What is Success?

Success

School has officially ended for the semester and one thing we learned has been sticking with me, so I thought I would talk about it. So this won’t be like my usual posts, but I hope you’ll stick around to read it, anyway.

In one of my classes this past semester we read a short story called Sur by Ursula K. Le Guin. I won’t describe it too much in case any of you would like to look it up, but it’s about a group of women travelling to Antarctica and keeping it a secret. One of my classmates posted on the discussion board asking about the “achievement” in the story. A few of my classmates were debating on whether or not the expedition to Antarctica could exactly be called an achievement. This is simply because the women in the story kept it a secret. They didn’t share their achievement; therefore no one knows about the achievement. How can you do something as great as travel to Antarctica and never share the news?

I commented on the thread stating that achievement is measured by your own personal goal and your perspective on it. For example, I believe travelling to Antarctica is a huge achievement; especially since it was their first time doing so. Just because the group of females did not share their journey with their friends, family, and the press, it doesn’t mean they weren’t successful. To put it simply, they wanted to travel to Antarctica and they did. Wouldn’t you call that an achievement?

I associate the word “achievement” with “success” because they’re both about reaching a goal. According to Dictionary.com, this is one definition of success: “the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.” I can only half agree with this. The reason I agree with it is because of the “position” part. I used to want to be the director of the preschool I worked for. If I had worked my way up to that position then I would have felt successful because it was something I wanted to do and I would have worked hard to get there.

The reason I disagree with that definition is because of the “wealth” part. Money does not buy happiness even though our paychecks always make us smile. However, once the bills start rolling in, our smile fades and we’re back to square one. If your goal was to make it to the top of your career with a nice pay raise, then I could call that successful if that was something you really wanted. If it was a job you truly enjoyed and you weren’t doing it just to get rich off of it; even though the money would be a plus.

Another reason I disagree with it is putting the story into perspective. Sur is a work of fiction, yes, but no where in the story did the group of women attain wealth, position, or any honors. They kept their goal a secret from the world. They deemed themselves successful because they had achieved something they wanted to do.

Another definition of success by Dictionary.com is: “the accomplishment of one’s goals.” I have to say that I like this definition a whole lot better. However, what exactly is a “goal?” Again, it depends on your own perspective and what you want. My big goal is to become a full-time writer. Yet, there are many little goals along the way.

When I write my standard 2,000 words in one day, I consider that an accomplishment for that one day. When I finish a novel, I consider that to be an achievement. I’ve never completely finished editing a novel enough to throw it at a publisher, but I’m sure when I do that will be successful in itself and I’m sure I will be very happy with it. When I get a novel published for the first time, I will be successful. Will I be a full-time writer after publishing that one novel? No, probably not. However, I will write more and the more I write the better I will become. I will come up with more ideas and become more creative. Eventually I’ll come up with a novel good enough to allow me to stay home all day and do what I love and do best: write.

It won’t matter what position I’m in if I still have a day job and it won’t matter how much money I’ll be bringing in. My goal is to share inspirational characters, interactive plots, and open up a brand new creative world for all my readers to love and enjoy.

And when that day comes, I will be successful.

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Wait, It’s December…?

Well, I Tried…

NaNo is over. It’s been over for four days and while I realized that it was December, I guess it never sunk in that NaNo was actually over for yet another year. I have come to a conclusion, though. NaNo is my BFF. Yes. Big, fat fail.

I never wrote all those words that I said I was going to write. Even when it got to be only three or four days left, I only wrote an extra 1000 words. I never even broke 30K, even though I was pretty close. However, I did break 25K, which is half. So I guess that’s a good thing.

So my profile on the NaNo website is now going to say I won 2009 and participated in 2012, 2011, and 2012. I was so hoping for another win, but I’m not going to complain. I made it half way at least. Not to mention that I got a good portion of the novel done. The characters are being good (so far), the plot is moving along nicely (so far), and I think it’ll be quite easy to finish (yeah right). I just need to get the motivation to do it.

NaNo and I had a good run this year. I started off doing great, but too much life got in the way. Just because I didn’t get a “win” out of it, doesn’t mean that I didn’t get a good novel out of it…even if it’s no finished. But it will be finished. Maybe when I’m 50. But it will be finished eventually.

I have been thinking a lot about my writing lately on account that I did fail NaNo. I really thought that I was going to win again this year and I really thought that I was going to actually finish the whole novel. But since I didn’t make it to either of those goals, I decided that I’m going to do my very best to write in the months to come.

I have the rest of this week, all next week, and then three more days (finals) of school. My Christmas shopping is already done and wrapped, so once school is out I’ll have all Winter break to type away. My only concern is that I have to study for my MTEL test, which I am taking in January. Oh, and learn how to drive. That’s kind of important. But when it comes to writing, I think I should be good.

For the Spring semester at school I need to come in five days a week, but it’s only three classes. I’ve had all three of these professors before. I know that I’m going to have virtually no homework. So I’m hoping that next semester will be a good semester for writing. It’s just that I’ll probably pick up a few extra hours at work.

Speaking of writing though, I was exploring my blog because I basically just update posts and nothing else on it…so I was looking around and I noticed on the Challenges page there is something that says I was going to write 360 pages by the end of this year. When I made that goal for myself I was in the middle of writing…well, whatever novel it was, and had hoped that 360 pages would have been the whole novel plus some from another novel. I completely forgot about this goal, so I changed it a bit. Basically, it just means that I have to write 360 pages total. Of any novel. So I added my Saving Each Other pages to that count. I am now up to 109 pages. This means that I have to write 251 more pages by the end of this year.

I have 27 days to do this, which should be about 9 or 10 pages a day. I can do that no problem if it’s double-spaced. I don’t know if I’ll actually do that, but I did say that I was going to try to write as much as I can during this Winter Break. Anything I write will go straight towards that page count. Honestly, I can’t even remember why I made that goal in the first place, but I’m going to stick with it. Why not?

I have a huge list of ideas that are swirling around in my head, but I’m going to try my best to finish Saving Each Other first. Then I can freak out about what to edit as the pile is going to keep building up. Right now I have two novels that need to be seriously edited so I can publish them and now I’m just going to be adding on an extra novel.

Hm. This should be interesting.