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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Defining Success - IWSG September 2021


It's IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous  Alex Cavanaugh. To find links to other IWSG contributors, click here. Thank you to co-hosts for the September’s IWSG: Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie.

September question - How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

Last week I wrote a personal essay. I’ve sent it out and, if it gets published, I’ll call that success. If I evvvvver get one of my books published, that will be a whopping success. But there’s more to writing then achieving publication. I started this blog, as a means to claw myself out of the unexpected hole into which life had dropped me. At the time, my goal was to improve my writing skills while figuring out how to re-engineer my career. A reread of some of my early blog posts bears witness to my progress. These days I’m a far better writer, and, as it happens, the exercise led me to the position I hold now. So, success, right?

For me success is about degrees—hammering out novel revisions suggested by my writing group even though it feels like an impossible task. Sometimes it’s as simple as forcing myself to send a query letter. A long time ago, I stopped working on my first-ever novel because the draft was so awful, I couldn’t figure out how to fix it. Over the past year, I’ve gone back to that attempt and turned it into a cohesive story. To me, that’s a huge win. All of this gives me confidence. I am successful.

That said, sometimes success is as simple as getting an IWSG post written on a day I’m struggling, which I confess is what’s happening today.

 How do you define success as a writer?