Friday, May 21, 2010

Finding success in smal things

A majority, if not all, writers believe that success is all about the final goal - being able to hold a copy of their book in their hands. But, this isn't all there is to being successful.

I love musicals, and one of the best lines has to come from the remake of Fame:

There are a few things that Success is not…
Success is not fame, money or power
Success is waking up in the morning so excited about what you have to do that you literally FLY out of the door
Success is getting to work with the people you love
Success is finding a way of connecting and binding them together
Success is connecting with the world
Success is falling asleep knowing you did the best you could
Success is joy, friendship and freedom
Success is LOVE.”

Why would you do something if not for the love of it? Even if you were successful and got a lot of money in return, if you did not really love what you're doing then that success isn't worth very much.

People measure success differently. Some feel great satisfaction and success when finally reaching "The End" of the ms, while some may only consider success has come once they've signed on with an agent or even published that book.

For the past couple of weeks I've been in a classroom... teaching in a classroom... and the way I see success has definitely changed. Like, for instance, today I managed to keep my year 10 English class quiet for at least 30 minutes, I definitely saw that as a success... but, my mentor teacher found so many things to critique me on, where as my year 11's were noisy and I 'nearly' had to raise my voice several times after separating students in the room. I wouldn't have seen this as a success, but yet, I got the comments that the lesson went really well and I was great at explaining the stuff I was teaching.

Here, I can see my opinions of success greatly differ from those of another. A success is just an opinion, the way it's seen is different with every person. With writing, my idea of success would be to be able to do the thing I love every day, and reaching that sweet, sweet ending just tops it off... don't get me wrong, getting an agent and deal is what I'm working toward, but that would just be the cherry on top.

So, what do you see as a success?


Stina said...

Great post! I see success as accomplishing each goal I set out for my book. Finishing the outline. The characterizations. The first draft. Adding more emotion. Less telling. Having a beta reader love the book. Getting excited about rewriting because of a insightful crit.

Yeah, maybe I'll never land an agent or have my book published, but that doesn't mean I wasn't successful. I did something many people have done. I finsished writing a book. I became a stronger writer. :D

Have a great weekend, Cheree!

Lydia Kang said...

Success is when I accomplish my goal. Not someone else's goal or expectation. But I set the bar high, so it's hard!

Hannah said...

I agree with Lydia. Success is accomplishing my goals.

I think to be a successful writer you have to do one important thing, write.

Elana Johnson said...

Excellent inspiration today. Success comes with hard work. There are little successes (nailing a scene or making dinner) and bigger ones (holding your book or graduating from college).

I feel successful when I work at or for something.

lisa and laura said...

I love this post and I love how everyone has a different definition of success. For me success will be if I'm still writing in 10 years.

Stephanie Thornton said...

Student teaching is so hard, infinitely harder than when you finally have your own classroom.

As a writer, I feel successful when I finish a draft or complete a round of revisions. But I won't consider myself a true success until I see my book on the shelves.

Lexi said...

Hi, and thanks for following my blog! I love yourz, its so interesting! I take sucsess when I accomplish a goal I have set for myself

Jemi Fraser said...

Success can be so varied. I love the lyrics in the song.

I'm a teacher so your comment about keepint them quiet for 30 minutes made me smile!

Jackee said...

I think you're on to something here. Success is definitely measured by happiness, both for yourself and for others.

Thanks for stopping by my blog so that I could find yours! :o)

Julie Musil said...

I love your outlook on success. I'd agree with you that 30 minutes of quiet in the class would be considered a success too!

Great post.

Gabrielle said...

I totally agree with you! I want to be an author someday :)

<3 <3,

PS thanks for following my blog!

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Hey, great question. For me success is just follow-through - the ability to cross something off my list (no matter whether professional or personal). THAT gives me the satisfaction to continue plodding along every day - which I count as the greatest success of all :D Thanks for visiting my blog and signing up for the blogfest!

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