Tuesday, 17 February 2015

How do you rate your own success?

How do you rate your own success?  Do you compare yourself to others in your chosen field, or by how much money you bring in?

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about how I rate my own success, or failure as it might be in some cases.  I suffer from depression, and 2014 was a dark year for me.  It meant that my writing slowed, almost to a stand-still which in turn made me feel worse.

After some jiggling about with my medication, I'm feeling brighter and more optimistic.  I felt like I needed to take stock of my achievements and make a plan going forward.

I love a plan.  I'm addicted to lists.  Just seeing those boxes being ticked off, one by one gives me the motivation to carry on and achieve more.  An added benefit of making a plan and taking stock, is that I saw how much I had achieved already.  Even while I was being suffocated by the black cloud of depression I had managed to achieve something.  I sold a few of my books, I took on more editing clients, and I even outlined a novel.  I was making myself feel worse because I was feeling guilty for not writing, where I was in fact, still moving forward and achieving.

I rate my own success by how much I have achieved in the short term.  Every year I write a list of goals, long-term and short-term and evaluate how I did in the previous year.  I always find out I've achieved more than I thought.

Right now I'm working on my next book.  The outline is coming together and my characters are chattering away constantly.  This is a good sign.

As for success; if I get this book drafted by October, I'll consider this a successful year.  If I make progress towards that goal today, I'll consider it a successful day.

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