What Is Success? (& Mah Goals – wc 10/03)

Pen2I wrote a letter to the editor of Writing Magazine on Friday. Yes, them again! I know, but stick with me.

I was responding to a man who asked the question; ‘what makes a successful writer?’ I wrote the letter because I remembered the last post I wrote for the Phoenix Writer’s Subs Club (which is here by the way) in which I talked about how we’re all winners. How we’re all awesome.

I want to repeat those messages here because we need to remember and believe those things in order to get on with what we do. Because what we do is bloody hard work.

Success can be measured a number of ways but I measure success in a very personal way.
I set goals (every week, as you well know) and spend the week working towards achieving them. I plan ahead by day, week, month, quarter and jiggle things around when I need to. Each time I complete a goal or hit a target; that’s a success. And once you start a trend of achieving those little successes, doesn’t that make you successful? And if those goals are linked to you as a writer, then aren’t you a successful writer? Just by definition?

We’re all wordsmiths; we’re great at bending words and messing with language to make it do what we want, but read that paragraph again.
You can’t deny it. You know I’m right.

So… success isn’t measured by pounds in the bank, books sold, or fans acquired, but by the meeting of personal goals. ^_^

Doesn’t that make you feel a whole let better?Clipart lemon from OpenClipArt,I’ve worked this way for several months now and the moral boost I get from waking up each morning and being able to say, quite honestly, ‘I am a successful writer’ is amazing. And it keeps me going, ready and eager to keep pushing and achieving. And I’m not published yet. 😉

Take a moment today, preferably when the Monday blues have hit and you need a boost. Use that moment to look at all the things you’ve achieved and enjoy them. There are more successes than you think and more than one means successful.

You are successful. You are awesome.

Say it. Believe it.

A minor slip-up, stumble, or missed target doesn’t make you a failure either (I’m going to discuss that below). Sitting back and letting that mishap stop you from going on to do other things, or forgetting what you have done… that’s failure.

I didn’t meet all my targets this week. I let Raven get a stranglehold on the brain we share and she kinda took over. But…! The stuff I did do is awesome and there are extra things that I didn’t even plan for. Things that still help me on the road to publishing SORB by Autumn. Schweet!

Last Week

Continue reading my review book (The Unsuspecting Mage) – at least three chapters
Yep. I started going a little faster when it got more interesting. I’m really enjoying myself now.

Write two letters to writing magazines
I managed the one I talked about above. I might have done another, but I didn’t really have anything to say and, I don’t want to fill the editor’s desk with junk just because it happens to be a goal. Not cool.
But I wrote one.
That’s one more than I would have otherwise done. Success? Partially.
Failure? Not at all; I’m further ahead than I was. This is how I choose to think about what I do each week. I’ve had to retrain my brain – and it’s a work in progress – but I’m a lot happier and eager to keep working as a result.

Read (and make notes on) at least ten chapters of SORB, post reverse edits
Eight chapters. Not the full target, but more than I otherwise would have done. Progress. Always moving forward.
I’m still picking up a couple of issues, but the reverse edit did the whole story a LOT of favours. And, even better, I’m comforted by the fact that it reads far better with the removal of those chapters I was freaking out about. So far. The pacing is good, but I’m keen to get it to betas now, because I’m (obviously) a bit blinkered. I need fresh eyes on it.

Finalise details to go in press kit for solo website
Done! It took me ages, but I’m finally happy. As soon as I figure out how to make the downloadable .pdf work I’ll be able to set the site to live. ^_^ SO EXCITING!!!
Gosh… so many things to launch this month. I didn’t even realise.
Oh, you guys are in for a treat!

And those goals don’t count the likes of the prep work I’ve done for the A2Z Challenge.
little green tic Or the shorts I wrote for the Phoenix Writers or the guest posts I’m lining up in other blogs which relate to my editing business, The Write Feeling. I even had a night off and played games with a bunch of friends.
It’s been an extremely busy week and I’m thrilled with everything I’ve done.
A successful week? Oh yes.

This week

  1. Continue reading my review book (The Unsuspecting Mage) – at least three chapters
  2. Read (and make notes on) at least ten chapters of SORB, post reverse edits
  3. Read at least two posts from other bloggers each day

There. That should keep me busy.
I’ve taken into account the day I’ll have off (Tuesday) to visit the Liar’s League. If you’re in the area and wanting an evening of cool stories and professional readings, you really should come along. It’s going to be a great night.
And on Saturday I’ll be visiting the States of Independence over at De Montfort University. Very much looking forward to that. Taking a tip from Raven, I’ll be approaching some independent presses about SORB while rounding up edits and waiting for betas. *shrugs* It can’t hurt.

Have a good week! And don’t forget to tell me how you’re getting on.
new ileandra signature,

About Ileandra Young

I'm a thirty-*mumbles* year old (purple loving, cheese worshipping) author of fantasy, juggling a pair of beautiful twin boys with my burning desire to make up stories and write them all down. When I get the chance, I play games, listen to music, and in days long past I even ran a radio show. Though I occasionally write non-fiction, my heart lives in fantasy and my debut novel, Silk Over Razor Blades is now available through Amazon along with part two of the trilogy, Walking The Razor's Edge.
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4 Responses to What Is Success? (& Mah Goals – wc 10/03)

  1. 4amWriter says:

    I need to work on fine tuning my goals. I have broad goals, but not enough specific goals. I try to aim for one goal a day (all I can manage outside of the usual stuff that has to be done), and then try to look at the week ahead. I have to allow for changes and disruptions to schedules as that happens constantly. Such as a computer not working properly. Yeah, damn shame, and it really throws you off balance!!

    I shall try to tell myself that I’m awesome tomorrow. 😉


    • I’ll tell you; you are awesome. 🙂

      And part of that is knowing what you can do and what you can’t. That’s something I’m still learning which I why I have so many days where I feel anything but awesome (though I still try to tell myself).


  2. jmmcdowell says:

    I have this terrible habit of following up a positive thought about myself with several negative ones, as if I’m afraid I’ll jinx myself for thinking good about me. Maybe one of my daily goals should be to silence that inner critic at least once a day….


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