When Excitement Leads to Failure

During the pre-marital counseling my husband and I went through prior to our wedding, we took a personality test that assigned an animal to four personality types: Lion (leader, take charge type), Beaver(hard working, analytical, detailed), Otter (fun, carefree, optimistic), and Golden Retriever (loyal, friendly). Since then, my husband and I have talked about each of those personalities, and how we can see different parts of a couple of them in each one of us.

My dominant personality is the otter. Which is quite interesting for me, because I also tend to be an introvert. I’m probably more like an undercover otter. Most of the world would not see me as overly fun or carefree, but once they get to know me, I probably do open up quite a bit and they see the fun-loving and perhaps more adventurous side to myself.

There is a flaw to the otter personality though. As you can guess, otters get excited super easily. This is quite true to me, and I tend to commit myself to things before thinking them through. I struggle with this all the time, and my husband will attest to this. I have a huge list of projects around the house that are all started, but none are finished. It really starts to wear you down after awhile.

Unfortunately, I have to admit that writing is one of these projects. I have so many highs and lows with writing. It also becomes quite difficult for me to want to sit down and write when I don’t have a lot of excitement for it. These are the times when I am jealous of my beaver husband (he can say he is going to do something, and he gets it done). I made my goals for writing this year (lots of excitement there), but when it comes to the daily implementation of doing it, I struggle. We are in the third week of the new year, and I have only successfully written on my work on progress about half of what I should have. This is disappointing to me.

So, I modified my goals. Part of SMART Goals is that they are supposed to be realistic. I decided when I made them I would be flexible with them to a point. I wouldn’t remove any completely, but I could modify them. Since I’m struggling with knocking out 2,000 words a day, I need to build up that excitement and let myself I can write daily. Rather than being so concerned with the word count, my focus is now on writing daily. I need to write 500 words a day (and it doesn’t have to be on my current WIP–after all, I don’t have any concrete deadlines other than what I set for myself).

I don’t want writing to be a job. I want it to be something that I love to do. Something that I’m passionate about. I love writing. I love crafting a story. But when I make high demands for myself, I set myself up for failure. That is not how I achieve my goals. That is when I let my excitement lead me to failure, and once there, it is hard to want to start again. Rather, when I see myself failing, I need to stop and figure out why. I need to look for those successes within my route to failure and celebrate those. That excitement is what will keep me going, and that same excitement will eventually lead me to success that I can be happy with.


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