Monday, October 23, 2006

The Rocky Balboa Mentality - Going the Distance

His whole life was a million to one these words sound familiar? If not, then you must have been stranded on a desert island for the last thirty years or so because Rocky has remained one of the most inspirational icons in cinematic history. Hands up those who get shivers down their spine when they hear the theme music? Finish watching Rocky IV (the best of the series) and tell me you don't feel like you can take on the world. You can't, can you?

This same inspiration applies to writing. As a writer I believe it is so important to have goals. Without them, you become lost, you get lazy and you feel like shit when you receive the countless rejections slips from editors who didn't like your latest creation that you laboured over for countless hours.

Using the Rocky example, say one day you get another rejection slip. It feels like Ivan Drago landing a devastating punch, sending you flying fifteen feet across the ring. The referee begins his count after you crash to the canvass. Your vision gets hazy. The crowd and the lights spin before you in a dazzling blur. The referee counts - six; seven; eight. Get up! Get up! Your mind screams. You don't know how, you don't know where the strength comes from, but you get up. You file the rejection slip and you lunge at Drago - punch! Another story gets sent out; Punch! Another, another, another. Are you getting the point?

As writers we are so passionate about our work that rejection does hurt, but eventually we get into print. My goals for 2006 were, I thought, pretty achievable. My primary goal was to get published in the printed form. I was lucky enough to achieve that earlier in the year. The second was to win a competition. That hasn't happened but the year isn't finished yet. The third was to complete or rather, draft twenty new short stories. I'm half-way there. And my fourth goal was to complete the first draft of a novel. I don't think that's going to happen this year due to the fact that irresistible ideas refuse to leave me alone until I exorcise them onto paper, producing them as short stories - hence my delayed attention to the novel.

Already, I'm setting my sights on 2007, the next round, if you will. I'm upping the bar for next year. My goals are:

1) To be published in Shadowed Realms

2) To have one of my micro pieces accepted into Black Box

3) To be nominated for an Aurealis Award or an Australian Shadow

4) To complete that novel - no excuses

5) To have three pieces featured in FlashSpec Volume 2

6) To win the AHWA Flash or Short Story Competition

And finally, a goal that has nothing to do with writing - to be a good Dad to my child due to be born in January next year - I can't wait!

If we all adopt the Rocky Balboa mentality with our writing, we will go the distance and keep getting up when we're down for the count.

No comments: