How bad do you want success?


The most question I get asked on a daily basis, “When do you find the time?”
I walk into my local writer’s group and the first thing they ask, “You amaze me with all you do. Where do you find the time?”
I admit I’m not a normal writer. I have a day job, I have three teenage boys who play every single sport imaginable, I have a husband, I have two dogs….I’ve heard it all. But it all boils down to HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
I write at my son’s football game…tell me HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
I write at my son’s baseball game….HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
I write on vacation….HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
I write during my son’s lacrosse practice in my van….HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
Every afternoon, for three years, I would pick my kids up from school. I was in car line for over two hours. Those two hours were spent writing my novels. A young girl at my son’s school came up to me last week at his 7th grade basketball game and said, “Mrs. Kappes, I remember walking to recess in fifth grade and asking Jack what you were doing in your van. He said you were writing. I think that’s so cool.”
Cool? Obsessive? HOW BAD DID I WANT IT? BAD!
Every Sunday I schedule my tweets for the week, fifteen minutes apart using It’s free and it takes a little time, but it looks like I’m on twitter. When I get home at night, it takes me a couple minutes to go in and type TY (thank you) to people who have mentioned me that day. Guess what? Those people get a scheduled tweet during #WW or #FF.
I get up in the morning before everyone in my house (5 am), grab a cup of coffee, hit all the blogs I follow, and put a status up on facebook. Usually a quote to start everyone’s day off. When I get home at night, while making dinner, I will post a new status for the evening.
After dinner and a little love to the family ( I cook dinner every night!), I get in at least two hours of writing (either in the car or during a sports game).
Again. . .I ask you. . .HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
The video I shared is not about basketball. Listen to the words. Watch the images of the NBA basketball players during this lock-out. YES! This video was made recently. But look at them. They get up and train as if they are playing ball. HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?
Every morning my son gets up and watches this video. His basketball trainer, who also train some really well known Cleveland Cavalier players and one former one in particular who is in the video, showed my son this video and asked my son, “Jack, how bad do you want it?”
I don’t ever want you to ask me how I do it. I don’t ever want you to forget this video. My question to you is HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT?


  1. You are amazing. But I so get that when you really, really want something, you have to give it your all. And you will find a way. More power to you!

  2. What an amazing post! Some times we just need a kick in the pants to remind us. Thank you!

  3. I feel like I've been given the smackdown LOL. What makes us really wonder is how you do all this and still watch TV! That's one thing I gave up when I started writing. I don't have sports practices and a lot of long waits but those I do have, that's when I check blogs. Yet I still don't have time to do all I want with my writing. I think a better question, rather than "how nad do you want it" is "what are you willing to sacrifice?" I'm not willing to sacrifice my job that provides my family a living. I'm not willing to sacrifice my health or the quality of my work (both of which require me to get adequate sleep). I read while on the treadmill, so that helps my health and my writing. I sacrifice TV, and most of my video game time. I don't do a lot of socializing. So I think "how bad do you want it" is perhaps oversimplifying. However I do know that my sicial media is taking way more time than I want. I am definitely going to check out Socialoomph - thank you!

  4. Tonya, I am so happy I met you - well, online, at least!

    Today, I lost my keys, knocked my hairspray in the toilet, dropped my coffee in my lap and sat in a THREE HOUR meeting that made me wonder if a person could actually die of boredom. Then I read your post, and I feel SO MUCH BETTER. How bad do I want it? Stay tuned. : )


  5. Thank you, Tonya. I think you just made my decision about going to RT. Yeah, it's a lot of money, but it'll give me exposure, even though I don't have a book out there yet. Exposure's good, right?

    And Jennette - I bet she can watch TV because she gets all her writing done at practices!! :)

  6. Hi, Raelyn! I'm so glad you were inspired! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. Hahahahaa! Jennette! You are so funny!! Social media can consume our life. Even blogs can...I should be editing! But we have to stay connected to our readers!

  8. Diane, you have me really curious! I can't wait to see you fly. I know you want it bad. I'm honored to have met you online!

  9. Hi, Stacy. It was great seeing you on Saturday even though we only got a quick wave across the room. I hope to spend more time with you at the Christmas party.

    I'm thinking about going to RT too. I think a lot of our group is going:)

  10. Like I said on the other post: I want it pretty badly ... though I lack the energy you possess. Hopefully I can finish the race, though.

  11. LOve it! This is post is a welcome reminder to keep going, to keep busting your butt if you want it that bad! Very Motivating...

  12. Fantastic post, Tonya. Hard work does pay off!

  13. Amazing post Tonya, so inspirational :D Thankyou for sharing.

    1. Scarlett, I know we can all do it. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. I love this post, Tonya! You are such an inspiration to me. This is a great reminder to use every moment you have, stay focused on your goal and never give up!
    Just what I needed to hear today. TY! =)

  15. Writing is hard work--that is a true statement. But just putting words on paper doesn't guarantee success. Self-pubbing doesn't guarantee success. Participating in social media doesn't guarantee success. The implication that hard work equates with success in the publishing world just isn't true.

    You have to write stories that readers want to read, but you also have to write stories that YOU love because it shows through in the work. You have to find a great team of critique partners and editors AND listen to them. And most of all, you have to remember sales numbers alone isn't the only way to measure success.

    We hear the stories of people making it big with publishing, but the reality is that relative to the number of actual people trying to just make a living at writing far outnumbers these few "success" stories.

    Kudos to everybody out there who writes because they have to, because the voices in their head won't go away, because they NEED to share a story with the world. In my book, if you complete a story, if you submit a story, if you publish a story, if you sell 10, 1000 or 100000 copies, you are a success

  16. Wow, I needed this today! I've been working sixteen to eighteen hours a day for the past year to achieve my writerly dreams -- it's so gratifying to hear from others out there who want "it" just as bad as I do! The video is definitely going on my must-view daily playlist, and you've inspired me to answer that elusive "How Bad Do You Want It?" question on my blog, as well. Kudos to you for your well-earned success, and for instilling that same passion to succeed in your young'uns!

  17. You hit the nail on the head, Tonya. We MAKE time for the things that are important to is. :) Keep up the great work and thanks for being a continued inspiration.

  18. My problem is some days I want it enough to bust my guts, and others I wonder. At least I have posts like this to show me how hard I need to work, and that others keep persevering, so maybe I can too.

  19. Tonya, you popped up in
    Writer's Window Daily and I'm so glad I read this article. I want it BAD enough to stay up til 1 AM and wake up at 6 AM. What holds me back isn't writing. That first draft comes out quickly. It's revising and editing. I tend to put it off as a chore. But thanks for reminding me. I want badly to start another project, but refuse to as long as I'm not done with my current one.

  20. Printed this and posted it on my office wall. I have not 'WANTED IT' nearly enough. I love the story in the video. I have heard it before, but I never get tired of it. As much as air... that's REALLY wanting it. Thank you for an inspiring post. (I have tried 5 times to respond, but I will NOT give up LOL)

  21. Great post! You nailed it! I'd love to use it as a guest post on my two blogs if you will allow it! (I'll link back to your blog, of course) Please let me know. Thanks.

  22. Great reminder, thanks for a big swift kick! I think your attitude applies to everything in life though, not just writing but everything we have passion for. My book is written, just came out for sale in fact (yea!) so I can apply "how bad do you want it?" to my new goal of becoming a self-sustaining indie Author now :-) Its the perfect question to keep us motivated & on the right track in life. Thanks!

    Jenn Flynn-Shon

  23. Thank you! I just Tweeted this. My new motto is "How bad do I want it?" :-)

    bobbi c.

  24. I want it bad---just need to get out of my own way and make it happen. Thanks for writing such an inspiring post.

  25. I want it BAD! So I'll be back for inspiration whenever I start making excuses for why I can't write more than I already am!!

    Keep writing. Great post. :)

  26. Thanks Tonya! It's the truth and is much appreciated.

  27. Super message. Thanks, Tonya!!

  28. Exactly! A good reminder, and not just for writers. Thanks for linking to it on your main blog page.

  29. You're an inspiration! :) Thanks for the reminder of how bad I want it.

  30. Thanks for this post! I love how he says you are already in pain, you might as well get a reward for it. Push through.