Maybe all you want is to finish a full length novel. Or you’re looking to brave the submissions market--a very scary thing to do. Perhaps you want to publish regularly and you just don’t care about the money. Then again, you could want the writing to be a full-time job that makes enough money to pay the mortgage. Do you want to win a specific award, get good reviews, make some important bestseller lists, simply get better as a writer with every book? What defines success for you?
A further complication is that success at one stage of your career will be viewed differently than it will during a different stage. How you define “success” changes over time. And that’s not a bad thing. We should always be changing and growing and developing through our careers.
Maybe the best way to think about “success” is in terms of very specific goals. You set a goal to submit to two new publishers this month, to learn something new about the craft, to publish one more book next year, to take a marketing class to help expand your brand... Whatever the next step is in your ever-evolving career, make that a goal. When you reach your goal, you’re a success! And then you move on to the next goal.
If you consider your career this way, then you’ve been a success from the very first moment you put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, and started that very first story. Because just sitting down to write is more than so many people ever manage to do.
So, if you’ve finished a story, if you’ve risked submissions, if you’ve managed to get a book published or taken a chance on self-publishing, if you’ve worked at your craft, if you’ve kept publishing consistently over the years, if you’ve received one good review, if you’ve met your developing goals, one after the other, you are a success.
And that’s the answer to the question when someone asks. You say, “Yes, yes I am a success.” Happy writing everyone!♥
Isabo Kelly is a mutli-award winning author of science fiction, fantasy and paranormal romances. Her newest release is the upcoming fantasy romance, THE DARKNESS OF GLENGOWYN, book 2 in the Fire and Tears series, due out April 29, 2014 from Samhain Publishing. You can find Isabo on her website: www.isabokelly. com, Twitter @IsaboKelly and Facebook at www.facebook.com/IsaboKelly.