Infinite or finite writer
New Year so new goals. So I was watching Simon Sinek. Love his stuff. I really wish my boss at work would watch his talks. But I started reading one of Simon's books and in course James Carse's book on game theory. Basically it says there are two kinds of people out there. Those who play to win and those who play to play. Okay, that is very simplified but you get the idea.
I've been thinking about my writing. Especially with the rewriting of my first series. I'm on a lot of writer's groups and I look at their success and I shrink inside. Then I see someone doing worse than me and I get a lift. I realised today I had shifted my game.
I started writing because I ran out of books to read. We had a tiny library and once you read all the books in the children's section you weren't allowed into the teen section until you turned twelve and likewise to read the adult section you had to be eighteen. My brothers used to get books out for me and then when I was about twelve I had mum get me books out of the adult section. So I was seriously running out of things to read and yet I had all these stories running around in my head. I was a terrible writer. It was why I was pointed in the direction of the library in the first place because I'm dyslexic and my teachers couldn't believe it because I was also a smart kid. In those days they thought dyslexia meant you were stupid and you literally went to a remedial school if you were diagnosed. So instead every year they would lament with my mother over my spelling unaware of my issues. So when I started writing it wasn't for anyone to read because I was a terrible writer. It was purely for me. I still have some of those early stories.
I kept that up. Writing stories for myself all my life - definitely playing the infinite game. I have about two - three hundred stories I've started and never finished. I used to go back over them and relive the stories often, especially when I ran out of things to read.
Then I wrote and published my first novel. That changed everything. I had written a novel. I was a success just for that alone. Except that path leads to a very sad person because how can you beat that high of your first novel. You can't of course. It made me think of so many people out there who say they will write a book some day. They are finite players. A set goal and the rules are set. The problem with that one is you generally have to be selected for the role in the game. So they desperately try to get published and find an agent. Find someone willing to pick them for their team. Because I wasn't playing the finite game I didn't see the point of a publisher. I wrote the story for me and people like me. I know, not very market savvy.
I keep forget I'm playing a infinite game when I play against finite players who have monthly sales goals etc. Nothing wrong with that. Measuring your success is a great way to buoy yourself up. I do it myself. But while looking at others I forgot why I wrote. To tell myself a story. So my goal this year is to tell stories and not worry about the other players in the game. I'm only going to measure things against myself. And aim for a goal in the horizon that is infinite.
Now I must say there are some infinite players in those groups. For instance the 20 books crew. They basically say don't sweat the numbers at the start - just write. I love that idea. They say by the time you hit 20 books you should be earning a living. Well that would be true if you started in the same place as the guy who started it but I like the idea of just writing the next book.
Some sad news about the kitten I found in the garden. She didn't make it. Hopefully, 2020 will be a happier year as I lost my father and various pets last year. I'm literally touching wood and crossing my fingers that this year will be better. I hope the same for all of you as well.
Here is a picture of some foster kittens that just went off to their forever homes to see the new year in.