Friday, April 24, 2015

What Publishing, Life, and 2048 Have In Common

Several months ago, I stumbled upon the game 2048. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a highly addictive but very simple puzzle game in which you combine numbers on a sliding grid. Two plus two is four. Four plus four is eight. You get the idea. When you get to 2048, you officially win, but the game doesn’t have to end. You can keep playing until, inevitably, you lose.

Just like real life.

Okay, perhaps this reveals my cynicism, but 2048 really does reminds me a bit of publishing specifically and life more generally.
When I became serious about writing, my first goal was to find an agent. When I got an agent, I felt that I had won, but the game didn’t end. I had a new goal: to get a publishing offer. Now that I’ve achieved that goal, I’ll keep setting new ones, such as selling foreign rights, becoming a best seller, getting a movie deal, getting my own theme park, and so on and so on. In other words, no matter how much I win, I’ll still fail. Eventually, I’ll set a goal I can’t obtain.
And the same can be said of much of life.
But I love the game 2048, and I love publishing, and I love life. Yes, failure is inevitable, but that’s the side effect of having ambitious goals. The only way to avoid losing is to stop trying, and that wouldn't be any fun at all.

©Trent Black

Laurel Gale lives in the desert with her husband and a band of furry monsters that might actually be ferrets. She enjoys reading novels, playing board games, and learning about everything from history to science to grammar. Her debut middle grade novel, Dead Boy, comes out September 29, 2015, from Random House/Crown Books for Young Readers. 

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