March 8, 2009

Measure of Success

I would like to introduce our guest blogger for today. Welcome Karyne Corum. She is from New Jersey. Writing is her passion and she would like to share that passion with other writers. Thank you, Karyne, for stopping by.

Many writers measure success with big sales, contracts and six figure advances. But if you take it down a notch, into the sphere of the average writer, those who are neither here nor there yet, it should have a different meaning. Success is when you set a goal, whether it be writing 250 words on your manuscript or networking at a local book conference, doing two things to help your career, and you reach it. I imagine many writers would rather set the bar so high that it’s almost impossible to reach and therefore they feel comfortable in their cocoon of inertia. "I would have been a great writer if only…. ".“If only” is the anathema of every writer, everywhere. It is the penultimate cop-out. If only I wasn’t busy with kids, husband, job, the noisy neighbors, the dog, the dust bunnies and so on and so on.
One of the most important tricks I learned was to stop trying to fit my life to my writing and rather fit my writing to my life. If I had ten minutes between my son’s lunch and playtime, I took it. The idealistic vision of the artist having all night or hours upon hours to create is a mirage. And just like a mirage, you need to dispel it with, even if it takes some cold water to the brain.People are so afraid of failure they would rather dream than do because in our dreams we never fail. I like to live by the philosophy that, we learn nothing from success and everything from failure.
It is not a reflection of our inadequacy but rather a demonstration of our ability to adapt and overcome.Even failure takes work. If my life was a string of failures then at least I would have the satisfaction of knowing I tried and tried really hard. But, I don’t have a string of failures, I have constant daily successes. Whether it be finishing a scene or finding the universal truth in my story, writing 50 words or even just getting out and doing a blog that I left for almost two months because life got really busy and chaotic. I’m not going to beat myself up for not getting to my blog for two months, rather I’m just going to get back to it and get it done.So, the choice to be a doer or a dreamer, remains in the writers hands, just like the success of your career. Start with the small and the big will follow.

Karyne Corum


At March 11, 2009 at 3:29 PM , Blogger F. M. Meredith, author said...

To live your dream you need to step out and become part of that dream. Good blog.

aka F. M. Meredith

At March 12, 2009 at 4:41 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...

You're absolutely right. Last week I blogged about my resistance to writing short stories. I took the position that if I didn't try I couldn't fail. However, I only failed myself by not trying. In tackling the difficult goal of writing a good short story I grew as a writer and learned new tools that will help me with my long-fiction.

At March 15, 2009 at 11:18 AM , Blogger Jackie said...

Thank you for a great blog! We all need to be reminded of that. I think we need to make writing like breathing. It is a part of us. And in fact, those little ten minutes of writing can be very rich, because we are drawing from the well of the moment.

At March 30, 2009 at 11:46 AM , Anonymous Anne Da Vigo said...

One way I've found to get started is to join a writers group and write from prompts. Use your idea, your characters, your plot, and just get going. I've been a member of a writers group for ten years, and members have published poems, short stories and creative non-fiction out of pieces that began as prompts at our weekly meetings.

Anne Da Vigo, co-author, Coffee and Ink: How a Writers Group Can Nourish Your Creativity


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