Defining success is hard.
I didn’t realize defining failure was even harder.
- 1. lack of success
- 2. the omission of expected or required action
Wikipedia: “Failure is the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective… it may be viewed as the opposite of success.”
Merriam-Webster: “Omission of occurrence or performance; specifically: a failing to perform a duty or expected action.”
My definition, derived from a saying of the ancient, Japanese Samurai archers… “Ha! Anata ga nogashimashita!”
Loosely translated, it means… “Ha! You missed!”
In reading books on How to be Successful, you will see, repeatedly, the authors mention the fact that many people never realize success due to the fact that they quit.
Coming close… but garnering no cigar!
Because they quit too soon.
I have to admit, with the roughness of this first part of the year, I wavered for a second, looking at my writing, and thinking, “What’s the point?”
Especially with my “the ad campaign that never was… ad campaign,” for my current book, The Definite Dad.
I felt like I was failing, a failure, just not doing well.
But then I remembered my initial goals…
- 1. Learn how to build a book
- 2. Create a “body of work”
I remembered that I wrote those goals down… in my notebooks. Many, many moons ago.
The “success” books say to write them down, and tape them to your mirror… so you see them daily.
I never listen!
And then, as He is want to do, God provided me some feedback.
In the course of three different conversations I was asked about my writing. The comments were about the same.
“I heard you wrote a book.”
Me: “Actually, I’m up to five, all available on Amazon Books.”
Me: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool.”
Then the conversations ensued.
I found myself leaning on “my body of work,” and having a great time answering their questions.
The conversations helped to bring that fuzzy memory to the fore front of my mind, and helped to dispel the little funk I was in.
I was refreshed.
And seeing how I have met my basic goals… it’s time to re-calibrate my writing goals.
I started journaling in 2009, started blogging in 2016, self published my first book in 2017, and since then have submitted multiple freelance articles, selling one, and waiting to hear back on others.
My current book situation… I’m waiting for some art work for “Carter’s 2nd Inning,” and I’m starting the process on my next book… the working title… “Before the Bible: What happens then?”
And kicking around an idea for a children’s book called… “Are you my lion?”
My current “body of work” includes 5 books, 3 websites with 432 published articles, a dozen or so freelance submissions, with 7 years of personal journaling, and 5 years of public blogging.
I feel good about that.
The feelings you go through when you feel like quitting are all negative… personal unworthiness, poor quality, discouragement, exhausted, “Why did I even start?”
Your goals are your goals… if you believe in those goals, (write em’ down and tape em’ to your mirror) continue to work on those goals, you’ll have good days and bad days… just understand that that is par for the course, it comes with the territory… you can’t grab the brass ring if you’re not on the carousel!
Another goal, an overarching goal, of my whole writers life… I want to capture all of these different ups, downs, swings, and nuances of chasing success.
I lost my vision of my project, just for a second there. Can’t keep your nose to the grindstone all the time.
I’m going to revisit step one of goal setting, and re-clarify my goals.
Then… tape em’ somewhere I can see em’!