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.