This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s 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?
All of those reasons were once mine, but after 25 years of writing, none are. If money was the measure of success, I’d move on to gardening, or cooking. Holding it in my hand does little for me. It’s that thing about the tree and the forest–
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it make a sound?
I’ll rephrase that for writers:
If I publish a book and only my mother reads it, am I really a writer?
Hope? That one of my books will break through and end me up on [pick your favorite news channel, writer’s website, or magazine]. Maybe, but not enough to offset the hours (and months) of labor.
A participation trophy isn’t good enough
The 25,000th most popular book on Amazon–I need more.
If I’m being honest, my best answer is that writing keeps me from getting bored. What would I do if I didn’t write? How about you?
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.