Daddy's Christmas Angel

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

What is the Meaning of Success?

As a writer, or as an artist, what do you consider success? Must you make money at your craft to be successful? Or is success gleaned in some other manner?

In our society, people are often judged as successful when they accumulate a large amount of wealth. But is that true success? Is wealth a meaningless barometer for some?

Artists and writers walk to the beat of a different drummer, I think. Success is completing the 10th page of your latest manuscript--the goal you set for the day. It's looking out the window and sketching a leaf outlined against the sunlit sky. It's writing the words that come to you in the night. It's hearing the voice of an angel creating a poem inside your head. It's grabbing a camera and photographing the sky filled with orange clouds at sunset. It's watching the face of a loved one brighten with happiness. It's hearing the sound of laughter in the air. It's smelling the sweet scent of flowers on a spring day. It's writing down the thoughts special sensations bring. It's hanging a painting in an art show and receiving a compliment for it. It's signing a book for a stranger who receives it with a smile. It's the unexpected sale of a painting. It's looking out the airplane window and photographing clouds just below.

"Above the Clouds" ©Mary Montague Sikes
In the end, success is dancing in the sunlight and knowing you've done your best. It's acceptance of who you are and gratitude for the opportunity to be a creative soul on Planet Earth.

Thank you Alex Cavanaugh and co-hosts Julie Flanders, Heather Gardner, Kim Van Sickler, and Elsie is Writing 
for the Insecure Writer's Support Group today. That is a story of success.


Julie Flanders said...

I admit to struggling with feelings that I have to write a best seller to be considered a success. But then at the same time I know that what's really important is that the writing makes me happy and fulfilled, something it definitely does.

Love the dancing in the sunlight image. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Knowing you did your best is success to me. So is helping others achieve their success.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Julie, I think most every writer hopes for a bestseller. I like it that writing makes you happy and fulfilled. I fear that those who always reach for more will never know success.

Alex, I like you thought about knowing you did your best. Also, helping others. That can be the most fulfilling!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Awww. I feel warm all over!

I didn't get what you're saying when I first started writing. I wanted fast results and I wasn't getting them. Then, like you said, I started learning and improving and really enjoying myself. I took such pleasure from crafting a pivotal scene or bringing myself to tears from re-reading one of my passages. Yep, we are a strange folk. Writing for the thrill of how it makes us feel. I never imagined I'd be doing this...
--December IWSG co-host

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Kim, writers are strange--and so are artists. We long for feelings of success, accomplishing a challenge.
Thanks for visiting.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Success is so different for every person, because we all have different things to overcome. Doing one's best describes it perfectly.

Elsie Amata said...

I love this, Mary. It's true, once you've found acceptance in yourself, you find joy measured in the little successes. Not just the big stuff.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - success is different to so many .. and many don't know what success is - because they lose it soon after.

Being happy, doing our best all the time - even those little things .. as you mention and doing what we said we'd do, not 'forgetting' it ..

Success can be like a butterfly stretching its wings ..the beat will follow ...

Cheers Hilary

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Diane, doing one's best is so important in the journey of life.

Elsie, discovering joy in small successes is one of life's big lessons.

Hilary, I love the thought and vision of the butterfly stretching its wing and the beat will follow!

Thank all of you for your insights!

Michael Di Gesu said...


That was REALLY beautiful and SOOO true. Such sincerity and heart went into your post and I for one really appreciated it.

Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts with us!

Patsy said...

Knowing people think my writing is worth paying for does feel like a sign of success, but it certainly isn't the only one. Knowing people enjoy reading it and being happy with my work myself are at least as important.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Michael, thank you so much for seeing that!

Patsy, thank you for visiting and for your thoughts on success. It is gratifying when readers want to purchase and enjoy reading one's work!

David List said...

"acceptance of who you are and gratitude for the opportunity to be a creative soul on Planet Earth"
Indeed! Too few people know their strengths and gifts. Figuring that out is true success!

Mary Montague Sikes said...

David, thank you for visiting. I like your thought about knowing your gifts being true success.