a much smaller collection is likely to be set up as an eBook at some point.
So, there you have it. I don’t have one ultimate, overarching goal.