Saturday, 21 April 2012

S is for Success

We're all geared up and prepared for failure. When I was training therapists, I used to get them to write ten things about themselves they would like to change. Thirty seconds later, they were all done. Then we turned the paper over and I asked them to write down ten characteristics they were happy with. There's a whole lot of half hours I'll never get back. We are self-conscious and unsure about our successes, our strengths.

I wrote, in all sincerity, that I didn't want to win the Mslexia prize. What I meant was, I couldn't imagine coping with winning the prize. In a few weeks, I have been a runner up, got an agent, rewritten the back of the book, and am starting work on line edits. That's about as much success as I can cope with. All around me, people are talking about 'when' rather than 'if' which seems oddly optimistic to me. I'm only prepared for failure.

So I'm applying some psychological strategy to me. I am going to celebrate each little success as it comes along. I got my edits back and she doesn't think I should scrap the whole book! Yay! I still have my agent and she still likes the book, so Yay! And, best of all, she paid me the nicest compliment.

I had written these little epigraphs at the beginning of each historical chapter. They were quotes from my narrator's journal and she asked if they were from an actual journal.
    'No,' I replied, feeling a bit stupid, 'I made them up.'
    'Well, they're great, I love them.'
Success indeed if I've managed to convince someone as experienced and educated as my agent that my fiction is plausible!  


  1. Wow, congrats on all your success! :D

    1. In the spirit of celebrating my success, Yay!

  2. Sometimes identifying your strengths is not only acknowledgement that you have them but means that maybe you should be making the most of them, if you don't think that you have any then you can't disappoint yourself with not using them. My sunday post will be about therapists :), I hope you will stop by and provide some answers (impart wisdom)!

    1. I home educated my kids, and our philosophy is that they must have superpowers, our job (theirs as well as ours) is to find them. One tunrs out to be one of nature's philosophers (he's studying it at University), another has a huge talent for teaching and encouraging people to enjoy the outside, one even has an innate talent for accountancy! It didn't occur to me until quite recently that I must have superpowers too...I've been following your posts, I must say I don't think I have any innate talent for singing...