Monday, July 28, 2014

A Dirty Word

Last week we talked about following our hearts -- writing what we believe we were born to write and boldly taking our places in the grand scheme of publishing.

This week, we're going to look at the other side of the coin...Ambition.

For every person who crushes our dreams by telling us following our hearts is foolish, there's a person who whispers in our ears that being ambitious about your career is wrong ...that ambition is a dirty word.

A few of those whisperers believe that shooting for the stars is setting yourself up for heartbreak. The rest believe being ambitious destroys the "art" of writing.

I'm making a funny face at the computer. First, thanks to those people in your friends and family who have so little faith in you they don't believe you'll make a list, win a Rita, find a following. Second, can wanting people to read your work destroy the "art" of your project?

It can't.

In fact, I like ambitious people. They are the writers with the most passion. True, sometimes it's misguided. I saw a newbee...a writer so green she'd only decided to WRITE last year...and when her book was done she simply put it up on Amazon...Yes. Gasp. Wheeze if you want. Then realize this author believed in herself and her book. Think for a minute about her passion. And ask yourself if that isn't what's missing from your career.

Ambition doesn't make you less of an artist. Sometimes hitting the marks of a bestseller (heck, figuring out the marks of a bestseller) is a boon for your readers. The harder you try to be the best, the better your books will be and the more wonderful their reading experience.

It doesn't matter if you come at writing from the perspective of writing the books of your heart or writing the best darned books anybody's ever read...if you're giving readers your all...if you're creating interesting, compelling stories, readers win.

So don't dismiss ambition in favor of heart books. Some of the best books were written by ambitious people who desperately wanted readers to love their work. And don't dismiss heart books because people who write for the joy of the story can break barriers.

Find YOUR place. Find the system, mindset that works for you. And be YOU.

Happy Monday and Happy Reading

susan meier

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