Thanks to Gmail for the Quote of the Day. As I mentioned in the silly script earlier, I am reading Jack Canfield's Success Principles for Teens. The principles mentioned are pretty straight-forward (visualization, goal-setting, etc.) but the real life stories and statistics are inspiring. I'm looking forward to putting these into practice.
If you're looking to achieve something specific and having a hard time starting, I recommend the book as well as Kelly L. Stone's Time to Write. Both are helpful, practical and inspiring. Don't mean to sound like a blurb-giving author, but they are.
It's an interesting balance: success and fulfillment. I feel pretty strongly about the undercurrent of perfectionism that drives many of our best students, the pressure to get into Harvard/Yale/Princeton, achieve perfect grades, get the perfect job. Perfectionism makes few people happy, and it can burn out brilliant students. I've seen it happen, and it's sad.
On the other hand, I'm ambitious. I believe in dreams and working for them. I admire people who have worked against odds to get what they want. I want to push myself beyond my comfort zone, write better, work better.
To be a successful writer, as Ariel Gore says in her excellent book How to Become a Famous Writer Before You're Dead, you have to be both an artist and an entrepreneur. You have to be creative and meditative to make great art. You need to be market savvy and calculating to get it sold. To be a successful writer, you have to balance both success and fulfillment and the desires for both.
Time management, as Mr. Penn suggests, is a good place to start.