I've been thinking a lot about the definition of success this week since my son's little league football team lost the championship game by one touch down near the end of the game. Did that mean they're losers? Does success mean being the best or winning?
I don't think so. This team beat them by three touchdowns in a previous game and in this game our team did much better and gave them a real run for their money. They were almost tied until the end (plus the reps favored the other team and didn't give us and extra point we earned). Anyway, the boys played hard and did their best and they made it to the championship. To me that is a huge success and they can be proud and feel good.
I think any improvement we make is a success. I may not have published a novel yet, but I've written and revised several and they get better each time. I also still have an editor interested in one of them. As long as I keep plugging away and not giving up, I'm succeeding. Even when I don't meet my writing goals for the year, or month or week, I'm still writing a little everyday.
I've decided next year not to have any goals for my writing other than writing five days a week for an hour or two, which I do pretty well, and sending my manuscripts out to agents. I sometimes get discouraged if I set my goals too high or make them too rigid, and then I feel like I've failed if I don't meet them, when I've actually accomplished quite a bit.
So here's to success.