Wednesday, September 1, 2021

How Do I Know When I've Succeeded?

Welcome to the first Wednesday of the month. You know what that means! It's time to let our insecurities hang out. Yep, it's the Insecure Writer's Support Group blog hop. If you're a writer at any stage of career, I highly recommend this blog hop as a way to connect with other writers for support, sympathy, ideas, and networking.

If you're a reader, it's a great way to peek behind the curtain of a writing life.

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

September 1 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?

The awesome co-hosts for the August 4 posting of the IWSG are  Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie! Be sure to check out what they have to say, and visit other writers in the blog hop!

I've had some great successes in my writing life so far. There are plenty of moments in my career that feel like accomplishments and achievements. It's important to remind myself of that from time to time, because success is an ever-moving target and it's easy to feel like a failure and dismiss all the successes you've already had getting this far. 

image source

So, in the spirit of remembering my successes while I strive for new ones, here are some of my highlights (the brag book!)
So, by a lot of standards, I've already been pretty successful as a writer. But I'm an ambitious gal. I want more! 

I want to make my living (enough to pay the bills) from my writing. I want to see my work translated into other languages. I'd love to see my work picked up for television or movies (and to receive the paycheck that goes with that). I'd like to finish the book I'm working on now, and the several other projects languishing on my back burners, and do all those stories and characters justice. 

So, I think that's the trick with success. 

We're always succeeding, with each teeny tiny baby step we take toward meeting our goals. But we're also always failing, because if you accomplish a goal, you tend to set a new one, further out on the horizon and start striving all over again. 

image source

Just remember that there are MANY definitions of success, and you need to define it for yourself. Don't worry about what other people are doing--they're not you, and comparing yourself to other writers and their careers can be maddening. 

How do you define success for yourself? What do you do to remind yourself of all you've already accomplished? 


  1. Yes, success is a moving target. I tend to measure it by my own progress in writing and the joy I get from the process.

  2. That is an AWESOME brag book! I love that you added finishing your first book to the list because that is a HUGE achievement.

    1. Thanks so much! In a lot of ways, I think that's the most important one. It led to everything else.

  3. Congrats. You have the world in the palm of your hand. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  4. Achieving success is an ongoing journey in that once we get to one level of success there's always another to be made. And there should be. It would be boring to stop at one ultimate success for the rest of your life.

  5. That Winston Churchill quote is wonderful, Samantha! And I love your list of achievements, especially that you have written every day for eight years. That is a huge success!

  6. I want to say that I enjoy reading all your accomplishments and successes. I will try to be like you, writing every day, because sometimes you can forget about it. I love the hyperlinks that you added and enjoyed reading through them.

  7. Congrats on all your success! I agree that it's important to remember the things that have worked, because as writers, we tend to focus on the failures.

    I'm similar to you. For me, success is being able to do this for a living without having to teach or edit or do something else on the side. I'd be happy with that. Throw in an ocean view, and what more could I ask for?

  8. You've certainly nailed the idea of success, Samantha! Great post. And great answer to this month's question.