Ask yourself this question; is someone who has written one book a success? Do you judge a one-book author the same as say someone who has written ten or more books? Why?
You see, each of us defines success a bit differently. Some pre-judge and insist an author is only successful if they hit the ‘New York Best Selling List.’ Others feel that a one book release, with their name on it, solidifies them a success. They reached their goal in life, and are proud and happy.
Others look at the dollar value. If you don’t make triple digits, you’re not very successful. Well, who is to say? What gives us the right to even press our values on others?
There are countless ways to define or measure success. The only important one is how you define ‘your’ success. This isn’t always easy because writers know once they finish a book, they have another to write. We don’t just say I’m writing five books and then I’m done. You could – but would you? I know I can’t.
Let me be honest – I’ve considered giving up writing. Yep. No more self-imposed deadlines. No more missing the sunny day on the deck because I’m in my office writing. No more pressure to become witty or clever. I could take my life back and just relax every evening in front of the TV or with a book in my hands.
Yep – that would be something. Or would it? I’ve told my husband, a time or two, I plan to quit writing and he always comes back with the comment, “You’re happiest when you’re writing.” As annoyed as I am that he isn’t supporting my new way of thinking – freedom from the rigors and demands of writing while working full-time - I know he’s right. No woman likes her husband to be ‘right.’
Personally, we writers don’t have a choice to stop. Even when we convince ourselves we’ve written our last book, those stories still keep hunting our minds. We try pushing them away – but they won’t listen. We get re-inspired and we decide, okay, just one more book.
So, does this scenario say I’m a success . . . or just not yet? It’s up to me! I feel very successful. I’ve just finished book fifteen. My original goal was to see my name on the cover of ‘a’ book! Book after book I feel the pride of reaching new goals and whether I make ten dollars or ten thousand, for me it’s about telling the story. Money doesn’t define me – my stories do.
That doesn’t mean I’ll quit any time soon. I have more ideas than time to write. I’m looking forward to retiring and writing full-time. More goals – new levels of success. It boils down to feeling proud and successful with my choices. I know I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at in my writing career. Am I successful? Hell yes!