Monday, February 15, 2010

Success as a Consequence, Not a Goal

I have had a rough week. The fibro I mentioned in an earlier post. Later that day and for the following day I had a horrible allergy/colitis attack. I finally thought to read the label on the 'safe' food (Michigan Brand Cottage Cheese) I had eaten as a treat, and there it was, they now use citric acid. So yesterday I was very much under the weather, slept as much as I could, and knocked back lots of water to try and clear the toxins.
Today I feel slightly better, but still have all the aches, and the headache, and the fogginess whether it be from the allergy attack or the fibro, who knows.
At any rate, I have been fretting about the work I should have been doing the past few days. (book reviews, sample knitting, pattern polishing, getting ready for the 4 day trip to Convocation etc.)
This morning I read an article by Hillary Rettig in my Romance Writers Report that helped me gain some perspective. (link is to one of her blog posts which discusses a similar topic)
She paraphrases the quote from which I took my post's title today.
"Success is a consequence and must not be a goal." Gustave Flaubert
The upshot (for me) being that it is better to approach your work with a certain level of detachment, focus on the tasks, rather than the result, do what you can, and not hold yourself up to judgement based on what you think you should achieve.
It is not easy. I definitely have a wide streak of perfectionism when it comes to what I produce whether it be writing or a pattern, but this helped gain some insight on my recent self-castigation.
By relaxing my self-imposed deadlines and standards I am more able to focus and do what I can, and will accomplish more today than I might otherwise. And it will be fine.


morewithles said...

i *really* like this sentiment. i think one of the reasons i haven't done well at fiction writing is that i focused on "selling" the writing as opposed to just writing something good. i will turn to this quote of yours again and again. thanks. hope you're feeling better!

AlisonH said...

Take good care of yourself!

Kym said...

Great quote, Diana. I hope you're feeling better today. Take care of yourself. :-)

Karen said...

Oh Diana, I hope you're feeling better. Peace of mind is far more important than deadlines. I tend to be a perfectionist as well, but it's something that probably should be resisted a little. Please take care of yourself!!

Leslie said...

Oh, Diana. Do hope you are feeling better still?

What a great post, thanks for sharing it with us today.