For this week’s discussion our hound asked, “Looking five years down the road — to middle of 2024 — tell us where you WISH your writing career would be. And then (if you’re able) tell us where you actually EXPECT it to be… unless those are the same.”
The first question (my wish) is sort of like asking, “What would you do with a million dollars?” My answer, of course, is that I’d like to see my book on a NYT or USA Today Best-seller list, or see it chosen as an Oprah’s book club pick. The hard truth is that sweet romances aren’t what usually make it to those lists. On a more practical scale, I guess my wish is that I’m able to write on a regular basis, and have a limited number of distractions so that I can create stories people like to read. High sales would be nice, but it’s not my primary goal. I enjoy the process, and sometimes I’m frustrated when I’m not able to devote the energy toward completing the projects I plan.
As for the second question about my expectations: I’m at the point in my life when everything is tentative. My husband and my mother both have medical difficulties. Taking care of them demands more and more of my time, which means I can’t devote the energy to creating stories. I know at least one writer who manages to turn her troubles into greater word count – in November and the first half of December, despite holiday preparations, an aging husband, and family drama, she’s written over 80,000 words! But I’m not sure I can do that. So, my thought is that unless both hubby and mom suddenly become healthy and self-sufficient, I’ll be writing less in 2024.
I’m also reveling in being a grandmother and great-grandmother. Since all five of our children live within a 20-mile radius of our home, I absolutely love being there for birthdays, music programs, graduations, and any event I’m invited to. So far, we have nine grandkids and two great-grandkids, and I suspect that number will rise in the next five years. Family trumps writing, hands down. I belong to two face-to-face writing groups and several online groups. I do manage to participate in weekly sprints and brainstorming sessions with some friends, so I’m hoping those connections will encourage me to keep writing as much as I’m able to squeeze in.
The last factor in my writing future is, of course, my own health. Right now, I’m relatively healthy. I can still walk a couple of miles a day, and do most household tasks without difficulty. But in 2024 I’ll be close to hitting another milestone, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be moving more slowly. I realize I need to exercise more. I know I need to limit my consumption of sweets and carbs. I know that I should get more sleep. If I can channel those into my “must do” list, my chances of continuing health will increase. Will I succeed in the coming years? Stay tuned.
What do you expect 2024 to look like for your own life?