Thursday, January 21, 2010

Driving Success

Photo found from Gary Settle/The New York Times

The author Erich Segal, who coined the phrase "Love means never having to say you're sorry," passed away this last Sunday, the 17th. I believe anyone would be hard pressed to find an adult who hasn't heard that phrase mentioned above. It will likely survive through history alongside other famous sayings for many lifetimes to come. As a writer, I'd find almost no greater honor, than to be quoted from my work like this. Though, many amazing authors have tried to come up with phrases and sayings in their work that could mimic the success of Segal's love-quote, it's probably unlikely that the average published author will ever achieve this goal. Regardless, having nigh achievable goals like this will likely cause us writers to try harder, write better and search diligently for those perfect words or sentences that hopefully leave our readers with something that they can take with them through their lives.

Are there any goals or success stories you look toward that drive you to be a better writer? Care to share them here?


David J. West said...

I am amazed when I find out that someone who was incredibly popular in their day is almost unheard of now-A. Merritt for example.

Or someone who wrote a vast scope of work-all popular then, is now only remembered for their childrens book, Winnie the Pooh-A.A. Milne

So I guess a goal of mine would be to write things that are relatively timeless and can be appreciated and loved for eons.

I am thinking better to be read for hundreds of years-than by millions now and then forgotten.

Diana Paz said...

I set up small goals that lead to my bigger goal... I think if my goal is to always keep the reader's experience an active part of my story, my writing will keep getting better.

J.J. Bennett said...

I write things I would love to read. Things where human nature rule outcomes that naturally move in directions. It grows, breaths, and lives within me as I write.

Catherine Denton said...

I love how Jane Austin poked fun at her generation's foibles and how hugely popular it still is today.

I also love J.K. Rowlings story. The way Harry walked into her mind fully formed.
Winged Writer

Charles Gramlich said...

Yeah, but if millions read you now, you'd make enough money to hire someone to keep your name alive into the future.

Candice said...

I love hearing about moms who become successful authors. Go figure. :)

Voidwalker said...

David: I think I agree with you about the millions vs. hundreds of readers and their devotion levels.

Diana: Small goals can be just as driving for some of us. Thanks for taking time out of unplugging to write me :)

J.J.: Sounds like a personalized approach to writing. Do you find your characters taking on characteristics of you?

Catherine: I wasn't aware Jane was a fun-poker. Good to know. I'm not a big fan of her writing, but obviously my opinion has no bearing on her fame/success.

Charles: How would you use the millions to solidify your name?

Candice: If that's something that drives you, then you are in the right place. Blogspot has a lot of up-and-coming successful mommy writers :)

Anonymous said...

The goals that motivate me are as follows:

1. See my writing in the hands of kids across the US (world might be a bit big...)

2. Get discussion going on the topics presented in my books. I have a CB (series?) that has educational tie-ins.

3. Give back. I want to encourage literacy via the written word and want nothing more than to engage young readers to the point where they invest their time with the written word. Big, I know, but doable if I find an agent and editor to agree!

Voidwalker said...

Cat: Sounds like some good goals. World wide readers isn't a bit big. Shoot for the stars, as they say, and you may land on the moon. :)