Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Light Bulb Moment

So yeah. I could go on and on about what led up to this convo, but I won't. Mostly because I have so many convos I can't keep them all straight. Or maybe those are just the voices in my head. *wink*

But basically, Katie Anderson and I were talking. And exciting things are happening for both of us.

Katie: Are you nervous?

Me: *hysterical laughing* *furiously typing* Beyond. I'm terrified of this, that, and the other (I won't bore you with the details, but I typed much more than this, trust me.)

Katie: It's almost as if success is more terrifying than failure.

TEN SECONDS LATER, in PG, UT: Light bulb moment.

She nailed it. Nailed it.

Failure I can do. I can handle. I've been there, done that. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and your stomach doing these weird flippy things. But I can deal.

Success? Not so much.

Well, okay, there was that one time I won those 50 Jazz tickets. And I did graduate from college. I have a good job. I've been married to the same man for 13 years.

Okay, okay. I've succeeded at some things too. Funnily enough, it leaves this weird taste in your mouth and your stomach doing these weird flippy things. I guess I'll have to learn to deal.

And no, I have no news. Just curbing those comments right now. :)

So tell me, have you had a light bulb moment recently? What was it about? What do you think of the success being terrifying thing?

And PS: You want to sign up for my newsletter. I have some very VERY exciting things planned for February and newsletter subscribers will get the low-down before everyone else. Way before. In-enough-time-to-prepare-before. Just sayin'. And that's all I'm sayin'. *winkage*

43 comments:

Little Ms J said...

SIgn me up, sister! How do I get this newsletter?

I understand the fear of success. I think we all want it so bad we've built it in to this behemoth in our minds.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hey! It's like that famous Nelson Mandela quote about being afraid to be great. Sometimes it seems that's a lot of pressure!

Corey Schwartz said...

OMG, Elana. I LOVE your blog! I am going through that right now! I sent my agent an idea and she LOVED it. And now i am completely freaking out. Why did I send her the idea??? Now she will be so disappointed when the execution doesn't live up to her expectations!

MeganRebekah said...

I had that some light bulb moment last year. The fear of success is more frightening than failure. It's strange, but true.

Once you pinpoint that strange fear, you've got to learn to work with it. Not necessairly get rid of it (is that possible?) but let it work for you.

Nisa said...

You crack me up! I can't wait to get your newsletter!

Light bulb moments lately? Do I own a light bulb? Haha!

Robyn Campbell said...

As I read your post, I imagined that it will be like that for me too. But. I. still. want. this.

Terrified? Yes. Fantasizing? Yes. Motivated? Yes. I am preparing to query Elana. I'm all that and more. But the prize is worth it all. The prize? Holding my book in my hands and caressing it. Stroking it. Reading my words. YIKES. Better get back over to QueryTracker.

catwoods said...

Ditto the funny feeling and weird taste. In the past, I have always quit querying as soon as I started getting outstanding rejections.

Sick and weird. I didn't understand it until recently: I was petrified to succeed.

I've matured in the last two years as a writer, public speaker and human.

Success? Bring it on. I'm finally ready!

T. Anne said...

Still, sounds like you have news ;) I was thinking on this very thing. DO I know how to be truly happy? Should this writing thing work out will I know how to act and what to do with myself? Probably not, but I'll risk it.

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

If I'm really honest, what frightens me about success is that I'll bloat with pride and forget that God's all over it, invented it, could take it away in a heartbeat...etc.

I want to trust him with my future like I've never trusted before.

Lightbulb moments...sad to say I can't think of any in the last few days. I'm sure I've had them...just can't bring 'em up right now.

~ Wendy

Bish Denham said...

Oh yeah, fear of success. Understand it well. No lightbulb moments recently. I think if I did I blow a fuse.

Karen said...

winkage...lol!

I understand the fear of success thing...or more accurately at this point, the fear of hoping for success. Right now, "success" is off in the thither safe and sound, but with each step closer, there's that nagging question of "IS this closer? Or am I just pipedreaming?"

SarahAnn said...

Definitely get this. I'm perfectly content to be successful in my own mind. But to actually succeed at my dreams in real life--then everyone will know. It's almost like it's my little secret, tucked away; and once I succeed, it won't be any more. The mystery leaves.

Natalie said...

I am absolutely afraid of success too. I think it's because success is still unknown. I know what will happen if I get rejected. Everything will stay the same-comfortable and the same. New things are good too though :)

Paul Greci said...

This is a mysterious post. It sounds like you have news but maybe not official news. Just my mind running and hoping that you do have news!!

Great thoughts on success and how it's more scary than failure. Yes, I've experienced that kind of thinking. I think it's part of being alive.

Catherine Denton said...

Maybe it's because we pressure ourselves to KEEP succeeding.

Winged Writer

Southpaw said...

Yes, it seems light bulbs are going off all the time around here. As for success terrifying? Another yes, but it not something I think about.

Hilabeans said...

I dig the new layout.

Here is my splash of life:
I think you're keeping some news from us, your lovely devoted and faithful audience.

Yes, the fear of success can be debilitating, but you're awesome, so no worry needed.

Let's see, my only light bulb moment (so far) for 2010 consisted of an angry cat and a messy litter box. Yeah. Don't you just want to be me? ;)

hhs

Solvang Sherrie said...

Katie is brilliant, isn't she?

Why is success so terrifying? We all want it. We love to watch shows where it happens to others. We're worthy, dammit!

ali said...

Umm, YES and YES.

Yes I've had a recent aha moment: That it IS possible to rediscover a little of what makes me feel alive (that I somehow knew when I was younger but seem to have lost touch with over the last long years.)

And YES success is terifying. I'm totally with ya on that. ;)

Carolyn V. said...

Success, terrifying, but well worth the journey. Right?

Kimberly Franklin said...

I believe the most terrifying thing about success is: the fear of continuing to succeed.

Good luck! : )

kimberlyloomis said...

I have a bit of a different take on fear of success. Mostly I fear success because the risk of failing after attaining a certain level of success is that much greater. Hmmm- that was a bit convoluted. Like when my book hits the shelves (still querying but pursuing publication has made me a dogmatic optimist- for now)- will it sell well? So, yeah for publication but the fear became of the failure I was then open to. Hope that made sense...

Anyway- great post, Elana! Thanks for sharing and I'll all sorts of be signing up for your newsletter! Good luck on your successes and the killing of your subsequent fears. :)

Jen Chandler said...

You're super right about success being harder than failure. For some reason, if you fail, people accept that. They almost expect failure because, let's face it, we've all failed. But success? That's uncharted territory for a lot. It's intimidating. You have responsibility. Others may reject you. And you may just remind them of what they should be doing.

That being said, I'll take success over failure any day!

Jen

L. T. Host said...

Absolutely, 110% agree with your lightbulb. Success is TERRIFYING to think about actually happening.

Elana Johnson said...

Okay, thanks everyone! I feel so much better now that I know I'm not the only one afraid of having GOOD things happen. I mean, srsly? Where is the point in that?

But whatever. Bring on the celebrations!

Not right now, of course, but when they happen. :)

Susan R. Mills said...

I'll sign up now. And, I think we all fear success more than failure. Like you said, we've done failure plenty of times. I also think part of the fear is that we aren't sure what we'll aim for next after we succeed. It's like closing a book and opening a new one.

lbdiamond said...

Just signed up for your newsletter! :)

Yes, fear of success can be a subtle thing. Stopping one credit shy of completing a college degree, not meeting a deadline at work, not interviewing for an interview that could lead to promotion. Happens ALL THE TIME! WHY???? The answers are as numerous as there are people on this planet, but recognizing it is key. Then you can learn what to do to prevent it.

Embrace success. You've earned it!

Lisa and Laura said...

LOVE the new look on the blog!

And success is terrifying, but I wonder when we actually feel like we're there? When you hit a best seller list? When your next book sells more books than your first? The terrifying thing about publishing is that there's always another hurdle lurking in the future.

Janna Qualman said...

LOL! Love this post, it makes so much sense. And I'm tickled by your winkage, too. ;)

Katie Ganshert said...

LOVE your new blog look. Super spiffy. Did I just say spiffy??

Yes, I have light bulb moments almost on an hourly basis. And yes, success can definitely feel more frightening than failure at times.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yep! Count me in with everyone else. Success can seem scary. I think it's a fear I would willingly work to conquer, though! :-)

Niki said...

ahhh so that's why I'm scared of writing. I thought it was the fear of failure, but it's actually the fear of success. I feel so much better now thanks! :o)

L.T. Elliot said...

Oh, I hear you! I had a TINY bit of success last June and it totally paralyzed me. I need to take a class or something if I want to survive this biz.

Jemi Fraser said...

Success does have its fair share of terrors. My fears are rooted (probably anyway) in my extreme childhood shyness. I was SO awkward :)

beth said...

OH MY GOD YES. I am shaking in my boots.

Melissa said...

Wow, this is weird finding so many people afraid of success. While I crave it, I'm also scared of it. I think it's the unknown factor - how will it change my life and the lives of my family? Will it be positive or negative? But I'm nowhere near crossing that bridge now. And I'm with the others. I DO hope you have some good news to share soon:)

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness, yes! Your newsletter sounds great (and it sounds like you have a wee bit of news. Enjoy each victory, no matter how small.)

Liza said...

I have faith that you will get used to further success in life.

Jessica said...

I wish I'd have a lightbulb moment. Sheesh. Wanna give me chain a few tugs? LOL Maybe something will flicker. Heh.

I totally agree with this post. Totally.

I think it's because the higher we are, the harder we can fall. No one wants to fall. It's easier to be told, no, you can't go up there than to climb up, sweating, shaky-breathed, and slip on the last rung.
*shuddering at the thought*

Christine Fonseca said...

HEHE...I so understand where you are coming from!

Kate Karyus Quinn said...

Ooooh, the new blog is sooo pretty - I love it!

Sorry, just had to get that out of the way first.

So, light bulb moments. Nope haven't had any. But I think your light bulb moment and the idea of being afraid of success is really true... maybe because our definition of success is a constantly moving target.

Amber Lynae said...

Getting off the track of failure is always scary. But I happy that you have.

I'm going to be at LDS Storymaker and saw that you will be there too. I'm so excited.

Jess of All Trades said...

I definitely think success can be scary. Even recently I've been searching for a regular 'ol job to support me, got one, and now I'm back to learning retail all over again! Fun but scary in a weird away. Getting a job was hard, but it was the easy part.
I also work in theatre, and I've seen actors become heartbroken if they don't get a huge role ...but absolutely terrified if they Do.

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