Writer Wednesday!!! 

I haven't done one of these for a while, but I've wanted to. I have trouble shutting my brain down. (This coming from the girl who's writing like five different series and a stand alone. Ugh...) But that usually means I write one of these at least once a week. They usually just stay in my head and never get onto paper. Or remotely near paper. 

Well, not today!!!

That's right. I'm going to word vomit all over you share with you those things which I have been pondering lately. 


So often I think this word gets a bad rap. Or we associate negative pursuits with the action. 

Ambitious people are thought of as greedy or power-hungry or maybe setting themselves up to fail. 

I think these thoughts about myself daily. Or at least the last one. Setting myself up to fail. 

I write very ambitious To-Do Lists, I plan to be very ambitious with my writing, and I really hope to be ambitious with the housework. But at the end of the day, I've failed to meet most of my ambitious goals. 

I've failed.

And that is a hard word to swallow. Failing at something so often turns into feeling like a failure at something. And then that word... that ugly, horrible, degrading, poisonous word turns into something life-defining. 

I've failed. I am a failure. I am a failure at everything.  

Or am I?

I think we give too much power to those ugly words. Fail. Failing. Failure. I think they fight to rule when they truly have no power. I think they leak through our blood, our souls, our spirits with their toxic, debilitating venom and kill us slowly. 

But we let them. We give them authority when they have none. They are a placebo and nothing more, but we tell them they have the power to injure us, to debilitate us... to kill us.

And they don't.  

Failure is an opportunity to learn. To grow. To do better the next time. 

Failure is a gift. 

If you've never failed, have you ever really tried? 

The answer is no. 

Because to step out, to reach out, to try something different or dangerous or ambitious, you have to set yourself up to fail. 

But in the best way possible. 

Because maybe you won't fail. Or maybe you'll only kind of fail. Or maybe you'll succeed beyond anything you could have dreamed of. 

And I want to look at this in a wide spectrum of tasks. 

Something as great as the ambitious book you've always wanted to write but have been afraid to.

Right down to the smallest of things.

A daily task list. 

Like I said, I write very ambitious To Do Lists. They go 20-30 items deep. And sometimes they are as simple as Lunch. Or every morning I give myself the forgiveness to Surf the Internet. 

I'm not kidding. That's always task number one. :) 

But then I do it. And then I cross it off my list and so I free up the rest of my day. Also, it helps me feel ambitious first thing in the morning when I know my brain isn't awake to do much of anything else. 

I make my To Do Lists impossible to finish because then I know I'll be working hard the entire day. Sometimes well into the night. And I'll know where to start the next day.

And the same thing with my writing goals. 

Fine. I can admit that my yearly projections are insane. I know they are. I'm finally coming to terms with projects I won't be finishing this year. 

And that's really, truly frustrating. It hurts my heart. I actually feel the pain of those decisions digging in against ventricles and cartilage and my aorta. My decisions are scarring the soft tissue of my soul. Wounding me on a metaphysical level. 

Okay. I'm being dramatic. But you get the point.

In some ways it absolutely SUCKS to be ambitious. It means I will never get the completely satisfying, spirit-soaring feeling of ticking my last task off the list. 

But it will also mean that I am constantly pushing myself to do better. be better. reach for better. 

And that is more important to me than feeling accomplished. 

Sure, there are some days that I ignore the To Do list completely. And not just the daily list, but the life one as well. I push all thoughts of tasks and goals and necessity away so I can relax. 

And breathe easily. 

But I'm going to tell you something about this job. And this is important. You need to listen to this. I'm not kidding. 

This job is hard. 

So hard that it is never easy to breathe through. So hard that you can never feel like you've finally made it. Or that you've reached the pinnacle.

So hard that there is a part of you that will always feel like you're one wrong step away from plummeting off the cliffs of obscurity, to be buried beneath the bones of all the writer's that have come before you and faded into the dust of the No Longer Relevant.

And that is a hard truth to swallow. But it is the truth. 

So if you're going to tackle this job. If you're going to strap on your boots and pull up your big-writer undies, then you have to be ready. You have to be ambitious. 

And you have to stay ambitious

So sure. There are days you will fail. There are projects that will fail you. There are months that will go by and you will think that everything you touch is destined to turn to ash. 

But salvation is in your ambition. 

Will you keep pushing on? Will you keep challenging yourself to write a better book? Or create better plots and characters and twists? Will you keep reaching for the top lists and the greatest reviews and whatever else you dream of? 

You can't do that if you're satisfied with mediocrity. You can't dream big and settle for small. 

And you certainly can't shrink back from failure. 

It's part of the gig, so start embracing it. It's not your enemy, it's your friend. It tells you what went wrong so you don't do that again. It tells you where the market's at, where your readers are at, where you NEED to be at. 

And where you need to go.

(Don't take this as I mean writing to trends. I in NO WAY mean write to trend. Do NOT write to trend.) 

(A small note of something else that is helpful when dealing with failure and ambition. Please be honest with yourself. And I don't mean that in a campfire-song-MTV-PSA kind of way. I mean it in the very realistic, raw way. Be honest with yourself. If you've had a book fail, or not do as well as you want, is it that you've only had all wrong readers?? Or is it that you didn't write a good enough book? This is the worst feeling in the world by the way. And I can truly speak to you from experience. The first print of Starbright, anyone??? Which might seem strange because it has a lot of 5 star reviews. But I know better. And a lot of 5 stars don't mean anything when the sales are not there. Because good books sell. Books that readers want to read sell. So BE HONEST with yourself. Don't hide behind ego or sensitivity. Get it out in the open and choose to maturely deal with it. It also doesn't mean your career is over. It just means you need to be ambitious enough to push forward.) 

(See how I did that? See how I came full circle???)

And when you're setting big goals and dreaming as ambitiously as you can, prioritize your time. (Maybe give up Netflix marathons and social media addictions?? Just some helpful suggestions.) 

Make your time worth it. Make how you're spending your time reflect the goals you want to accomplish. Make yourself actively chase down those dreams and goals. Pursue them because they will never pursue you.  

I'm one of those people that set HUGE goals. Really. And I really like to map them out. In very specific ways. Basically, I could publish them as full-length novels. 

I set one year goals and five year goals and ten year goals. And I detail them to the letter. I know exactly where I want to go and how I want to get there. 

Will life go perfectly to plan and everything work out exactly how I want it to?? 

Ha!!!! Not a chance in hell.

Will I have to work tooth and nail and to the very bone just to stay middle class??? 


But that's not the point. The point is that I'm working hard, every single day, every single hour of the day that I'm capable, to get there. 

Because even though I have these huge, far-reaching goals, I can't accomplish them until I've worked through my daily To Do list. I have to start with the small tasks first. And eventually those small things, those seemingly insignificant things, will turn into great big things. 

Ambition starts at the smallest level. I can want to be a best-selling author every second of every day, but unless I'm actively working to become one, it will never happen. 

So dream big, but plan in the small. Be ambitious with great things and be ambitious with all the little things that are in your way first. 

You're in this career and you have no idea where you're going from here?? Start with defining your ambition. Write out your one year goals. (And this is a perfect time to start thinking about it because we're nearing the year's end.) Then write out your three year goals. Then your five. Then your ten. See how outrageous your ambition can get. (Come on! You're a writer for goodness sakes! Use all that fabulous creativity for good.)

Then once you've set your sights on all those out-of-reach goals, get to work on the small stuff first. What are your daily steps that will bring those goals to fruition? What can you do each day to get closer to each of those goals? 

Write more. Write better. Think clearer. Think differently. Market. Keep marketing. Keep marketing in unique ways that will bring attention to your writing. Don't stop. 

To put it simply, Get. Shit. Done. 

Be ambitious every single day. And don't stop being ambitious. 

But the final thought. The one that you cannot leave without hearing and hearing clearly.. is to FORGIVE yourself. Because you're not always going to check off every single item on your list. You're not always going to meet all those ambitious goals. But so what? Isn't it better to be trying than doing nothing??? 

At least then you have a chance of reaching them. At least then it's a very real possibility. 

Because all we have in this career is showing up. Show up daily and keep showing up. You can't fade into the dust of the No Longer Relevant if you never give up trying. You can always write a better book. You can always make better sentences and put together better plots and birth characters that people don't just want to read but want to relate to. You can always keep trying. No matter what. 

You just have to be ambitious about it. 





Phasellus facilisis convallis metus, ut imperdiet augue auctor nec. Duis at velit id augue lobortis porta. Sed varius, enim accumsan aliquam tincidunt, tortor urna vulputate quam, eget finibus urna est in augue.

1 comment:

  1. Ok so this will probably go off in a rant but I hope you do take time to read I am generally known to be a bit of a pessimist who finds public displays of affection as for better use of term awkward.the thing is I'm more into fantasy and sci fi when it comes to books but I do take time to read a book of a different genre and I am not lying when I say that I'm the kind of person who'd read an entire series even though I have no interest in it what so ever.well I read the starcrossed series which was the first time I heard about you and I was able to click with Eden and Avalon straight away.I was skeptical of Eden and Kirans relationship in the beginning because I felt as though they didn't know each other enough but you proved me wrong.I was very pleased with the character development and even after Eden and Kiran I decided to read about the rest of the characters in this've probably gotten bored by now listening to a rant by a 16 year old girl but I just felt a sudden burst of inspiration to share my ideas with the did good :)