How do you define success? When do you know you are successful?
When I first decided to publish my books I set myself goals. The first was to earn enough in royalties to buy a cup of coffee (being realistic), the second, to be able to buy one for my first editor/beta reader. I managed to tick both goals off within the first week of Roses being released.
But they were goals. Successfully reached goals, but just goals.
I often read comments from other authors about success: “I want to be a successful author”, and “when my book is a success”. What exactly do they mean by that?
Success is defined as ‘the favourable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours”, or, ‘the attainment of wealth, position, honours, or the like’ (www.dictionary.reference.com). I also looked up success in my thesaurus and it was listed with words like: accomplishment, fame, and advance; and further down the list, progress, attainment, and happiness.
Lots of words, all good in their own way, but it doesn’t answer the question. What does someone mean when they talk about success? Thinking about it; success can be defined only by the person attempting the task.
So how do I see success in relation to my writing? When will I be able to call myself a successful author?
As you will have noticed above, I set myself modest goals to begin with. Having reached those, I still didn’t consider myself successful as a writer. In the year that has passed since my first novel was released I have had plenty of time to think about what I want to achieve with my writing; how I define success for myself. My growing circle of fellow author friends and acquaintances all strive for their own success, whether it be gaining an agent, signing with a ‘big 5’ publishing company, signing with any publishing company, making sales in the thousands, or simply living the dream.
I think that is one of the key words for me - dream. The other one was listed by the thesaurus - happiness.
I’ve always wanted to publish a book. It’s been on my bucket list for a long, long, time. I have now published two books, and have another three completed manuscripts awaiting their turn. I write before work, after work, and on weekends. I love it! It brings me a joy I can’t describe.
Does that make me successful? I haven’t made loads of money and I don’t have agents or publishers lined up with contracts at the ready, but that’s not how I define success. I write, it makes me happy, and I have fulfilled my dream to be a published author.
So, do I consider myself successful?
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