Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Work Ethics

Let's talk for a moment about successful people.

They have a commonality, whether they're Brittany Spears or Michael Jordan or Bill Gates or Nora Roberts. It isn't genius, or talent, or luck, though they may have some of that.

No, the thing that most success stories have in common is: Hard work, perserverence, and sacrifice.

Nobody gets handed a successful career. There are failures beforehand. Adversity. Set-backs. Mistakes. Learning curves. Hurdles to overcome. Refusal to give up.

Not too many bestselling authors debuted at #1 on the List. It was a gradual climb, over many years and many books. Lots of writing. Lots of promotion. Lots of persevervence and dedication.

I have life-long friends in Corporate America, and I find it interesting how many parallels there are between their careers and mine. We'll talk about long work weeks, and travel, and business politics and gossip, and competition. What happens in the publishing undustry happens in the engineering industry and the finance industry.

For my friends in the corporate world, I composed this list:

JA Konrath's 12 Steps to Success

1. Sleep is for babies and old women.

2. If you have anything left in the tank at the end of the day, you didn't work hard enough.

3. Fate is a future you didn't change.

4. There's a word for someone who never gives up... successful.

5. No one became rich or famous by being a good parent.

6. There's more to life than work, I've heard.

7. Vacation is a perfect opportunity to work hard in a different location.

8. If your boss doesn't push you as hard as you push yourself, your boss sucks.

9. If you don't take the credit, someone less deserving will.

10. Work smarter and harder.

11. You don't win races without facing some injuries.

12. Pain is temporary, chicks dig scars, and you need to stop reading blogs and get back to work.


The list was meant to be tongue in cheek, but looking at it now, it isn't as silly as I'd intended it to be.

Obviously, this isn't a recipe for leading a balanced, fulfilling life. But it isn't a bad course to follow if you're consumed with desire for success at the cost of everything else. And it's probably the course that Brittany, Michael, Bill, and Nora followed.

Everyone is looking for that edge, that way to get to the next level. In publishing, the buzz is all about high concept, hooks, marketing, publicity, promotion, advertising, and coop.

Somehow, good old-fashioned hard work got left in the dust.

You need to write a good book. You need to have a good agent. You need to have your publisher behind you.

But most of all, you need to bust your ass. And if it isn't busted yet, you only have one person to blame for your lack of success.


Sandra Ruttan said...

My husband says the solution to #12 is marriage. He swears after this long with me, he doesn't feel pain anymore.

But I like #3.

Anonymous said...

I especially like #5.

Mindy Tarquini said...

Being rich and/or famous has nothing to do with being a good parent. It's like that woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle thing.

JA Konrath said...

I'm a father of 3. It's the most important thing I do. But if I blogged about the joys and struggles of being a father, I doubt I'd get 10,000 hits a week.

LA Burton said...

Again I ask why don't you write a book for writers?

Mark Terry said...

It is sort of interesting that people who think all they have to do to become a bestselling author is write a book don't think that the head of a corporation got there just by doing one thing or by working two hours a day.

On the other hand, it was Forbes who suggested that the best way to get rich was to "choose your parents wisely."

And it was my brother who read Donald Trump's book, "The Art of the Deal," who suggested that Trump's apparent guide to success was to first inherit $100 million and sink it into casinos.

So, given that, apparently part of the pathway to bestsellerdom is to be related to Mary Higgins Clark, Anne Rice or Jonathan Kellerman, although to be fair, the Kellermans' own agents and editors refused to even look at his novel manuscript, at least according to an interview I read.

So Joe, you're wrong. Obviously the secret to success is to either be born to the rich, or in the case of Anna Nicole Smith, sleep with someone rich. Have you added this strategy to your marketing plan yet?

Mindy Tarquini said...

But if I blogged about the joys and struggles of being a father, I doubt I'd get 10,000 hits a week.

Agreed. Put your cat into the equation and kiss blogland behind. Number 5 needs a little rewording. Looks like you're advocating child abandonment in favor of riches and fame.

JA Konrath said...

Looks like you're advocating child abandonment in favor of riches and fame.

As if that's all it took. :)

Bethany Hiitola said...

Yeah busting your ass IS the ONLY way to make it....

Buddy Gott said...

Another great motivating posting, Joe.

I agree with LA Burton. Someday you should write a book for writers.

Unknown said...

Looks like you're advocating child abandonment in favor of riches and fame.

Being child-free sure does seem to free up your time . . . but I'm not advocating it as a life choice for those who really WANT children.

Anonymous said...

Joe, this gets back to what I'm constantly thinking about: am I working at 100% full capacity? And it starts with trying to imagine what that would look like.

Your list seems like a very realistic portrayal of it (even if you're semi-joking). And the truth is I'm not willing to do all of that. I like to sleep. I like to have a little left in my tank at the end of the day. I like to read the comics and watch Lost. Maybe that makes me a slacker.

It's fascinating to see people who do work at full capacity. I think you probably do a great job of that yourself. I like you guys to go out there and be human experiments for us, and then come back and report whether life is as good as you want it to be. Then we can take a little here and there and build our own machines.

So tell us, Joe the Human Experiment, do you enjoy doing as much as you do, or are you just driven to keep at it?

Anonymous said...

Being rich and/or famous has nothing to do with being a good parent.

As a card-carrying member of the Courtney Love Fan Club, I'm deeply offended.

(Does Courtney have a fan club?)

Mindy Tarquini said...

Does Courtney have a fan club?

Absolutely, Jamie, and we just nominated you president pro-tem for life.


Being child-free sure does seem to free up your time . . . but I'm not advocating it as a life choice for those who really WANT children.

And I don't advocate it for those who already HAVE children. Because abandoning 'em after you have 'em may get you childfree, but it may also get you ten to life.

Michelle Rowen said...

Of all the posts you've written, this is the most timely for me. I need to stop farting around on the internet and watching endless hours of TV and get some work done. Every single damn day. I'm printing this one out. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Joe, one more to add to your list, a vital component regardless whether you're talking about success in Corporate America or success as a writer:

Love what you do.

For all the reasons you enumerate, achieving success requires way too much sacrifice for you not to love what you're doing.

Stacey Cochran said...

Great post, Joe!

I am nearly 20,000 words into novel #9. There's a side of me that wants to write myself to death.


Some days I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack I'm writing so hard.

Bring it on motherfucker, I say.


Anonymous said...

It sucks for me to have to agree (because I do want a well-balanced life) but at the moment I'm kind of untethered from any social connections and doing a shit-load of writing. It will be a struggle to maintain the pace when I have friends and family to spend time with. Oh well, at least I have now.

Ultimately I think number 4 exemplifies the main ingredient you need to suceed as a author.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Not to get philosphical or anything - god forbid - but I think before we look at your list, we have to decide for ourselves, what exactly defines success?

I would like a career as a working author. That would certainly define success for me. But I know many writers who have such a career, yet they do little promotion. They write their books, consistently well, they don't kill themselves with their schedule, they might do a few book signings, but they work steadily and earn a decent living.

I have worked many years as a writer. I've also worked many day jobs as well. Do I consider myself a failure? No, of course not. I've managed to help raise two great kids, and put them through college. And I'll be the first to confess that I don't bust my butt.

I think what defines all the people you list more than anything else, is a disatisfaction with what they already have. It's as if they never stop to appreciate the world around them, or their own personal world, always feeling that there's something BETTER out there. A "betterness" that they haven't yet found.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for improving yourself and promoting your work -- I plan to do quite a bit of promotion myself -- but with all due respect, I'm beginning to think this do or die attitude toward self promotion comes at a sacrifice too great to take it to such extremes.

I suppose the reason I've started relatively late in this business (although statistics would probably show that I'm of about the average age of a first time novelist), and the reason my career in Hollywood wasn't stellar, is because I have been unwilling to sacrifice those things that are near and dear to me in order to "get ahead."

So here's my list:

1. Sleep is essential. Get as much of it as you can. With enough sleep you may just find that your definition of success has changed.

2. If you have anything left in the tank at the end of the day, that's a GOOD thing. Use it to interact with your family. To spend time with your wife. Your kids.

3. The future is certainly what we make it, but only you can define what that future should be -- not somebody's else's notion of success.

4. There's another word for success: happy. And sometimes that happiness can be closer than you think.

5. Not everyone needs to be rich and famous, but they ALWAYS need to be a good parent.

6. Yes, there's more to life than work. Live it.

7. Vacation is the perfect time to recharge the batteries. Enjoy it. Don't feel you always have to be working.

8. Concentrate on yourself. Let your boss worry about himself. It'll all come out in the wash.

9. Credit is overrated. Sometimes it's OKAY to work silently, behind the scenes. Sometimes it's better.

10. Be smart and work hard, yes, but don't kill yourself in the process.

11. You don't have to win every race. Enjoy life.

12. Don't live your life based on what chicks, and other people, dig. And if you're reading a blog, it's probably because you need a break. Get back to work when your good and ready to.

Yes, I know that your list was tongue in cheek, Joe, and I'm sure you think that if you followed my list, you'd never be a success.

But again, it all boils down to the definition. I already consider myself a success no matter how my writing career may turn out. I'm a happy man.

Will that keep me from promoting myself and my book? Of course not. But this go-go-go until you have a heart attack attitude is simply not my style.

Aimlesswriter said...

I walk through fire for my art
I sit at the chasum and laugh
I bend to no one
They think I'm crazy
They think I'm strange
And still I laugh
As I bend over my keyboard
and live my life in different worlds.

Mark Terry said...

In response to Rob's post, I would also add, in the interest of sanity, that there is no "first place" here. There is no winning.

If your definition of success is to be the bestselling author ever (I think the Bible still gets that, but I'm not certain), then you can't just be successful, you have to be Dan Brown struck-by-lightning. #1 on the NYTBS List? Hope you don't get published the same time the next Harry Potter or Mitch Albom novel comes out.

As PJ Parrish notes, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Bob Farley said...

Two more things:

Eliminate all exercise or movement that can't be accomplished for you by a machine or a non-writing friend.

Do not eat food that requires mastication.

Actually, Joe, you seem like a person who could sell anything, so I'm sure if your blog were about kids and dogs, it'd be read almost as breathlessly as this one is, simply because you wouldn't have it any other way.

Anonymous said...

I don't know, Joe - it seemed to me you were implying that the majority of writers don't work hard. Or that working hard is a guarantee of success. And neither of these things is true. I'd have to say that the majority of writers I know - the successful ones, and the ones still trying - have outstanding work ethics. You cannot dismiss all the "other" stuff that people have to deal with - kids, parents, putting meals on tables - as luxurious distractions. Working hard might not mean writing and promoting 16 hours a day - it might mean working at a job 8 hours, parenting your kids 2 hours, cleaning the house and doing laundry another 2 hours, giving yourself half an hour of solitude or recharging time, then working your hardest at writing your best those other 3 1/2 hours. That's still a pretty good day's work.

And I'd rather be a good parent than rich or famous. That's a no brainer.

And also - I do bust my ass. Continually. And if I'm ultimately not successful, I refuse to believe it was somehow my fault because I didn't work harder. The truth is, sometimes "failure" - however you define it - is nobody's fault. You seem to act, at least in this blog, as if you can control every aspect of the publishing life and choose your own ending. Um, not so much. Although I do agree that to some extent, we make our own luck - or at least, we can create opportunities. Whether or not they ultimately pay off, though, is a different matter.

(Still love ya, man. I also love to disagree with you from time to time!)

JA Konrath said...

I love it when people disagree with me.

I'm beginning to think this do or die attitude toward self promotion comes at a sacrifice too great to take it to such extremes.

That's the essense of my blog entry---how much are you willing to sacrifice to reach your goal?

Whether or not you reach wahtever goal you set for yourself is largely beyond your control. But striving to reach that goal is within your control.

Will hard work get on you the NYT List? That's unknown.

Will hard work sell more books than if you didn't work hard? Absolutely.

Your list, Rob, is terrific if your goal is to lead a happy life.

I'm not talking about being happy. I'm talking about being rich and famous. Let's not confuse the two.

I don't know, Joe - it seemed to me you were implying that the majority of writers don't work hard. Or that working hard is a guarantee of success.

I didn't mean to imply either. My message is: Getting what you want often comes down to how badly you want it, and what you'll do to get it.

The majority of successful people really wanted it, and adjusted their lives to make pursuing their dream their focus.

That doesn't say that everyone who works hard gets what they want. And it doesn't say you can't become successful unless you work hard.

Dan Brown is an anomoly. Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Nora Roberts, Danielle Steel, and the dozens of other #1 bestsellers who have written 50+ books are the norm.

And I'd rather be a good parent than rich or famous. That's a no brainer.

I agree. But have you ever considered all that you would be able to do for your career if kids weren't in the picture?

Again, that's no guarantee of success. But it sure would free up some time and money, and would allow you to shift your main focus.

You seem to act, at least in this blog, as if you can control every aspect of the publishing life and choose your own ending.

You can't control publishing. You can control what you do.

What are the greatest sports stories? Don't they all involve the player or team coming from behind--coming from certain defeat--to ultimately claim victory?

I agree: Sometimes failing is not your fault.

But accepting failure is always your fault.

If I gave up at 449 rejections, I wouldn't have gotten published. I was a failure up to that point. But number 450 landed me a book deal.

If I didn't disobey my publisher and do bookstore signings for WHISKEY SOUR, I wouldn't have had publisher financed tours for BLOODY MARY and RUSTY NAIL.

If your career isn't where you want it to be, keep trying. Work harder. Do more. Don't let the past affect the future, or else you're just giving up the game because you're behind at half-time.

Rage against the dying of the light.

PJ Parrish said...

Anna Nicole Smith actually SLEPT with that old fart? Ewww. Don't need to think about that while I sit here eating my tuna fish sandwich.

Jeri said...

The only thing I wholeheartedly disagree with is #1. You've got to take care of the machine, or you won't have the energy to work hard. The creative part of our brain is the first to stumble when we're sleep-deprived.

It's important to focus on reaching specific goals, not just working hard for the sake of working hard. It's what we accomplish that matters, not how much we hurt ourselves to accomplish it.

Asceticism and Puritanism can be tempting, as we measure our worth by how little we allow ourselves to enjoy life. I'm not saying this is what you're doing, Joe, but I know I've fallen into the trap of counting how many hours I worked in a week instead of asking myself what I actually did.

Cheryl said...

Ewww PJ!

Joe, I find it fascinating that you got through 449 rejections before selling a book. Steve Berry once told me (well, us, a group at a conference) that he landed his agent on his 300th query and I thought, "Oh my God! 300?"

*braces herself for the ride*

Jude Hardin said...

Do you see what time it is? Too late to get anything done today.

After I take a nice long nap, I'm going fishing with my son. Then I'm going to sit on the porch with a cold drink and watch the sunset.

Success. Definition of.

By the way, Joe, you better attribute that last line of your last comment. We don't want the plagiarism police stopping by. :)

Anonymous said...

"But have you ever considered all that you would be able to do for your career if kids weren't in the picture?"

Nooooo, no, I haven't. What's the point in considering something you can't change - and most importantly, don't want to? I chose to have kids - and all the time and responsibility involved - just as I chose to write. I have to make them both work somehow, and realize that at times, something's going to get shortchanged. Hopefully in the end it will all balance out - but of course, the kids come first. If they didn't, I wouldn't have had them.

But seriously - why waste time in considering things you cannot change? It's not like I can snap my fingers and make them disappear! (Even though there have been occasions when I've wished that I coud.) But that kind of consideration seems like a waste of time, and contrary to what you're saying - that we need to keep working, keep moving forward.

JA Konrath said...

But seriously - why waste time in considering things you cannot change?

You don't have to change being a parent. Being a member of a family demands a certain amount of sacrifice.

But 100% of the sacrifice doesn't have to be on your shoulders. Your kids should recognize that your career is important, and allow you time to pursue your dreams.

Being a parent doesn't mean being a martyr.

If you feel like you're failing, don't dwell on what is beyond your control. Try harder. That is within your control.

Bernita said...

#13. Die at age 45 of a heart attack.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Joe said, "I'm not talking about being happy. I'm talking about being rich and famous. Let's not confuse the two."

Having been in Hollywood for a few years, I met a few rich and famous people -- and I would by no means consider them successful. Or happy.

Success, I think, can only be measured at the end of your life, when you look back and say, yeah, I did some very cool things, had fun, treated people well, made some money, but, most of all, led a happy life.

So rich and famous do not necessarily equal success. My father was not a rich man and beyond his circle of friends was completely unknown, but I consider him one of the most successful men on the planet.

After all, he produced me, right? ;)

Allison Brennan said...

My former boss always told me "Work Smart, Not Hard" so I laughed at #10. I like it :) . . . Nora Roberts said that when she finishes a book, she starts the next book. She writes on a schedule (something like 9-6 daily--don't know if it's 5 or 7 days a week), exercises regularly, and spends time with her family.

I'm not up to a 9 hour a day writing schedule. I'm looking forward to Sept of 2007 when all my kids will be in school and I can write from 8:30-3.

I procrastinate a lot, but I also accomplish a lot when I'm working. I wrote 62 pages when I was on a working vacation last week.

Jude Hardin said...

It's spankin' season, and I got a hankerin' for some spankerin'.

I tried to leave this alone, but it's one of my favorite poems and I just couldn't.

"Rage against the dying of the light" is a direct quote from Dylan Thomas's poem "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night."

Am I out of line here? Shouldn't direct quotes be followed by author attribution? Even in, say, a high school essay? Nobody grades our work here on the internet. But the comment section of this blog is, technically, a publication.

Perhaps professional courtesy should be somewhere in the 12 step program for success.

Oh, yeah.

"It's spankin' season, and I got a hankerin' for some spankerin'."

--Homer Simpson

Bill, the Wildcat said...

Can't tell you how many times I feel like a slacker parent, because I want to "indulge" my creative efforts. There doesn't seem a way to be a published writer second and a parent first.

Jude Hardin said...

To write a compelling story, you have to give your protagonist a goal. What does s/he want most? In life, we often ask ourselves the same question.

Do I want to be a published author?

Or, do I want to be a good parent?

The two aren't mutually exclusive.

BUT, if you bring a child into this world, or make the decision to adopt one, then that child should be your #1 priority. Careers come and go. Your children ARE your life.

Sacrifice time with them at your own peril.

JA Konrath said...

Let's clear the air for a moment.

Being a good parent is very important--I never said it wasn't.

I did say that you don't get rich or famous by being a good parent. Which is true.

I think that living for your children is a bad idea, for many reasons. Living for anybody else is a bad idea. It's your life, and you need to live for yourself.

That doesn't mean your children shouldn't be the most important thing in your life---mine are.

But it does mean that allowing your personal happiness to be dependent on your family isn't really healthy.

First of all, children need to have some time away from their parents occasionally, to grow independent, to become self-sufficient, to learn about life from people other than you.

Second of all, if you live for your children, you're headed for a nasty breakdown when they finally leave the nest.

Third of all, the best way to teach your children about goals is to show them that you have goals.

You want the best for your kids, and it isn't unreasonable to hope that your kids want the best for you as well.

I was playing catch with my son today when the UPS guy came, bringing the paperbacks of BLOODY MARY. My son was just as excited as I was, and offered me the same praise and encouragement that I normally offer him.

He wasn't mad we stopped the game. He wasn't jealous that the focus shifted to me. He was proud, and happy, and I felt like I have the greatest kid in the world (because I do.)

But this isn't The Newbie's Guide to Parenting or The Newbie's Guide to Happiness. This blog is about publishing, and what to do to succeed.

This summer, I'm spending 60 days on the road, away from my family.

I could let guilt eat me up and refuse to go on tour, or I can call every night, send letters and postcards and gifts, and do what I need to do for my career.

I support my family, but my family also supports me. Love is a two way street.

Allison Brennan said...

I agree, Jude. The kids come first. That's why I write when they are 1) sleeping or 2) at school. There are times when I'm on a deadline where my husband takes over in the evenings and I leave the house to write, but that's rare. I did it two nights on my last deadline.

Jude Hardin said...

Thanks, Allison. You're living proof that a writer can have it all.

Joe: Best of luck on your tour. It's good to hear about how supportive a family can be. I think my kid is the best in the world, too. Everybody does, I guess.

60 days is a long time in a kid's life, though. I'm not sure I would be able to stay away that long, no matter how many book sales it translated into. I agree that kids need to be taught independence, but they also need Big Daddy there 24/7 if something goes wrong. You ARE their support system. I'm not trying to climb on a soap box, proclaiming I'm the perfect parent, 'cause I'm not. Whatever happens, though, I'm there. That's one thing I can take pride in saying: I'm there.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

paq"...you need to stop reading blogs and get back to work."

I can identify with that!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Joe said, "But it does mean that allowing your personal happiness to be dependent on your family isn't really healthy."

I think this statement just gets it all wrong, Joe. Those of us with family are not dependent upon them for our happiness. Our happiness comes from what we give to THEM. It isn't a matter of dependence, it's about mutal caring and love -- as sappy as that may sound.

As for balancing career with family, I chose for most of my life to weigh the balance in favor of family. I had many opportunities to be sucked into the Hollywood void, but chose to live away from L.A. so I could be there for my kids and my wife.

I had no interest in becoming another Hollywood statistic. But now that my kids are grown, the timing for the book couldn't be better.

I have no regrets about not hustling like a madman when my kids were young. I'm glad I didn't. And now I'm able to spend the time necessary to do what has to be done to further my career.

Like, for example, spend time on this blog.... :)

Ann said...

Really enjoyed this blog, and especially this entry and all the discussion!
But I was amused that your corporate-worker (CEO) friends still agree with this thinking in this day and age -I don't work for a large corporation or business (thank goodness!)so this is not a personal entry, but from what I've seen from many of my friends who've been screwed over by various business and corporate employers to whom they gave their souls, my guide to corporate workers would be as follows:
1. Push hard for the nicest, fattest salary you can get NOW. Don't let them promise you great things twenty years down the line as a reward for backbreaking work now. Twenty years down the line your employer will move to China or Mexico and pay somebody half as much to do your work, and you will be left with a golden watch and a sucky severance policy.
2. Park your pension and 20% of your salary savings outside the corporate plan if at all possible - so when the CEOs switch the employees' money to their private little Cayman account, you won't lose your shirt.
3. Better be nice to the family and spend time with them -when the corporation goes bankrupt, they'll still love ya and feed ya.
A cynical (sp?) reader
(how this would translate to writing I have no idea)

JA Konrath said...

Our happiness comes from what we give to THEM.

I agree, Rob.

But doesn't that imply you will no longer be happy once your family is gone?

Children leave. People die. Situations change.

I haven't said that families aren't important.

I'm saying there's more to life than parenthood.

If your self-image is dependent on the reflection (meaning the acceptence of other people) then once those people are out of the picture, you'll cease to exist.

Plus, parents seem to over-value their importance when it comes to their children. Lots of people grew up just fine with only one parent, or divorced parents, or no parents, or asshole parents. And lots of people turned out crummy even with good parents. Nature trumps nurture.

But that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point is that balance is necessary.

If one of your children has a chance to pursue their dream, and it involves moving to another country and you not seeing them for two years, would you allow it?

If you would allow it, then perhaps your kids aren't nearly as important to you as you think, because you can obviously live without them.

Or if letting them pursue their dreams is you being unselfish, perhaps your children would feel the same way when you take some time off to pursue your dreams.

What are you afraid you'll miss? Are you converned your children won't forgive you? Are you scared something will happen and you won't be there to prevent it? Are you worried that on your death bed you'll think, "If I only tucked my child into bed 10,676 times instead of 10,345, I'd die happy."

I don't think that you should ever have to choose between career and family. I think you should have both.

But you shouldn't let other people define you. Even your wife and kids.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

It's not what I'm afraid I'll miss, Joe. It's what I'm afraid THEY'LL miss by not having a father around.

That said, I would never suggest that family is be all and end all of someone's existence. There are many things that factor into who we are and why we may or may not be happy.

The point is simply that many of the sacrifices you speak of -- sleep, family, etc. -- don't really need to be made in order to be successful.

There's nothing at all wrong with wanting to succeed in your chosen profession, and working hard to get there, but it all comes down to a question of balance. One aspect of your life shouldn't be sacrificed for the sake of the other.

You CAN have your cake and eat it, too, if you find that balance.

JA Konrath said...

I think we essentially agree, Rob.

Blogger said...

Failure is an option and it's a lot less stressful.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you're never having fun, then I doubt you're in the right profession, corporate or writing. There should be enjoyment in your work.

Not that I'm saying writing is always fun. Or working. But you should take satisfaction out of the process, not just the success.


Anonymous said...

I'v e found you can work hard or smart or not at all. Smart work tempered with unselfishness and daily balance may keep you out of the nuthouse. Every writer I've shared with succumbs to either an angle of repose, or an overwhelming desire to see if there big toe can fit through the shotgun trigger guard. Middle road or dead in ditch!!