Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Measuring Success

When it comes to writers and illustrators, what exactly is the measure of success?

What about all those people in the past, who became great successes after death? Many, dare I say, most lived a life of poverty but were happy in spite of it. What does that say for the creative people of this age?

At a time when everyone is driven to achieve financial success, can a writer or illustrator truly be happy when the majority of us are constantly being asked to practically give it away?

If we aren't keeping up with society standards, are we really successful? I'm curious to know what my fellow writers/illustrators think.

In my opinion, it all depends on how you look at it.

I have always measured success in a persons determination to make things happen. I think if you are able to hang in there, against all the odds and obstacles, then you are a person of real substance. If you can keep picking yourself up every time someone or something knocks you down, and you learn from it, then you are successful and should be applauded.

So many of us begin our careers with big dreams, yet many give up, losing faith in themselves just as the door begins to open. Fear is a powerful thing, I should know.

Success scares me to death. With each new assignment, we must deliver a promise. The promise to do what we claim to do best. While it is exhilarating to think that we have been chosen above a kazillion others, it is terrifying to imagine the very real possibility of failure.

Failure in this business can be very unforgiving. It's not like the hotel maid, who forgets to pick up a towel. When a writer or illustrator fails, nobody forgets. It's out there for everyone to see. There's too much invested. You can't just throw it back in the hamper.

So, what does all that mean? For me, it means that my greatest success will be in conquering my fear, embracing what comes next, and finding the courage to keep reaching ever higher.

1 comment:

Nancy said...

I applaud you.