Camp NaNo Success!

 Camp NaNo was a success in so many ways!
  • I got a huge sense of accomplishment by completing my hourly goal.
  • Enjoyed “campfire talk” with my cabinmates.
  • Met some new amazingly kind, fun, fellow writers.
  • Established a solid writing practice.
  • Discovered that no matter how busy I am (April was one of my busiest months ever), I can always find time to write–even if it’s only 15 minutes to check in with my project.
If any of you want to join the virtual camping experience in July, all you have to do is go to the Camp NaNoWriMo site, set up your project, and let me know so I can send you an invite to our cabin.

So long as you write what you wish to write, that is all that matters; and whether it matters for ages or only for hours, nobody can say.  ― Virginia Woolf

 

This is what separates artists from ordinary people: the belief, deep in our hearts, that if we build our castles well enough, somehow the ocean won’t wash them away. I think this is a wonderful kind of person to be. ― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (This book, BTW, is one of the greatest writing books ever written.)

 

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How do You Define Success?

Success

Writers are generally an insecure group of people. We have something we want to say and feel compelled to write, and yet fear lies beneath the surface every time we put our words out there for the world to read. Not every writer, maybe, but all I’ve spoken with. Even those I’ve read about, those who have “made it.”

Joanna Penn, in her book Successful Author Mindset, talks about comparisonitis. We compare our writing to other authors, we compare our sales to other authors, we even compare our writing life to other authors. Each of these things are individual and there is not one-size-fits-all, and yet we compare. Not only do we compare ourselves to our peers, but we compare ourselves to other authors who have completely different lifestyles and opportunities than we do. Those who are on a completely different level.

To help prevent comparisonitis, take some time to define what success means to you. If we as authors don’t know what success means to us, separate from how others view success, we will constantly be chasing our tails trying to achieve something we don’t even know we’re trying to achieve.

So, what is your definition of success? Is it:

  • Freedom?
  • Sales?
  • Control of your work?
  • Number of books sold?
  • A traditional publishing contract?

It’s all too easy for the fragile ego to get hung up on statistics, number of likes, reviews, etc. I’m happiest when I set my definition of success as simply writing on a regular basis, doing the best that I can do, comparing my writing only to writing I’ve done at an earlier time, to measure my growth.

I also try, hard as it can be, not to allow other’s opinions to determine whether I’m good at what I do or not. While it’s nice when others like what you write and give you a good review, a bad review doesn’t necessarily mean your work is bad.

Opinions are purely subjective.

Really get to the bottom of what your definition is of success. Re-evaluate your definition at regular intervals. Don’t let others’ definitions define yours.

Happy writing!

I can’t give you a sure-fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time. 
― Herbert Bayard Swope

If you must walk in someone’s shadow make sure it’s your own.
― Rasheed Ogunlaru

 

Gratitude…for All and for One

Bill Wilson

Sometimes I get so caught up in being the best at something I lose my focus on what’s really important. Of course, being the Type A that I am, I’m usually killing myself striving to be the best at everything. And it’s here that I get into trouble.

Striving to be my own personal best and striving to be the best is the difference between the scenic journey of healthy living and the fast lane to insanity.

When I’ve accomplished something in my writing career, I find I want to be better. After all, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell and J. R. R. Tolkien have all topped the lists, so why shouldn’t I be able to?

When I’m doing my day job well, I find myself thinking of those who make millions at their job and wonder why I’m not able to be that successful. (Think Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg.)

When I see other blogs that have thousands of followers to my 354, I doubt my ability to be “good enough.”

And on and on and on…and thus begins the proverbial squirrel cage thinking, the squirrel being fed from comparing myself to others.

Gratitude, pure and simple, is the answer to putting the squirrel to rest.

Gratitude-2

Gratitude that I’ve accomplished something that I love to do so much, appreciating that I’ve been blessed with a talent that breathes life into me.

Gratitude for having a day job with work that I enjoy, and pay that allows to me live comfortably, while experiencing satisfaction at being able to make a positive difference to victims of crime at a time when their entire world has been turned upside down and inside out.

Gratitude for each and every person who my blog has touched, each one individually. As long as I’ve been writing, which has been since the age of four when I wrote “words” on the living room wall with crayon :), my goal has never been to make millions, but to make a difference. If even to just one.

Every life touched, every one, matters.

In the words of Spock, played by the late, great Leonard Nimoy (may he RIP):

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.” — Spock, Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan

But may we never forget the needs of one for the needs of the few or the many.

Carpe Diem

“Z” is for…

Zoey and Zig Ziglar

Yes, you read that correctly.  My favorite “Z” word in the whole world is Zoey, my precious granddaughter. There is none so perfect as she. 🙂 Especially in her sassy little leopard print dress.

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And Zig Ziglar? I couldn’t think of a better way to end this remarkable blog challenge than with one of his quotes.  This adventure has led me to the good habit of writing every day (which I hope I can keep), it has helped me get to know acquaintances better (My NCW comrades), and has brought some amazing blogging friends into my blogging life. It has been an amazing ride and I hope to stay connected with all of you. Every one of you has a special place in my heart.

“Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be. If we do our best, we are a success.”
Zig Ziglar

Weekend Quote

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s 110th Birthday – five of his finest…

Dr. Seuss

“You have brains in your head, you have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

“Will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.)”

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”