Who doesn’t love a good success story? Underdog team prevails, small town kid gets cast in a Spielberg movie, scrappy entrepreneur starts in her garage and ends up a billionaire?
Above all, a success story is a story—it shows a hero overcoming obstacles en route to a big transformation.
Success stories appeal precisely because we love stories, and because we want to mine these tales for clues about how we, too, might achieve “success.”
I’d argue that we’re always mining stories for clues about how to live and find meaning in our lives, but today I want to talk particularly about how we writers relate to this idea of success.
Success is good, right? But scratch the surface and things get complicated fast. As writers, how do we define success, and how does that definition impact our creative work?
Do we feel worthy of success? Does it trigger fears of exposure? Of losing our identity? Of disrupting our relationships?
Does some career cocktail made of one part agent and two parts book deal fit into this somehow? Does money?
Of course, as soon as you ponder success, its flipside, failure, is right there in the shadows, waiting to pounce. No wonder it’s such a loaded idea!
This is a good subject to explore as we continue to cast our visions for 2022. Let’s talk about how you can write your own perfect “success story,” for this year and the years to come.
My weekly livestream about story structure, writing craft, and the mindset of the working writer happens on Wednesdays at 1 PM Pacific on YouTube. Come live and participate! Or catch the replays on YouTube, or here on the blog.
To watch live and ask questions, subscribe to the YouTube channel here.
And you can join the Path of the Storyteller Facebook group right here.