The Sweet Smell of Success

IMG_1011[1]Well. If success smelled like unicorn farts, anyway.

For all I know, it does – though it’s an awful lot like spearmint, from what I can tell. (You can purchase some fabulous Unicorn Farts chapstick yourself at this delightful etsy store. Go on. You know you want to.)

That being said, I guess today’s post is about success and how one defines it.

But that’s really all relative, isn’t it?

Sort of like income. When I first got out of college and had a tiny one bedroom apartment and made $25k a year, I was feeling pretty awesome. After all, I’d only had hourly jobs before, so having a steady paycheck and a place I could afford and all the ramen I could eat was a good deal.

And I thought I’d never need anything more.

But years go by and salaries increase…and so do expenses. Funny how that works – the more money you have, the more you find you need to spend. Whether you’re upgrading to a better car or a larger cup of coffee, it’s a pretty sure bet that your tastes will increase as your extra income does.

My 22 year old self would probably be a bit mind boggled at my expenses these days.

It’s the same with success.  As you move through your goals, your definition of success changes. As writers we may start out small: Write every day. Write a 100k novel. Win a contest. Get an agent. Self publish. Trad publish.

Everyone has something a little different in mind. But then once you get there, you look around and see how much larger the world is. So at one point, maybe the main goal was to get published. In your mind, that’s the end-all, be-all. You can’t think of anything else more awesome.

But what happens when you meet that goal?

You’ve reached the peak of published mountain – only to discover that you’re really only at the foothill of a much taller mountain range.  Sure, you’ve had some success – but now there’s so many more to reach for. Best seller? 7-figure contract? Movie deal? Thousands of social media followers? A 25 book series? A Hugo?

Sure, those are pretty lofty, but I suspect it’s always best to aim as high as you can. You might not get there, but you’re bound to get farther along than if you just shuffle over to the bunny slope.

But the point is, everyone’s definition is different, but don’t be surprised or dismayed if the mountain seems a lot smaller when you get to the top – because you’ve grown that much more yourself. 🙂

(I seem to be full of silly inspirational thoughts today. Don’t know why. Enjoy yesterday’s Fox & Willow when you get the chance – and feel free to share your goals with us in the comments.)

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