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Success and Such

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I'm feeling successful!
I've been reading a lot of blog posts and books lately about success, what it is, or what we think it is or hope it is. I used to be one of those people that had a difficult time accepting a compliment. Chock it up to not hearing many compliments as I grew up. I don't even think I knew what I was missing until I got older. This effected my personal view of success.

I've learned to accept compliments and I'm happy for them whether it's about a new haircut, new outfit, or weight loss. But it's weird now for me to accept compliments about my writing. What's that about? Maybe it's because I only have one book out and it's still kind of surreal. Maybe because I don't know if I'll be able to keep doing what I'm doing and be any good at it. We writers are a weird lot in many ways. I think a lot of us suffer from self-confidence issues.

Rachelle Gardner's Blog Post It's Not Always About The Money speaks to success and money and how we perceive what we get in the way of an advance and/or royalties. The publishing business is changing and I don't think there are many writers out there who get huge royalty payments or huge advances, but I'm sure there are some that do. Read through the comments if you have the time.
Michael Hyatt says, "The bottom line is that you have more control over your success than you may think." Read 7 Ways Successful Creatives Think Differently Than Unsuccessful Ones This is a place where I believe that positive thinking makes a huge difference. If you can foster these 7 Ways into your creative life I really don't believe you can lose no matter what happens.

James Scott Bell's post entitled, A New Definition of Writing Success begins with the sad story of a school teacher named Edith Allonby who committed suicide because her story was rejected. Jim explores getting published with income and getting published with freedom.

 And Stephen Covey's, 7 Must Read Success Lessons from Stephen Covey is another must read thought provoking post. It's his #4 that reminded me to, "“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” 

And I would add to this for my own growth to give God the glory and seek his Word. Philippians 4:13 NIV, I can do all this through him who gives me strength, has always been powerful for me as I know it has for many others, as well as James 4:10 NIV, Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will lift you up.

So what do you think about success? What does it mean to you personally?


  1. Interesting post, Jillian. Your links provide many more thought-provoking ideas to add to the growing conversation about indie versus traditional publication. While I'm a traditionalist at heart, I can see value in both methods, as well as in the eBook and paper versions.

    Success is a very personal thing in any walk of life. I changed my genre at God's prodding, and whether or not my novels are ever published, I believe I'm following the path he has planned for me. Yes, I'd like to be published, but 'success' is less about recognition or money than about enrichment and satisfaction. Learning to write well, and building new and interesting relationships in the Christian writing community can be their own reward.

  2. Hi Carol,
    Success is a personal thing, but sometimes I think we far surpass what others would consider success and push ourselves to some impossible, imagined perception of success. I know of writer's who have become so paralyzed of losing success that they lose the ability to write.

    I like that you're doing what God prodded you to do, and in my experience that may very well be what gets you published. And now you have so much more to consider with the e-pub route as well. Interesting times for writers.

  3. What does success look like for a writer? I've asked myself this question on a number of occasions. I've even written a couple blog posts around this or a similar question. I've discovered if I measure my accomplishments against the world's definition of success, I'm probably more of a failure than a success. However, as a Christian, I have to remember the world's standards are not to be the measure by which I assess my accomplishments. If I'm obeying God, doing what He's asked me to do, then in His eyes, I'm successful, and that's all that really matters anyway.

  4. Hi Teri,
    You said," If I'm obeying God, doing what He's asked me to do, then in His eyes, I'm successful, and that's all that really matters anyway."
    I know this is right and I also know that some writers won't even read their reviews, etc. because they don't want to get caught up in what the world thinks. And yet, if we live in this world as writers it is difficult not to allow what the world thinks to effect us to some degree, and that might be okay, it might even be healthy. That doesn't mean I'm going to spend too much time dwelling on it, but I do care about what others think, just not to the extent of the writer in James Scott Bell's post from above.

    I want to reach others in the world with my stories, how can what the world think, not effect me? I think it's my response to what others think, and my trust in Christ that matters most. My hubby always says, not to let negative things or comments live rent free in my head. Good advice.

    Thanks for batting this topic around with me, Teri, it helps sort things out. :)

  5. Okay, the happy dog photo alone was worth stopping by! Very thought-provoking post. Hmmm...success. When someone tells me that whatever I wrote or said or did pointed them to Jesus. That to me is the ultimate success. Have a great weekend!

  6. Hey Donna!
    Thanks for stopping by. I thought that doggie would provide a lot of smiles. Leading the way to Jesus. Doesn't get better than that. :)