I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this idea of “success” lately and I stumbled across a great quote:

“Many people avoid discovering the secret of success because deep down they suspect the secret may be hard work.”

I admit I have been guilty of that kind of thinking. Instead of working on my current project, I’ll spend hours researching the latest tip, the newest trick, the current trend in achieving quick success.

But the reality is that most “overnight successes” were YEARS in the making. Every so often I’ll hear a speech where a successful writer blithely says, “Oh, I just sat down and wrote the story and the first publisher I sent it to, bought it.” Frankly, these kinds of stories make me grind my teeth. Because I’m jealous. I want quick and easy best-seller status in my world, too. Still waiting, thank you.

But the stories that make me stand up and cheer are the ones where a writer toiled and toiled and got enough rejection letters to wallpaper not just rooms, but entire houses, and then finally, finally found a publisher.

Those are the stories that inspire me. Because they achieved success the old-fashioned way:  they worked really, really hard for it.

In our get-rich-quick, entitlement-minded society, we’ve lost sight of the value of old-fashioned hard work. The kind where there are no excuses. No free handouts. Just tough, boring, nose-to-the-grindstone hard work.

It pays off. And the celebration is worth it!

I found a quote by Thomas Watson, Sr., founder of IBM. “If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.”

Which boils down to one simple thing: more work. So that’s my plan this year. More writing. More submissions. Which will mean more rejections. But that’s okay.

I’ve found the secret ingredient to success.