Thursday, January 16, 2014

Writing my way to success!

I think we can all agree - we love our book babies.  I mean, how could we not?  We've devoted countless hours to creating characters and plots.  We've declined social invitations - prefering to spend the time weaving our tales. To say that we are emotionally invested would be an understatement. 

Finally, the big day comes - we publish! 

And then...


You know what I'm talking about - that moment when we realize our novels aren't the overnight sensation we'd hoped.   We pull out the checklist - blog (check), facebook page (check), website (check), Goodreads and Amazon author pages (check and check).  We've submitted a press release to our local newspaper.  We've held our book signings.  We've tried various online promotion techniques and still we're struggling to get noticed.

In America, we seem to equate success with wealth & fame.  We might feel as though we've become successful when we've moved from "struggling" writer (as in I have a day job) to "writing is my day job."  But isn't success more than that?

By definition, success is the achievement of a goal.  It requires work and a quality product.  It requires a change of attitude.  I'm no longer a receptionist who writes in the evening and on the weekends.  I'm a writer who chooses to hold a public job so I can meet interesting people who may or may not inspire a character in my next book. 

We've all read novels by authors who are more "successful" than we might be.  We've also read works by authors who are unknown but whose talent is every bit as wonderful as "successful" writers.  While financial gain is wonderful, success may not come in the form of a large monetary payoff.   It may come in a more quiet manner.  It may come with the realization that not only did we set the goal to write a book - WE DID IT!  And that, in and of itself, is quite the accomplishment! 

So, my fellow writers - How do you define success?