I’m pretty sure I’ve talked here before about having a game plan beyond “sell a book”. (If I haven’t, I should.) I was just chatting with a friend and fellow writer, Tamara Siler Jones, about some of the goals I’ve had as a writer. Things that I have *wanted* as a writer for nearly as long as I can remember: my guiding lights, as it were.
One of the things I’ve wanted to do since–oh, the late 80s, anyway: a good solid 20 years, at this point–is write for DAW Books. Why? Because I noticed when I was a teenager that DAW published a great deal of big fat fantasy and science fiction by women writers. I want to be a part of that legacy, and I want to write for them because it is my perception that they have given something of importance to me and to the industry, and I want to give something back to them. It’s a goal. It’s a really specifically shaped goal, and whether I’ll achieve it or not remains to be seen, but it’s something that’s defined what I want to do as a writer for more than half my life.
Another thing I’ve wanted is to work with editor Betsy Mitchell. I remember the first time I was actively *told* by another writer that she was a brilliant editor, and that was in 1998, years after I’d first heard of her through acknowledgments pages in books by authors I loved. As it happens, through incredibly fortuitous circumstances, I *am* working with Betsy, and have been for (mind-blowingly) most of my career. This is something that I would have considered a huge triumph if I’d managed it ten years from now: working with her from this early on is a gift beyond imagination.
*Lots* of writers have award-based goals. In our industry, that tends to mean the Nebulas and the Hugos, ranging out of field into some romance-based awards and the occasional, say, Edgar Award. I have one award that I want more than I want my eye teeth, and although a number of people know what it is, I actually want it so badly I don’t like telling people what it is. I’m afraid I’ll jinx it, or something. (Writers, as my mother says, are weird.)
I’m sure there are other things I’m not coming up with right now, but off the top of my head, those are some of my guiding lights, as a writer looking down the career path. What are some of yours?