Everyone defines success a little differently. Some define it as owning a giant house. Others define it as reaching a goal. In the writing community there are countless ways to measure success—completing a first draft, landing an agent, winning a writing competition, receiving that first royalty check, writing a hilarious tweet that gets retweeted several times, etc. So what does it mean to be a successful writer?
Personally I think writers struggle to define success because there’s always another hill to climb. It’s a “perk” of being a writer. Published your first book? You feel successful until no one bites on your second book. Had a column in a magazine? You’re riding the high life until you’re asked to write your farewell piece. But it’s this lack of a clear definition of success that keeps us motivated and thirsty and driven to accomplish more.
The first time I ever experienced a taste of success was not after I started writing my Questions & Quandaries column in Writer’s Digest, but when I received my first piece of fan mail. The note was kind and generous with compliments, but it was also the first time I ever felt appreciated for something I wrote (other than that time in sixth grade where I wrote that Mother’s Day poem my Mom loved). That was a great feeling and one that gave me a sense of success.
So here’s my Q to you: Will you ever consider yourself successful as a writer? If so, when? If you had to pick a moment thus far in your writing career that you felt was your most successful moment, what would it be?
Post your answer below. In fact, if I get more than 50 responses I’ll pick my favorite one and give that writer an opportunity to write a guest post for this blog about finding writing success. Help me get over that 50 mark by tweeting this or posting it to Facebook:
What Defines Writing Success? (& A Chance to Get Published With @WritersDigest) – http://bit.ly/QAAw8L
UPDATE: We’ve passed the 50 mark (and then some!) so I’m setting a date of October 22 for anyone who wants to to enter. After that deadline has passed, I’ll pick a winner and announce it here on the blog.