If you want to be a writer, the proper writing goals are in order.
You want to be the next Hemingway, like me, right?
Maybe, we both need a dose of reality.
Because if you can imagine doing something else – well – maybe you should.
And after a lifetime writing, you may have little to show for it.
So give up! Go do something else.
Of course that’s not what I’m going to do…
In reality, all that I aspire to is complete control of my days, and a legacy.
There’s nothing wrong with ambition. We all want to win Guggenheims and live and write in the south of France, or some version thereof—don’t we? But this can’t be the goal. If we are thinking of our work as a ticket to a life of literary glamour, we really ought to consider doing something else. When I was first teaching, a student came up to me and asked if she should become a writer, or go work for Merrill Lynch. “Merrill Lynch!” I replied. Not because this student wasn’t talented, but because she was even able to formulate that particular calculus.
-Dani Shapiro, Still Writing