How does a writer measure success?
The easy answer is in number of books sold.
After all, that is what the publishers look for and what they return to for a second book or more.
What about those writer’s that aren’t yet published? Well, you have to take your successes in smaller doses. Tiny victories that allow us to feel some form of success and motivation to continue on. Here are a few:
Drafts and Chapters –
First of all, we set goals to finish a chapter or finish a draft (either writing or editing). If you reach your goal: Seems like success to me. Each chapter you compete, each draft that brings you closer to the end goal: Success.
Being Paid –
Obviously getting paid to write is one of the major goals. Perhaps, though, writing a novel is your goal but you can get paid to write an article or a short story: Success. Any time you can make money from writing your words down, that is a success.
Finishing a project and getting to write “The End” and meaning it is an exhilarating accomplishment. Those long days and hours and months and years have paid off with a complete and polished final draft: Success
Land an Agent/Publisher –
Submitting your work and having it accepted, either by an agent that wants to work with you, or a publisher that believes in your story: Success.
You just have to find what means success to you and shoot for those smaller goals. There are literally millions of them out there. Find what works for you and go get it. It’s all success if it makes you happy and is therefore something you enjoy doing.
Like this blog and social media for me. This will mark my 59th blog post. Not one follower, not 1 comment on anything I’ve written. Doesn’t matter. I have a blog and I update it and get to share and teach and coach. I don’t do it for the popularity, I’m not vein.
However, if one person reads my work on this blog, or on my FB page or on Twitter or Tumblr, or any social media outlet I use, and they get inspired to finish their work or start a new project: Success.
It doesn’t take much. Go find your successes and nail them. Smaller at the beginning and growing until one day you, too, have a sold book count on a best seller that you wrote. Go get some!