Friday, February 4, 2011
Thinking about success
Thinking about how I don't feel successful, and wondering why that is.
When I googled the word "success" to see what images popped up, there were images of ladders, keys, people on top of hills, and street signs with "failure" pointing one way and "success" pointing another way.
This year, I will have published four YA and two MG novels. I am now writing full-time. Most people would say, Lisa, you are crazy, you ARE successful. So why don't I *feel* successful?
Is it because my bank account doesn't make me feel successful? That might be part of it. But I think there's also a part of me that believes lists and awards equal success. And since my books haven't made any lists or earned any rewards, I don't feel successful.
And yet, I could name a handful of authors off the top of my head who haven't made lists or earned awards, and in my eyes they are successful. They have written a book everyone loves or have sold extremely well or have a publisher that has bought many books.
What I want is to feel successful because I'm doing what I LOVE!
What his response said to me is that he doesn't want *his* success to be tied to the *film's* success. He tries to keep them separate. And honestly, without doing some googling, I don't know if Johnny Depp has won any awards. I don't know how much money he makes per film. But I know I love some films he's been in and others, not so much. Still, I look at him and of course I see him as successful! And really cute, but that's another post.
As authors, can we separate the two? Can we be successful if our books aren't? I don't know. With a film, there are so many other people involved. But the same could be true of a book - how many times have we heard a cover can make or break a book, and that is certainly out of our control.
I want to feel successful because I did the work, not because of what happens to the work after that. That's what I'm working on.
What do you think? Is it possible? Or am I going to have a hard time doing that?