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What Next?

 
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Zenphobia



Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: US, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:45 pm    Post subject: What Next? Reply with quote

I'm about to turn in the final draft of my first book, and I have two other book projects lined up to be finished this year (instructional books that I co-author with fighters).

I obsessively pursued my goal of publishing a book. At 16, I decided I wanted to be a writer, so I laid out a plan. Now, at 23, the plan has run its course. My scheming, my calculating, it has all paid off, and I'm ecstatic.

Then, while giving a presentation on publishing at my alma mater, the President of the University asked me, "What's your next goal?"

And I froze. I have no idea. I had never thought about it and after a great deal of thought, I still don't have much of an answer. Where do I go from here? What's the next challenge to conquer?

Publishing more books is the obvious answer, but that's too vague for me. I need to be building toward something. I need to accomplish something bigger, something better. I need to pick a goal and establish a strategy for accomplishing it.

What are your thoughts fellow saints?
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Rexfelum



Joined: 26 Sep 2003
Posts: 3897

PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zenphobia wrote:
What are your thoughts fellow saints?

My first thought is . . . dang. Sure, we've all heard that sort of story before: person X puts in vast amounts of work on concept Y, then is dumbfounded when someone points out that after Y comes Z. But the way you put it really affects me. I'm glad that so much work--especially work in literature--has paid off for you; while the gladness is matched by concern for any stumbling.

Perhaps I can help by means of analogy. As I started my career in psychology, back during graduate school, my advisor gave suggestions for how to do my work. The central one was to pace myself: "Imagine you are in a marathon, and it ends--if you can even say it ends--at tenure. Proceed at a pace you can maintain." Good advice, sure, but that's not how he said it. He left out the "if you can even say it ends" part on the first pass and then explained that in conversation. By leaving it out, he gave the statement more punch: this is your goal, plan to reach it.

But tenure isn't "the goal." Living a good life, enriching oneself, enriching one's students, and leaving the world a better place are (among) the real goals. Sure, you can aim for tenure and take it as the drive that gets you to publish, the drive that gets you to serve the University; but all the work and self-improvement you put in on your journey is not there IN ORDER TO END once you get the goal. Rather, once you "get the goal," you will have already attained the greater goal of living.

Does that help?

--Rexfelum
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Emperor Xan



Joined: 18 Mar 2003
Posts: 4075
Location: A boat.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I started working on my own RPG at the age of 13, there was no other goal than to finish it and unleash on the world. The same is true for the books I've been working on. Then I got real and had a chance to work for the guy who started it all. What could possibly be greater than working for and with the person who's influenced you the most? Doing it again. But, that didn't quite happen. So, to answer you question of where you go from here, you do what you've always done: press onward. There are other stories to be told, other truths left unsaid. You keep writing because knowing you affected one life is infinitely more satisfying than selling one book. You do it because even if you make a few mistakes along the way, people are willing to forgive the small stuff in favor of the larger context.
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Vertigo21 wrote:
Make...something?

Shit man, I can barely make a peanut butter and jelly sandwhich. I can't make a watch.
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Zenphobia



Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: US, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've given your responses a lot of thought.

It's hard for me to look at writing in terms of enriching my life or enriching the lives of others. Does writing enrich my life? Indirectly. The act of writing does not. The people I meet and the places I get to go enrich my life, but the process of writing doesn't. I'm not into the spiritual approach to writing, the experience, the inspiration (as you may have gathered from other posts).

As for enriching the lives of others... Anytime I write to be inspiring or to share some sort of wisdom, it comes off as hokey, self-righteous bullshit. So, I write to entertain my audience (so that they keep buying my stuff, so that I can pay my bills).

My tentative goals:
-publish 3 more books in addition to however many instructionals I can crank out with fighters
-get a television series produced
-get my masters and doctorate.

I will do all of this before I turn 30.
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-Rickson Gracie
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Infinite Blue, Quack M.D.



Joined: 09 Mar 2006
Posts: 888
Location: Bleh! :D

PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Then you're going to become a vigilante and fight for justice, right?
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Ze sveedish chef: eenfuneet bluoo ees ell ebuoot keyewtneuoeuoeus BORK BORK BORK!!!
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Zenphobia



Joined: 20 Jun 2005
Posts: 1476
Location: US, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Infinite Blue, Quack M.D. wrote:
Then you're going to become a vigilante and fight for justice, right?


There's not much money in that.
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