I want success and dammit I’m going to have some!

That was the end of my post yesterday.  The question is, what is success?  We all define it differently.  Just saying that I feel like one gigantic cliche, but more and more it becomes a solid truth.

Right now my success is raising my daughters to be reasonable human beings.  That doesn’t seem so hard, but on nights like last night I fear I’m going to run out of the house screeching and clawing my way up trees waiting to pounce on the first woman I see who looks like she can keep a more level head than I can.

Maybe that’s beside the point, but in writing I find regular life and writing life intertwine in an inseparable mass.

Usually when I think of success I’m thinking of writing.

It seems most non-writers think of writing success in terms of best seller lists and Pulitzers.  Writers get muckier.  Do you want:

  • Articles published in the New York Times
  • 5 Best selling novels
  • The Opra Book Club pick
  • To Syndicate, Emulate, Vindicate, To Aggravate, Appreciate, Fascinate, To Liberate, To Liberate, To Liberate…

At this exact moment success to me is this:

When my daughters are grown adults they can look at me and say, “There’s mom.  She worked her ass off raising me to become a strong human being.  I know I can do anything because she showed me how to keep at it, even when she was sitting up in a tree.”

What’s it to you?  How do you define success? How has your definition of success changed?  How have you changed along with it?


About E. Victoria Flynn

E. Victoria Flynn is a mother and a writer living in Southern Wisconsin. Published in a variety of venues, Victoria is currently writing the first in a series of three fantasy novels based on Cornish folklore. When not taking part in a shrieking dance party or engrossed in her own little fictions, Victoria is keen on art, the natural world and people unafraid to explore their own brilliance.
This entry was posted in adventures in childrearing, memoir writing, Self-Reliance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Success

  1. Lisa says:

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful (and I love this INXS video!).

    • pennyjars says:

      Thank you so much, Lisa. Your tweet in relation to this post really means a lot. I hope you don’t mind if I keep it here so I can hold on to it?

      “Success The end of this post brought tears to my eyes. Literally. Thank you, Victoria. #writing”

      I love the INXS video too. It’s been years since I’ve seen it.

  2. We will join you in the tree, or maybe just drag our bench closer. We define success as getting paid to write. And enjoying snacks while we do it. 😉

    • pennyjars says:

      Please drag your bench closer, though if you do I may pounce you both and make you take my place inside the house. (Lucky there’s a new baby to keep you safe)

      Maybe we should up the ante a little bit on the getting paid to write to: getting paid what the work is worth to write. In the current world of content media getting paid and earning can be quite different.

      Enjoying snacks is an absolute! Mmm… I could go for some kalamata olives with muhammerah and pita right now.

  3. Tania says:

    I was wearing my Mother Writer t-shirt the other day and a man stopped me in the parking lot to ask me what it meant. When I said I write about being a mother and other things and I keep a blog about that at http://www…well, he was already backing away by then.

    I don’t know what that has to do with success…except that I think when people ask, where can I read your work? I’ve taken delight in giving out the blog address, often prefaced by some apology about pretention (but I get it that it’s dumb to apologize).

    I think everything on that list of yours has riddled my subconscious…and well, I agree with you, we owe it the girls (and for me, my boys too) to get it done, whatever it takes.

    The view from the trees is mighty fine…owls, moonlight, etc., and let’s face it…wether it is one story in a tiny zine or fifty awesome posts that mattered somewhere to someone along the way, both go in the “S” column. Writing feels to me like a constant, a lovely chronic condition, not much altered ultimately by rejection. It just feels too good to keep writing….

    • pennyjars says:

      I love the way you think, Tania. I’m in the easily distracted and disposed school of writing where everything good gets forgotten far too easily once something disheartening takes place. But this: “Writing feels to me like a constant, a lovely chronic condition, not much altered ultimately by rejection. It just feels too good to keep writing….” This is what I need to remember, the joy of the words, the intoxication of creativity. And it does feel so good.

      P.S. Feral Mom, Feral Writer pretentious? Pshaw! It’s gorgeous.

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