A Redefinition Of Success

I want to write my book, because I want to. I like the story and I want to see how it plays out. For a while though I haven’t been thinking of it that way. I’ve seen it as a mission. Get the book written, published, sell it well using every marketing trick you can think of, keep writing, publishing and marketing.

Become a worldwide best seller, pay back my parents for the financial burden I’ve been. Keep writing. Pay off my debts. Keep writing. Buy a big house/ community that any of my friends and family are welcome to live in with me. Keep writing. Make sure my sisters girls are set for life. Keep writing until I die rich, successful and leaving a great legacy to my family and the world.

It occurs to me though, that by trying so hard to reach this goal, I’m risking missing out. I have friends, family, and great experiences available to me. If I don’t take advantage of them now, I may regret it. I need to stop and smell the roses.

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Of course it could also be argued that I’m researching. That spending time with people and having some experiences will make me a better writer. It has already provided some great inspiration. I have a good imagination, but if I can inject a little flavour of real-life experiences into the narrative, it should it more relatable and believable.

Having said that, the way some people talk in real life would be very hard to believe or even follow in a story. It would be thought of as bad writing. For example, a common greeting I here is “Yerite?” which is derived from “Are you alright?” and is often met with “Yerite?” in return, when logic would suggest that the correct response is “I’m well thank you, and how are you?”

In addition to trying so hard to reach a better future that I can miss what’s going on today, I also have a tendency to overthink things. I think both of these traits have caused major problems with my love life. I put too much thought into love, what it means to be with someone, making plans for the future and trying to reconcile them with the plan to become a rich and famous author.

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A girl with an amazing smile

Would this girl as my future life-partner be able to support my goals or will they undermine them in some desperate bid for attention because I’m busy working on our future all the time? And what if I fail? Not through any fault of theirs, but because I lack the skill to pull it off. I would expect her to be justifiably disappointed and resentful.

What if I spend my entire life writing and forget to actually live? For one, my writing would be rubbish. I’ll have failed to become a writer and wasted my life. I’m not going to quit my writing either. I may not succeed in leaving a lasting legacy, and I don’t have too. We only get one life and we may aswell enjoy it. I like writing. I like spending time with friends. I like playing Warhammer 40k. I like naked fun. I need to learn to take pleasure in all of it without putting too much pressure on myself to build it up into something huge and stressful.

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Slaanesh. Where Warhammer and naked fun collide!

So that’s what I’ve decided I’m working on. Leading a successful life. Not measured in how much work I did, or how much I sold, or how much money I make, or how much stuff I acquire. A success based on how much I lived. How much experience I’ve gained. How good it felt to be living it. With no pressure to make it better, or plan out how it’s supposed to go.  Doing so only leads to me predicting that things will go horribly wrong, and me to telling myself “I told you so” when it does.

No more nagging myself. I will do fun stuff for fun, not to make it part of some intense overthought desperate plan to make my future, and the future of my nieces, better. I’m beating myself with guilt because I’ve been spending a lot of time with people instead of being holed up in my room writing all day. That’s crazy!

Do you know what else I’ve noticed about me? At some point I always get sick of being told what to do. Apparently this still applies when I’m the one telling me what to do. 🙂

Do you think lightening up about the writing is the right move? Or am I being selfish, and using this as an excuse to procrastinate and slowly give up? Or am I overthinking again and I should just shut up and allow myself to have fun?

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