Thursday, November 14, 2013

Toxic Success

A friend of mine introduced me to the concept of toxic success. Some of the elements that struck home included: 1. Enough is never enough, and 2.Hurry to use every minute to make up for perceived inadequacy. I’ve been writing since 2001, and in 2007 I retired to write full time. I’ve had some measure of success: seven published novels with one more due in May of 2014, two nominations for The Lefty Award for best humorous mystery novel and twenty-seven completed novel-length manuscripts.

The challenge for me is finding the right balance. Part of my success has been my perseverance,  and a strong work ethic. I wrote every day and also dedicated time to giving presentations and promoting my books, but I definitely had become wrapped up in the two points of toxic success listed above. I put pressure on myself to always be doing more. Part of that led to more completed manuscripts, but I could also get compulsive about my writing.

My wakeup call was the heart attack I had seven weeks ago. My goal is now to keep my writing life in proper perspective. I will keep writing and promoting, but if I miss a day, take a nap, stop to chat with friends or just relax, I will no longer view these as taking time away from my “success.” As they say, “Stop and smell the roses.” I’m glad to be alive.

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