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July 30, 2016


Lee Ann Nelson

We all own "FAIL" stamps and we all take them out...usually when we need ourselves the most. I'm so sorry you feel this way - as a reading fan, I always feel like a "FAIL" if I don't review every book I read or I don't buy every book my favorite writer puts out or I don't make my book club read their books...

I'm glad to know that you found your "SUCCESS" stamp...excuse me, I need to go find mine.

Steve Hockensmith

I know exactly where your "SUCCESS" stamp is: inside yourself.

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: The preceding sentence has been awarded The 2016 Dr. Phil C.R.A.P. (Cliches Really Are Powerful) Prize for stating the obvious in an attempt to be empowering. Congrats, me!

But truly -- the "FAIL" stamp is something we smack ourselves with (although sometimes life puts the stamp in our hands and says, "Have at it!"). So we can use the "SUCCESS" stamp on ourselves, too.

Steve Hockensmith

Or in other words....


Jonathan Turner

It's always tempting to give in to what I might call credentialitis. That's where you look to some kind of easily-visible credentials--the right school, the right job, the right friends, the right salary, the right lifestyle--as a way to frame success and failure. Don't give in! Success isn't credentials; success is being able to do a thing that want to do, because you want to do it.

Not that the external marks of success aren't nice, but I'm pretty sure that for most people they're never enough. Think you're a success because you got that promotion? In two weeks you'll start noticing all the people who are younger than you who've already gotten the *next* promotion. Big contract? Yeah, but that other guy got a movie deal ...

Mind you, I'd love to try out this theory by getting all the external markers I can handle. I bet Bill Gates doesn't feel this way, for example. (He's got staff for that.)

Steve Hockensmith

I've definitely suffered from a case of credentialitis in the past. In fact, I'm still working to get over it. I think I'm just about there: I'm about to make a big leap that leaves my old cred (as I saw it) behind. We'll see if I'm completely cured....

Bryan Steelman

So, did you quit the 9-to-5 job?

Steve Hockensmith

No way! The 9-to-5 job has made it possible for me to quit the writing projects I didn't want to do anymore. Which means I can now focus on the stuff I've been wanting to get to for years. For instance, I've finally started gearing up to write --



Bryan Steelman

Let's hear it for the multitaskers, and I'm glad you've recaptured your desire to write. You are a credit to your genre, and if you keep listening to big band/swing music, you might be inspired to explore the noir regions of mystery.


Good for you! We spend way too much time working to spend it on a job we can't enjoy. And darn it, Steve- you write *good* books. I've got plenty of ideas for alternative writers to nominate for that 'fail' stamp, based on their work!

(JT and I got the Nick and Tesla series for our nephews last Christmas, BTW - and we'll intro them to your others when they're a bit older).

Happy birthday!

~Robin Holly


Thanks for your honesty.

How wonderful to like your day-job. What a + to have the pressure off of paying the bills now to do writing projects you want to do. Life is far too short to hate ourselves for not fitting into mental constructs of success or freedom.

I've been reading people's T-shirts. Your post reminds me of a favorite T-shirt on a young boy about 11 years old which read, "To be continued." Looking forward to what you're going to write next!

Steve Hockensmith

"Life is far too short to hate ourselves for not fitting into mental constructs of success or freedom."

So true! Happy? Success! Doing what you want to do? Freedom!

I feel like I need that "To Be Continued" shirt. Think it comes in a large?

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