Sunday, 17 October 2010

success (noun) favourable outcome, good fortune, successful thing or person

I was asked on Wednesday if I define my writing success by publication/winning competitions. The implication being that I shouldn’t. I think I said no (I’d had a pint or two) but in all honesty, this is a bit of a lie.

I define my success solely by competitions wins (nil), shortlists (one) and publication (one).

I do not define it by the number of stories completed, redrafted and sent off, by my first delicate steps back towards poetry, by attending classes and groups, by being invited to guest blog (yes, me! a guest blogger!) I do not define it by winning NaNoWriMo – instead, I cancel that out by the fact that I haven’t been able to redraft.

Perhaps, as a writer, I need to celebrate my success more.
I might have a little party for me, Helen, the writer. I should bake myself a cupcake and have a moment to bask in the glory. Look at everything I do, whilst still working full time and committing myself to important things, like America’s Next Top Model and the Apprentice.

And so what if I haven’t been able to pack the day job in just yet? I’m still an awesome writer. So there


Michelle said...

I agree, little acorns and all that. Sometimes the success is more intangible, like finishing a draft or writing a sentence that you feel is really great. It's not always about winning competitions or prizes, but more personal, small achievements.

Writing Energy said...

still think ur an awesome writer. Keep looking @ the shelves in WH Smiths and ur not there. What's going on?

the bijou raconteur said...

Michelle - I know you're right, but I'm still looking for the oak tree :-)

Writing Energy - wow, that's really lovely! thank you so much! In answer to your question, I'm not in Smiths yet because I have yet to finish anything of substance. Note to self...get writing!! xx

Anonymous said...

I've been shortlisted twice (whoo!) and I find it's great when it happens but then there's this massive anti-climax when you realise the excitment is all over and nothing much has changed. But you have to remind yourself that something has changed. You have actual validation from completely objective third parties (as opposed to your husband and your dog, who feel somewhat obliged to tell you you're the next Margaret Atwood). And that's pretty cool. So I think a cupcake party's a great idea. But then, I like to celebrate Tuesdays with cupcakes. And Wednesdays. And Thursdays. And you can't forget Mondays...