What Parameters Do You Have As a Writer?

Photo by M.A.D.

What parameters do you have as a writer?

Every writer has a style that continues to develop over a lifetime of writing. Writing embodies more than putting pen to paper. Every writer has do’s and don’ts that are related to work ethic, style, personal development, goals, and even personality. These are parameters or boundaries that the writer establishes, and many are non-negotiable. As an example, some writers would not consider publishing the traditional route, and they prefer to continue an independent path to their creativity. Other writers would prefer to skip the public appearances or hoopla, although I think this group is a minority. From deciding to stick with a genre to venturing into another, and other considerations, the writer has developed a set of values and principles that will determine most of the career path. It might not be set on stone, but this is the fuel that produces the spark that moves the engine. That is why when it comes down to becoming a writer, there is no one size fits all. There are industry standards, of course, but when it comes down to creativity, each writer has a “code of conduct/ethics,” a system of values of sort, that serves as a guiding light, a beacon for the pen.

Cloning never ends up well, and it doesn’t mean that a writer cannot experiment in the latest genre appeal or what is moving the market at a particular moment; however, eventually a writer will come back to the parameters that were established and are deeply rooted. Can a contract sway the most devoted indie? Maybe or maybe not. It might depend on how deep the writing shrine is rooted and of many other factors, from personal beliefs and values to more work-related, practical, and concrete likes and dislikes. Sometimes, the what-if’s play a role, and other times, it is all a game of roulette, but in the end every writer is its own cliche or its own refuge, although the adage says that no man is an island.

A little mind exercise.

Can you spot the 9 cliches in this blog post?

How do You Measure Success as a Writer?

Photo by M.A.D.

At first glance, it seems an easy question to ponder, however, the more I think about it, the deeper it goes, especially, if you have been writing for many years. Expectations change with time, experience, and age. The young writer is full of dreams and “youthful expectations,” while a more mature writer has navigated the murky waters and has defined and redefined the path to success, or even what success means now, in comparison to what it meant when the writer wrote/published the first book.

Success is a personal measure, however in contrast, it is measured by others, and labeled. For a writer, success might be measured by income generated by the books, other related sales, or by the number of books written. For other writers, recognition, fame, or the validation of a name is very important. Comments, reviews, engagements … all of this might spell success for a writer if that was in the “personal definition” of success the writer had in mind. For other writers, money, fame, numbers … are not as important, and this group writes for the love of it. Their dreams are not crushed by external factors. However, as humans we need a certain degree of recognition, whether that is from our inner circle or external, a spouse, a friend, or a reader that happened to give of his/her time, and left a review, or a comment. Even as children we yelled, ” Look Daddy, look at me.” We might not want the fame, but we want the recognition. The socio-economic background of a writer also has an influence in the type of goals and expectations. Life experiences, self-esteem, all of it, are elements of influence when defining success, whether as a writer or any other career.

It is when the personal measure of success collides with the external measure of success that there is conflict, that is, if the writer’s expectations are in line with the external measure of success. A writer who hasn’t sold many books might view the work as failure because the definition of success included sales, income, number of readers, reviews …. At the same time, the outside world would not consider the same writer a successful writer. However, if the same writer manages to write a best seller the next year, for example, both “personal measure” and “external measure” are at peace, and so is the writer. It doesn’t matter if that same writer had already ten or twenty books under his/her belt. Going a step further, those books might have found new life now, new readers, and might be included (or not) in the vault of success by default.

Mind games, circumstantial, true desire? How do you measure your success as a writer? What has more weight for you, internal or external factors?

This Old Garden

This time of the year is perfect for working outdoors because it is not too cold and not warm yet. It is when we try to do as much as we can before the warm weather and bugs arrive. The weather has been good enough, even during winter. This gave us enough time to tackle some chores that needed to be done. We enjoy this type of work, so when it is done during cool weather, we like it even more. Most of it was repainting all the areas that needed to be redone, such as light posts, porch posts, veggie garden, old planting pots that needed some love, garden tables, and the wood around the house. We are sticking with the color Barn Red by Minwax, a semi stain, and we love it. One coat is just enough. We replaced the wood on the work bench and repainted it, spruced up the side door, and weeded out some broken things. We also introduced a new area in the garden, which will need some further development. Tired flags were changed, grass was cut, and leaves were collected once more after the very windy days we had. Overall, most of the heavy work is done by now, but we still have some things to tackle before the summer. We are also planning other projects before the end of this year, some of which I will share here.

New garden area that needs more work. This year we introduced three new areas in the garden.

We have come a long way.

In the beginning … there was chaos everywhere.
You can view the renovation of the old farmhouse and garden under Restoring an Old Farmhouse posts.
I see you.