Darlene Foster's Blog

Happy New Year – Dreamers!

Posted on: January 8, 2011

A writer friend posted this blog recently. I liked it so much I asked her permission to post it on my blog. 

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

Move Over J.K. Rowling Cause Here I come!!Posted by Laura Best 
[37] Comments 

Okay, so the title is a supposed to be a joke. But hey, it never hurts to dream big. Right?

Seriously, though we all know about the success of the Harry Potter books. I loved reading the story behind the success, how a modest 1000 copies were printed of the first book because the publisher wasn’t sure it would sell. I mean they were taking a chance on a first time author. Right?

Reading about the success of others can either inspire us or depress us.
I prefer to let it inspire me. The truth is most of us won’t write a novel that will meet or surpass the phenomenal success of the Harry Potter series. But so what!

Shari Green recently blogged about redefining success in our lives (you can read Shari’s post here.) I liked it when Shari asked the question: Might you benefit from redefining what constitutes success as a writer for you?

Before and after my first novel came out many of my friends made the suggestion that wouldn’t it be wonderful if it became the next Harry Potter. Well yah, and while I’m all for dreaming big and being open to endless possibilities, at some point we have to look at life realistically.

But does that mean our success must pale along those best selling authors like Rowling, King, Atwood, etc? Do we all have to have sales that go through the roof in order for that sweet taste of success to be ours? I don’t think so.

Completing a novel is a huge big deal. Having one published is an even bigger deal.

Many people will talk about writing a book, but many will discover along the way that they don’t have what it takes to sit and write every day until they come to ….THE END. Having the desire to do something will not bring our dreams to fruition if we are not ready or able to do the work involved in order to have that dream realized.

Shortly after my novel came out, my family had a get-together at my mother’s house and surprised me with a plaque. Congratulations on the success of your first novel, Bitter, Sweet, it reads. For a split second I thought, success? My book’s been out less than a month. How can they use the word success?

Months later, I now look at this from a totally different perspective. Of course my book is a success, I wrote it, it’s been published, people have read it. I’m not going to turn around now and attach stipulations to this. There are many degrees of success in this world. Why do we think we have to go for something that is SO off scale, so out of balance, something that only a very few will ever experience, before we are satisfied? For a toddler, success is that very first step, not the millions of steps that come after. I’m not sure what will come after Bitter, Sweet. I have no crystal ball. All I have is the knowledge that regardless of what the future holds my book is already a success.


1 Response to "Happy New Year – Dreamers!"

It is true that too often people ‘beat them selves up’ with unrealistic expectations instead of celebrating what they have achieved. We are influenced by the yard sticks put forward by others, especially the media. Thank you for sending along a message that would make a good News Years resolution.

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