Writing sometimes feels like torture, very much like Sisyphus and his boulder. Plus it is often a self-motivated activity. Even if you are in the business of writing, if you are self-employed you are the one who has to get out there and wrangle the next job. If you are writing a novel or book of any kind, there are many moments when you’ve got to ask the question, “Why am I doing this to myself?”
There are lots of valid answers to the question of “Why write?”
There are many definitions to the word “success” and what success looks like to one person is not the same for another.
Last year I interviewed (I use the term loosely) a friend for the novel I was working on. See? Even a phone call to an old friend can count as research for a novel — all business! When I told him I was trying to get my novel published, this wise friend asked a good question. He asked what success would look like to me. He said that if success was only defined as being published, would I feel I had failed if that didn’t happen?
It took me a minute to wrap my brain around the thought that someone wouldn’t immediately snatch up my fantastic story.
Once the thought landed and I considered it over the next months, I realized that just finishing the novel was a success in my life.
Taking up deliberate, consistent writing again after a looooong hiatus had been a success.
The discipline of engaging creative side of my brain felt like a success.
Had my sole motivation been a contract with a Big Six publisher, I would probably never achieve success, since the chances of that happening with my first novel were/are astronomically low. But when you redefine the term and what constitutes “success” then you’ve got yourself a ballgame.
Writing Tip #3: Success does not have to mean “getting published.” Define success for yourself.
What does successful writing look like to you? If you release yourself from the use of “I saw my book in a store” as the only measure, what other benchmarks constitute success for you?
success may just be telling someone that you’re actually working on a writing project, and inviting that person to know about something that may be intensely personal for you. It may be taking that risk and sending a query letter. Let your little light shine and don’t let frustration at being published (or not) foof it out.