Can't Shut Me Down

Everyone wants to be successful at something, something that usually stems from their passion. I feel like success is the second-most powerful thing that drives us right behind love. What is success? Ask anyone and you'll probably get a different answer each time. Ask anyone at different points throughout their life and you'll probably get a different answer each time. Throughout all the years that I've been a writer, my own personal thoughts on the topic have changed at least five times. Success used to be just finishing--having the endurance to see a creative writing project through to the end no matter if it was good or terrible. Then it became launching a book through a traditional publishing channel (with no agent involved) and hit the bestseller list, making millions of dollars and getting a grand movie deal in the process. 

Some years and a self-published book later, I have a new lease on what I think success is. Success to me at this very moment in time is having the balls to say, "I don't give up." Cards on the table, my book hasn't quite sold as well as I would like it to. It would be easy to just throw in the towel and say, "You know I tried. Didn't work. Maybe I am meant for a nine to five." But I can't. I'm just not quite built that way. What do I say instead? I say it's only been four months. I say that it's going to take a lot more, something like every independent bookstore in America shutting me down, to get me to stop. And even then there will be this nagging in the back of mind saying, "Why stop now? Might as well keep going."

I have this gift (others might call it a curse) of being an eternal optimist. I'm always of the mindset that, no matter how bleak things seem, things will work out for the better in the end. A happy ending isn't a happy ending without the bad that comes before it. Otherwise it would just be an ending. There has to be conflict, grit. I think of my life like I'm watching it in a movie. Things may look bad halfway in, but give it another hour and you'll see the hero come out on top.

I want to be successful because I want to see my main characters Bartok and Klarvid Organon change lives and inspire people through their struggles to be something other than mediocre. In order to do that, I gotta keep pushing. I don't give up. Not now. Not ever.

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