Friday, May 22, 2009

Pep Talk...

*Trumpeted Fanfare*

I am Captain Achiever! Able to accomplish aspirations and dreams at a slow and steady pace. My middle name is Success with a capital S.

After Janet’s post last week on Fear, my self-esteem radar alerted me to the need for intervention here on The Prairies. People! People! People! You are letting my archenemy, Fear, get under your skin. Not to sound cliché, but he feeds off your insecurities.

Let me explain. If you are afraid of spiders, you will probably see more spiders than those who are not afraid of them. Fear produces those spiders. He rubs his hands together in glee as you recoil, shake, or sweat in reaction. Friends and family will ask you what’s wrong and you will point to the crux of your problem. And Fear’s power will be enhanced.

Well, I’m here to end Fear’s reign of terror as it relates to your writing. Most people equate success with money or fame. A fallacy, I say. I’m going to squash that untruth right here. Right now!

The definition of success: The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted ( And, my friends, goal-setting will determine your success.
The larger goal is to become an author, correct? But there are many steps to take before you reach that goal. And with each attempt, each achievement, you are a success. Let’s look at some of them –

~Finished a first draft? You are a success!

~Edited/revised said novel? You are a success!

~Joined a writing group where you can network and improve your craft? You are a success!

~Started a blog to talk about your journey, network, label yourself a writer? You are a success!

~Worked on a query letter, back cover blurb, tagline in preparation for submission? You are a success!

~Let family, friends, and/or strangers read your writing? You are a success!

~Entered a contest or two? You are a success!

~Submitted to agents and/or editors? You are a success!

~Published a novel? You are a success!

And on it goes. You take baby steps to learn to walk and with each accomplishment you are rewarded with cheers and excitement by your parents. Do you walk right away? No! Is that considered a failure? No!

So take the baby steps and celebrate each victory. You are on a journey of many steps. If you focus entirely on the final feat, you will lose track of the path and not only become discouraged, but perhaps give up.

Don’t let Fear win! Don’t give up on your dreams and aspirations just because the road gets tiresome or difficult. Slow, steady, methodical, determined.

I am Captain Achiever!

*Trumpeted fanfare*

I’m not done yet! If I could also address the issue of "Not Good Enough" that was prevalent in last week’s comment section. I once believed I was not good enough to wear the cape of a Superhero. I could not leap tall buildings in a single bound. I could not stop a bullet with my teeth. And there was no way in, well there, that I could shoot web from my arm and then use it to fly through the streets of the city where I live. But then I realized that my ‘not good enough’ thoughts were just that. Thoughts. I could not hold them. I could not touch them. I could not see them. They were just thoughts. And I had the power to change those thoughts.

You have the power to change those thoughts before they become your reality. (Or Fear gets a hold of them and uses them for his own evil machinations.) If you want something, then aspire to that dream. No one will stand in your way. I leave you with this quote from Bertrand Russell.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt."

I am Captain Achiever!

OK, where's the fanfare?


Ban said...

captain achiever ... you're my HERO !!! :D Tara had a post on her blog awhile back where she compared writing to her son learning to walk - is there ever a time when you look down at the little guy and say, alright, you gave it a good try but, well, it's just not for you so you can give up now. every step you take, however small, is a step and it's bringing you closer to your goal. thanks for the affirmation !
got my new entry up for you ;) and remember, this applies to packing as well :D

Silver James said...

Let's hear it for Superheroes! And since it's Friday and we all need something to procrastinate with, go HERE to create yourself as a superhero!

Happy Friday, chicks and keep writing!

Janet said...

Hey, ban - I really need Captain Achiever to come by my house more often. He's quite the motivator :)

I used to use the analogy of a child walking when I spoke to parents about their children's growth in school. Most times the parents wanted to compare their child with other children - or know if they were exactly where they were supposed to be in the age learning spectrum. Learning to walk was the only way I could illustrate that not every child learns in a prescribed way. And not every writer goes about accomplishing their goal of publication the same way.

BTW - I read your new post and after Silver's summation, I had nothing to add. It was a great post (hint to the readers here - go read ban's blog :)

Erika said...

Wow. I almost believe I could do anything. Except maybe write the next 80,000 words in my current WIP.

JUST KIDDING! Great pep talk.

Captain Hook said...

Captain Achiever, anytime you need a place to stay, I have a spare bed.

Seriously. it's good to be reminded of how many of those you mentioned that I have completed.

-Finished a first draft? You are a success! yes~Edited/revised said novel? You are a success! working on it~Joined a writing group where you can network and improve your craft? You are a success! yes~Started a blog to talk about your journey, network, label yourself a writer? You are a success! yes~Worked on a query letter, back cover blurb, tagline in preparation for submission? You are a success! yes~Let family, friends, and/or strangers read your writing? You are a success! yes~Entered a contest or two? You are a success! Not yet~Submitted to agents and/or editors? You are a success! yes~Published a novel? You are a success! Not yetThanks again for the reminders!

Sheila said...

Captain Achiever-you rock!

Janet said...

Hey, Silver. Yeah for heroes (looking forward to brunch tomorrow) and superheroes :)

And thanks for the link - I'm at work and have just spent the last 15 minutes creating my superhero! Must get back to my PAID daily grind.

Janet said...

One step at a time, Erika. And look how far you've come (letting others read your writing, showing your muse who's boss, networking with other great writers - that would be us :)

Isn't it amazing how good we feel when we stop to think of how much we've accomplished instead of just focusing on that distant long-term goal? Keep writing, Erika - we're all waiting for Jack and Carly's story to evolve.

Janet said...

Wow, Captain, you are a success! I always try to remember the saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" when I get bogged down in the bigger picture.

We're on our way, girl. With the support we have, we can't do anything but achieve our dream :)

Janet said...

Hey, Sheila - glad to have you visit The Prairies. Yeah, Captain Achiever does rock, doesn't he?

connie said...

Hi Janet
I was bogged
Now I am unbogged
Thank you!
p.s. I am now super hero Shredding Angel which is not the best of all titles for a writer.
However, I set records shredding junk mail.
Anyone want ANOTHER million dollars?

Karyn Good said...

Got totally distracted creating my superhero. Where can I get one of those snappy pink neon whips for everyday?

I, too, was able to check of a fair share of your boxes. Feels good and puts things in perspective.

Great post today, Janet.

Janet said...

Hey, Connie. Glad you're 'unbogged'. A perfect thing in order to get ready to write on the weekend ;)

Yeah, I was The Great Whipped Lash! And the stupid thing is addictive. Must. Go. Create. Another. Superhero.

Janet said...

Ooh, Karen - I, too, chose the pink neon whip. What does THAT say about us? Did you have a cape, too?

And from all I've read of your writing - you are on your way to fulfilling your ultimate goal. Just keep Captain Achiever close by and those nasty 'can't do' thoughts won't even dare to creep in :)

Silver James said...

Okay. 'fess up. How many of us chose the whip? *raises hand* I would be "The Spectacular Lasered Nine Tails", only my whip was neon blue.

What does that say about us? We need to whip our Muses/WIPs/Ourselves into action? Start writing, Chicks!

(Oh, and I can answer yes to all those steps...though I didn't enter a "contest" until after I'd made a sale and the ones I have are more writer prompt style than a "real" contest. lol)

Janet said...

Wouldn't a physchologist have a field day with us? A bunch of insecure writers who chose whips as weapons for our made up superheroes!

Erika has posted her superhero - with the exception that she used the link to create her muse. Interesting. Go over there and take a look -

And you might want to scroll down - Erika hosts LSM every Wednesday. If you like hot heroes, you'll want to have a look see :)

Erika said...

Janet, thanks for the plug, we can always use more LSM nominees. I chose the whip too but I will admit I thought about the grocery bag first. How funny would that be? You could beb the Super Grocery Shopper! HA!

Karyn Good said...

What do you think?

Anita Mae Draper said...

Hey Jan-ah Capt Achiever, great post. Reminded me of a Tec Voc pep rally. :)

Thanks for spreading sunshine on my day.

Jana Richards said...

Hi Janet,
Once more Captain Achiever saves the day. Thanks for a wonderful reminder of how great we are!


Ban said...

actually, i went to erika's blog before reading all these new posts - my hero holds a katana (me likey sharp pointy things :) and ... 'cause i'm a goth girl at heart, i gave her bat wings !!! i'll post her for ya'll later !

Captain Hook said...

What is LSM?

Janet said...

Erika - I saw the grocery bag too and laughed. Super Grocery Shopper - able to pick the ripest tomatoes AND fix squeaky cart wheels in a single feat!

Karen - is that question in relation to the whip? I don't want to answer that here considering we try to keep it PG 13 :)

Anita - 'tec voc' I'm assuming is some type of military term. Glad I sunnied up your day.

Jana - sometimes we really need that reminder, don't we. Maybe we should use that as code - Captain Achiever, where are you?

ban, looking forward to seeing your superhero. Sharp, pointy things - I think I'm a little afraid :0

Captain - League of Shirtless Men. It's a wonderful mid-week smorg. And if you're into that kind of nutrition ;), check out Silver's blog on Saturdays for her brunch offerings :)

Silver James said...

Captain Hook, LSM stands for League of Shirtless Men. Erika, and others, nominate...shirtless men.

Luanna Stewart said...

Super Janet to the rescue!!! Your posts always make me smile. And think. While I know this crazy writing stuff takes baby steps, it does help to be reminded every now and then.

Have a fabulous weekend, everyone!!!


Janet said...

Hey, Lu! One step at a time, eh? I know that I need that reminder in most things in my life - I see the end goal and think "why can't I get there?" Slow and steady.

Have a great weekend, yourself :)

DebH said...

my second hero had the whip. i went with angel wings and the uber crossbow for my first heroine.

super post Captain Achiever!!!!
way to boost morale and give all of us a good reminder on how to keep things in perspective.