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What Is My Five-Year Goal?

In my list of “blog ideas” I had “what is my five-year goal?” and I’m trying to figure out what that means. Obviously, five-year plans are important for people, especially those with strong careers. I don’t have a career yet. I’m like a red mage–I specialize in two jobs and I’m not really good at either.

As far as software engineering, I’ve been sated. I’ve found a job with good people that allows me to work how I want to and pays me well. And now that my wife has started working again, money is no issue for me. Happiness is.

And what would make me happy is being an author. A capital-A author with a book on the shelf, an Amazon entry to point to, a cover to post. I feel like I have to get to that point before I can have a five-year plan. I can’t say “in five years I’d like to have published my third book, be on an international book tour, have a contract, etc. etc.” when I can’t even get an agent. It’s like saying “I’m going to be a Karate expert” when you haven’t even signed up for lessons. I mean really, all I want right now is a published book. For that, I need a publisher. For that, I need an agent.

What’s stopping me is not within my control. All I can do is write the best book I can with the tools available to me. There’s no point to list out transferrable skills, research my goal, refine my goals, write down the steps, and so on. I’ve already done that. And whether that happens in five years or fifty years is not up to me.

Maybe five-year plans are more for those people who don’t have filters/gatekeepers in their way. You can achieve pretty much everything if you have money. I mean, I could just self-publish my books or use a vanity press to get them published. But that’s like getting someone to fall in love with you using a love potion. It’s cheating. It doesn’t mean you’re any good, it means you’re rich. And arrogant. I’d rather get through on my merits. If people don’t like my book for my book, then I don’t want them exposed to it. No one has gotten big because they bought their way into the industry.

So I have no “five year plan”. I have a “tomorrow plan”. Tomorrow I’m going to get up, write a thousand words or revise 4-5 pages, and check my e-mail. Maybe someday an agent will contact me. We’ll sell my novel to a publisher and I’ll see a cover with my name in the bookstore.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at http://www.ericjuneaubooks.com where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

2 Comments

  • Chuck Litka

    I suspect that you already listen to the Publishing Rodeo podcast, but if you haven’t run across it yet, give it a try. I find it a gold mine of inside information on the publishing business.

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