Posted in inspiration, my books, Thoughts

Success versus Failure

What is The Meaning of Success?

Success is just a leap of faith into the abyss and surviving the fall.

I’ve been struggling lately with feelings of failure. My sales haven’t been great, and I’ve been wondering about whether I’m spinning my wheels and wasting my time. What is the meaning of success? Everyone categorizes success in different ways, for some it is accolades from their peers, awards, notoriety, for others it is about the money, the lifestyle, and still others it is the level of achievement, a goal reached.

Like most small business owners, I’d like to make more sales and as an author, I’d like to build more fans. I’d like more people to read my books and fall in love with them. Somedays it seems no matter how hard I work I’m just not making it. But then something amazing happens and I feel renewed, like I have a reason to keep believing. What does it mean to me to succeed? What is my idea success? Yes, I want to sell more books, become a well-known author, be able to pay my bills with my writing career but is that really what success is? Is that all there is? How do I define success?

As we begin the new year, I am doing some real soul searching about what my future holds. What does success mean to mean? Contentment, happiness, peace… I’ve achieved that. I’m happy with my life. Maybe not every minute of every day but mostly I am happy and content, with my family and friends, and even my work. I feel good about what I’m doing. I’m doing what I love. It’s not always easy to juggle my writing career with my “real” job, other obligations, family, and friends, but mostly I manage. Some days I’m tired. I’ve stretched myself a little too far, but I know if I want this, I have to push myself.

Each year I try to add something else to my resume. I try to write new books, have my books available on new retailer sites and be visible on new social media platforms. I try to learn new things and even have new experiences. Some years, especially during Covid, those experiences might be limited to online, other times, I might be able to attend a writing conference in another state. Whatever new adventure I choose, it is usually something that will advance my career or at least help me learn. While I might not be able to quit my day-job just yet, each step, even some of the negative ones, have helped me on my journey to success.

No one can define success for you. Each of us have to decide what it means for us. While I might want to win the lottery and be independently wealthy, that won’t make me successful. Success for me can only come when I feel I’ve done my best and I’m happy with the outcome and selling lots of books wouldn’t hurt either.

True success is a life well-lived, and a heart well-loved. (I think that is slightly misquoted from Tuck Everlasting).

Wishing you all a happy and successful New Year. Just remember to be HAPPY!

You can find my ebooks at your favorite ebook retailer or right here at my own online store.

Posted in Thoughts

Fear of Success

Do we let fear of failure stop us from succeeding? Perhaps it is fear of success that gives us stumbling blocks? I am not brave. I struggle each day to stand up for myself, to speak up whether verbally or through my writing. I am still the scared little girl who believes she can’t do that. A wise woman, Ms. Glenoria Jennette, my mentor since high school, told me I had a choice, I could allow my fears (whatever they are) to keep me from doing what I want, or I could face them and see what I can do.

Whenever fear threatens me, and it is too often, I try to remember that girl who wanted to be a cheerleader and everyone told her she couldn’t because she’d be the only white girl on the squad. I learned then that sometimes it is best not to let those people inside your head. Whether you are going against societies limitations or your own fears, taking the chance can be like free falling from a plane. It’s real exciting until you see the ground. There are real risks in taking chances. No woman ever made history by behaving, that’s paraphrased from a popular sign but it is truth. If you want to succeed then you must face the possibility of failure but you also have to understand what success can mean also.

I love to write, my greatest dream is to be a published author. If this dream comes true then there will be times I may not be able to have breakfast with my friends, babysit my grandchildren. I may have to make hard choices due to schedules and deadlines. I want to do it all but I cannot be in two places at once. I cannot divide myself into but so many pieces. I may have to say no to something that means a lot to me. Am I willing to do that to see my dream come true? Am I afraid of success or failure?

As I take the next steps on my career ladder, I hope that my friends and family will understand if I have to say no. I hope that we can find a way to make it work even if I miss a few precious moments. I know that my grandchildren are growing fast and I have only a little time to enjoy their childhood. I know that we are not promised tomorrow. That each day with my mom and in-laws is a blessing. There are people and things that are important to me and my choices may have to come down to two equally important things. I hope I make the right choices and that whoever (or whatever) is put aside for the moment will realize that they are still very special to me and will allow me another chance to be with them.

Success has its rewards but it also has its obligations.

Posted in event, Thoughts

My NaNoWriMo Journal

NaNoWriMo Journal

First Date/Blind Date
Like a blind date I embark on my maiden voyage of NaNoWriMo with giddiness and fear! I am terrified and intrigued by the program. Like any first date the most beautiful thing a person can put on is confidence. While I am usually a wimp frightened of my own shadow, thanks to the Heart of Carolina’s Book in a Week program I am accustomed to pushing myself to make word count. Years of sharing my work, reading my mistakes aloud with members of the Pamlico Writers Group and the North Carolina Writers Read I have acquired a scrap of confidence. Will it be enough to see me through? Sink or swim, true love or see ya…I am going to put everything I have into this month and see what I’m made of.

Cleaning my Office
While cleaning my office in preparation of doing NaNoWriMo I came across the November/December 2014 issue of Writer’s Digest. This edition has several articles on NaNoWriMo, as I began re-reading these articles I began putting the ideas into my own plan.
1. Get your mind in the right place. Believe-Achieve-Succeed! No matter how many words I write it is more than I have right now. Make each goal a reason to celebrate!
2. Start Fresh. Starting a new project is fuel for the muse. The words flow faster when they are in their infancy.
3. Prepare! While I am a pantser and even the thought of the word Outline has me breaking into a sweat I know for this project I need to plan out the novel even if I can’t plot it all.
4. Set goals. 50,000 words in 30 days. 12,500 words per week for 4 weeks. Which equals roughly to 1,667 words per day.
5. Keep going, some days I may be lucky to get 500 words, others I may do 5,000, don’t let one bad day derail me just keep writing.
6. Work ahead, no editing and just write! I tend to write, rewrite and write some more. For this challenge I’ll need to turn off that part of my brain, just hope I remember to turn it back on.
7. Buddy up, thankfully I have a few friends who are also doing NaNoWriMo and I’ve met a few new friends in an on-line class. Having and being a part of a cheering squad is also important.