Throughout the month, I’ve looked back at where I started as a writer to compare to where I am today. It’s fun drawing a line from back then to now. I can pat myself on the back and congratulate myself for how far I’ve come.
Instead of looking back tonight, let’s try to look forward. This is like that crappy interview question where they ask where you think you’ll be in 5 or 10 years. I’m going to try to keep my answers writing related, though I’m sure I won’t be able to avoid talking about a few other aspects.
1 Year From Now
By June or July of 2019, I’ll have the first draft of Synthetic Dreams finished. It will be the most challenging story I’ve ever written to this point, and the most ambitious.
I will have heard back from the three queries I have out right now. Between the feedback from those queries and the experience of writing others, I’ll start to feel better about the whole process. My spreadsheet of rejections has grown considerably, but I’m keeping my head up and persevering.
I’m close to some kind of break through. I can feel it.
2 Years From Now
I’ve had at least one minor success. I’ve won at least one of minor writing contests and one of my stories is in an anthology for a small independent press. Synthetic Dreams has finished going through critiques and it’s out on queries.
I probably have an agent by now. I’ve been networking at conventions and meeting people. By this time, I’ve managed to get the right story in front of the right set of eyes. I may not have a novel published yet, but I’m getting close.
There’s been enough of success that I’ve opened the fancy bottle of Scotch I’ve been saving.
5 Years From Now
By this time, I have a book published. It probably hasn’t hit the best seller list, and I’m not making a ton of money off my writing at this point. I might not ever make a ton of money as a writer. Most don’t. But there’s at least one book out now with my name on the spine. That’s the fulfillment of a dream.
When I go to conventions now, there’s a good chance that I’m on panels. I’m not a celebrity, but I’ve been attending long enough and know enough people that it feels like a natural progression. Plus, I have at least one book published. I’m not a celebrity, but I’m a pro. I have the respect of some of my writer peers.
10 Years From Now
I’m 55 years old at his point. I never stopped writing, and I’m still trying to improve with every story I create. One of the series I started has managed to catch a readership and I’m writing sequels. I have fans. Probably not many, but there are definitely people looking forward to my next book.
The house has been paid off for quite some time. The kids have moved out and they’re doing their own thing. A lot of our expenses have reduced to the point that I could conceivable stay home and write full time. I’m probably not a programmer anymore, whether or not my books have sold well.
If I’m not already at home writing full time, I’m considering it.
20 Years From Now
I’m 65 years old. I’m not sure if I’m improving anymore. I always want the next book to be better than the last, but look at Stephen King. Some say he peeked with The Stand and then wrote for several decades more.
My Dad died when he was 74 and my Mom died when she was 68. I hope my health is better than my Mom’s at this stage of my life, but who knows? I’ve probably had a heart attack by now. That’s the price of living so long with stress and not exercising nearly enough.
If I haven’t won a Hugo by this point, it’s not going to happen. It’s hard to say if Hugos are even prestigious in the year 2038. I always wanted one. Maybe it’s happened by now.
At the age of 65, I’m probably not going to as many conventions as I used to. However, Melissa and I are still going on cruises. We love going on cruises.
I should probably stop there. Everything after 20 years starts to look pretty morbid.
The keyword is perseverance. I’ve kept my predictions modest and realistic. If things aren’t where I predict soon enough, I’ll just keep going. I’ll persevere.
On a long enough time line, I will see my dreams come true. I just have to keep going in the right direction.