Defining the Beast Called Success

After a week of too little sleep and too much social interaction, I feel like more of a failure than a success. Dirty dishes fill the sink, and the laundry basket looks like it had trouble keeping its lunch down. This week’s blog post is currently non-existent and so is my motivation. All I want to do is zone out on reruns of Chopped.

Perhaps you recognize my vicious cycle. The less I accomplish, the worse I feel about myself, and the worse I feel about myself, the less I accomplish. It’s hard to remember that—even though they frequently like to get tangled up together—my accomplishments and my worth are two entirely different beasts.

One of the things I did accomplish this last week was attending the monthly meeting for my fiction writers group. We had the privilege of sitting down with bestselling author James Rubart (Rooms) for a Q & A session, and he started with a question of his own. He asked us to define “success” as a writer.

Success. Yet another intransigent beast I wrestle with.

Yes, I want to be published. Yes, I want people to buy my book. But for me, true success will come through making a connection. My Young Adult novel is intended for the girl who feels ignored. Overlooked. She thinks that maybe the reason people ignore her is because she’s not worth seeing. Maybe she wouldn’t think that anymore if someone stopped long enough to look her in the eyes and say I see you.

© Kelliem | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos

As someone who’s struggled to find worth in herself, I want to help that girl understand her worth is already there. Even if she can’t feel it. She has value that doesn’t depend on what she does, how smart she is, or how well she fits the current definition of beautiful. My hope is to connect with that girl through a character who feels the same way she does. I want a chance to say I see you, and knowing a girl out there hears it…well, that will be success.

©2012 Kim Vandel

6 thoughts on “Defining the Beast Called Success

  1. Great post Kim! I’ve went through the same ups and downs with success, but came to realize last week that what I really want out of my writing is for it to touch the heart. If it touches the heart of a reader, then I have succeeded. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

  2. I would do your laundry if you would cook for me. Wait, or we both can wear dirty clothes, order pizza and keep writing.

    You NEED to keep writing, just buy the family more clothes. I’m also still feasting on that Monday night meeting….what do I define success in my own life. For me it is the TO DO LIST and mine is HUGE!

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