If you're a creator: writer, author, poet, painter, sculptor, blogger etc. what do you want to achieve from your work?
Personally, I'm happy enough muddling along, writing when I can, creating new worlds and situations for characters in my brain-box. Of course I'd love to be discovered, who wouldn't... but then again, I wonder if I'd then hark back to the 'good old days' back when I could do as I please, muddle along, write when the feeling took me rather than have deadlines hanging over my head, editors and publishers hounding me for the next installment, pressure mounting, tension getting the better of me?
A book a year is very often the norm but is it possible to keep on creating with the same freshness, the same unique spin as your first novel? Does the industry take its toll on your imagination, making you jaded and burnt-out? As a creator, think about that for a moment. Think about your life now as you struggle to make ends meet, pay bills and do your thing between work and the day-to-day getting on with living that you have to do.
If you finally got your dream to be a full-time creator in your specific field, would it be just that, a dream job or could it turn something you thoroughly enjoy right now, without the constraints of 'You HAVE to get this done!' into another grind that you're going to hate, hate, hate by the end of the day?
Be careful what you wish for, it may come true.
On the other hand, it could very well turn into that dream job. 'Choose a job you love and never work a day in your life again' - I have a confession to make. You've probably guessed it by reading to here, but I suppose I'm scared - just a little bit - scared that I'll fail, that I'll let my readers down, that my stories will become 'samey' and predictable. I suppose that's why I try different genres, different characters, different situations but guys, I'll be really honest here, I don't EVER want my books to be the reason that someone starts writing - don't get me wrong, I DO want to be an inspiration to others to write, but if anyone ever read my stories (or just one) and thought "I can do better than this rubbish!" I think I'd be mortally wounded, gutted, cut to the quick!
So, while you may see my picture, smiling and looking serene and confident, that's just another picture on the 'What my readers think I do' - the next picture is of me, disheveled, wide-eyed, sleepless and worried that some day, the idea well will run dry and I'll resort to re-hashing something I've already done. There's only one way to combat that, I think. You have to ALWAYS be true to one person - yourself. When you go down the route of working to specific targets and templates, you leave yourself wide open for the sameness to creep in and steal your individuality.
So, what do you think you do?
I know what I do, I write because it's what I love. I write for my pleasure and if someone else enjoys my work, then it's a double-whammy-bonus! I hope you'll never find my writing 'samey' because I hope to *place the deity of your choice here* that I'll have stopped before that day arrives.
What do I think I do?
I please myself first and pleasing one person always is better than sometimes pleasing none.
D Michelle Gent has three full novels and a series of six short stories out, she has been Editor for a global magazine and Producer of a number of Indie movies in the last few years.