Success and the secrets thereto. I have few of one and the other - well - let's call it a work in progress. You can probably guess which is which.
I do have a vision of what success means to me - a benchmark, if you will. It has yet to be met. In truth, it has yet to get past my second mark (a specific amount earned.) But that's okay. Because while I recognize that I am currently in the doldrums Jeffe described in her post (doldrums she has navigated clear of) I also recognize that getting free of them is up to me.
I told you last week that Dad had a heart attack. The day after I mentioned it, he suffered another. We really thought we'd ended an era there. It was a sucky weekend that culminated in me moving off the boat with my cats and moving into my parents house because my miraculously recovering father cannot be left alone just now.
Dad is the one who fostered and fed my love of science fiction. He's the one who taught me to problem solve - which might not actually be a good thing because engineer and there's always an exquisitely complicated (but fun!) way to accomplish something in weeks what would take normal people a day to do. He'd hike me into the desert and up mountains just so we could break open rocks and see what was inside. He taught me to sail and once I got married to a landlubber, he helped me convert that landlubber into a sailing addict.
At the moment, writing is lost in the honor of being trusted to help him. We manage the ebb and flow of medications. Encouraging Dad to eat just a little bit more. Going for several 7 minute walks a day with my arm tucked through his to provide him a modicum of stability.
Getting to provide for my parents in this way was never on my success radar. It should have been, because it meshes so closely with one of my writing success goals - being able to support my family with writing. So while my writing 'success' is, indeed, very much a work in progress and I freely admit to being really sad right now because I'm SO CLOSE to the end of a novel that I cannot finish on schedule, there will be no giving up. If ever I am to meet my goals it will be solely because I am too stubborn and spiteful to quit.
If you want to win contests, you have to enter. If you want to publish books, you have to write them. If you fall down, you have to get back up again. And you know, if it is possible to develop super powers, that's the one I'm working on - the getting back up part. Over. And over. The novel will get finished. So will the next one. And then the one after that. And maybe somewhere in there, I'll cross another marker on my way to career success.