Based on David Farland’s Daily Kick about what authors are trying to accomplish with their writing, I’m going to state my mission. David’s words:
I’m often surprised by how few authors have really thought about what it is that they’re trying to accomplish. Do you want to be considered an entertainer? A prophet who forewarns of political doom? A writer whose work electrifies and binds people together?
I love it when an author figures that out early. Personally, I didn’t have much of a vision for what I wanted to become. I figured it out over a few years.
I was probably the same. I started writing to entertain myself. For years nobody read my stuff – that’s how the one-draft-writer was born! 😉 No readers, no comments, the story worked fine for me, why bother with rewrites?
Then, of course, I found readers, and some adjustments began. Or years went by, I grew up and smiled at my past attempts, finding all the flaws I couldn’t see at the time of writing that particular story. At some point I was even happy to be still unpublished, because I could rewrite my old stories and take them to the next level! 🙂
Now, I’m not Dean Wesley Smith yet – he never re-reads his stories after publishing them – I’m still my own favorite author and like to re-read old stories (mostly to check if they’re salvageable, LOL), but probably now that I’m putting them out there, I’ll probably learn to let them go like he does. I haven’t checked anything after BoI – Fire, if there are typos or other problems, well, I don’t care anymore. I’m not tweaking the plot either, I’d rather tweak the plot of the stories I’m about to write if they need to fit with what’s already out. So I do check bits and pieces sometimes when I’m writing related stories (like the first Chronicle of the Varian Empire – a prequel to BoI – Water), but don’t re-read the whole thing anymore – I’m running out of reading time, so why waste it on that? 😉
I still write to entertain, though, myself first, if someone else enjoys it too, wonderful. I know I have a niche readership and they will find me eventually – as long as I keep writing. And as I tackle different genres, until I’m the next Kris Rusch with her open pen-names, I might eventually be jealous of myself if I sell more in other genres than this one! 😉
That’s my only aim as an author. I don’t want to teach or preach anything, nor garner a great following (my 5000 would be enough, but as I’m around 5 still, where are the other 4995? ;-)), but I’m sure that my morals and dreams and ideals come out in my writing – from the stories I choose to tell. But I’m only a humble storyteller, I don’t plan to change the world with my writing! 🙂
What kind of author do you want to be? Closing with Mr Farland’s wise words again:
If you hope to entertain and teach and garner a great following, that’s the highest aim for an author. But take care what you’re teaching. If your work doesn’t have a positive impact on the world, then you’re not really the greatest of storytellers, are you? You now become the basest of them all.
There are those critics who contend that to be a truly “great writer,” you must first become a great person. That’s the highest that any storyteller can hope to achieve—to entertain, to teach, to garner an audience, and to have a powerful and positive influence on your culture.