Each of us has a diferant view on what is successful, in writing, in our personal life. Since this is a writing blog, lets focus on success as a writer. When just starting out, finishing a story was a goal of mine. Man I had so many unfinished stories, I wanted to finish one. Doing so left me feeling successful and I raised the bar. Finish 2 stories… 3…. complete NaNo (National Novel Writing Month) and so on. My successes are personal, but mean a bunch to me.
So when writing what defines a “successful writer”? For many people Success = Bestseller. Being picked up by an agent and having their stuff bought by Big Name Publishing. Personally I wanted to have my books published by Tor books. After all that’s who put out Anne McCaffery’s books, right? (TBH I am not sure who is now putting them out, but that was my first dream with writing)
But there are many paths to success and defining YOUR path to success may take some time and adjustments.
What one person considers a success, another person inevitably will not think much of it. Basing your success on the opinions of another person can lead to trouble, emotional stress and frustration.
I feel it is important that we figure out what we want in writing, (what we want in life is a whole other post and I am not doing that today).
You have to ask yourself “What do I want out of writing?”
If the answer is money, riches, fame, go be a doctor or a lawyer. (My opinion based on the research of many hard working authors I read and some I know.) Writing is NOT the path to fame and fortune. Yes people have become famous authors; Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Stephanie Meyrs, but it isn’t something you can count on. Stephen King has written for YEARS, Rowling and Meyrs happened to fill a hole and gave a door to others who saw the need they did and jump on it.
It just doesn’t happen like that very often. And they work very hard.
So what do I want out of writing? For me? I write to shut up the stories in my head. (Unfortunately other stories begin caterwauling but that is another subject) I want other people to read my work and enjoy it. I want people to love my characters as much as, if not more than I do.
Money would be nice, but that isn’t the sole reason I write.
I write, because I can’t not write.
What do I feel will be a success with MY writing?
~Improving. I want to write better, I want to give the stories in my head the best chance I can to find a readership.
~Readers, fans, people who have fallen in love with the worlds I write about.
Balance? Yes Balance. Balance between independent publishing and the more traditional publishing. Because when it boils down to it, the ‘traditional’ publishing has a far greater reach to readers than I alone will have. I would like to get an agent, to have things traditionally published and distributed. But that isn’t going to stop me from moving forward with self-publishing.