Defining Success as an Author

Success is one of those words that can be packaged with a lot of triggers. In today’s world, many of us equate success with money and fame. And if our endeavor isn’t bringing in money and fans—immediately!—then it’s easy to judge it as a failure.

And I hate that!

Many of us write because we love to write. It’s a passion. And as soon as you place financial-earning expectations on your passions, something changes. This is not to say that you can’t earn moolah for your writing, because you absolutely can (and I hope you do). But what if making money off your books isn’t your first priority? At least when they’re in their fledgling states.

Instead, how can you reframe what success looks like for your writing? How can you make success an incremental movement that builds on itself and gives you confidence along the way? What if success looked like:

  • Finishing a piece.
  • Submitting a short story or personal essay to a magazine.
  • Getting to the next stage of the publishing process.
  • Sharing at an open mic night.
  • Sticking with a writing session even though it was hard to get started.
  • Providing enjoyment to, or teaching something to, your readers.
  • Getting reader feedback that lights you up because you hit the mark.
  • Giving a gift of your writing to a special friend or family member.
  • Leaving a legacy.

Don’t forget to celebrate each success, big and small, to build momentum. Make the journey as enjoyable as the outcome.