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Monday, October 14, 2013

Stickers, Stars, and Writing Success

What makes a successful writer?

No one knows. They may say they know, but it's like asking what makes a successful person or what sound purple makes. Everyone can give you there definition, but there is no real measure of success. Are you happy with it?

Ta-da! *trumpet fanfare* You did it successfully!

Until your boss or teacher or readers say otherwise. And then you realize you might be an abject failure. But that's okay too! Because there are very few things in life that you can't fix by moving.

Failed at school? Try another class, another major, a GED or homeschooling.

Failed at work? Find a new job (but not in this economy - in this economy you kiss butt, apologize profusely, and keep working for soul-starving minimum wage in a job you hate until the job you love becomes available).

Failed with your book? Change your name and publish again!

And if those solutions don't work you whip out the star-chart from grade school. You remember the one. It has days of the week and you get a sticker for Doing The Thing. It works on small children and big people too. I used it when I first started working out. It was a way to visually track my progress (or lack thereof) at the gym.

I use the star chart for tracking writing, one star for every 1000 words in a manuscript. An idea stolen from several other very wonderful authors. Why? It's more of a WHY NOT?

Why not celebrate the little victories in life? Why not do something to track your progress? Why not have a star sticker on the calendar that means nothing to anyone but you? If nothing else that little star says, meekly and softly, "I win! I did good! I'm happy about this!"

Because it's okay to be happy.

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

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