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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Is Your Writing Career A Success?

Writers are extremely creative people and we write because we love the process. Creating books takes a lot of time and energy so if authors wanted a get rich quick scheme, they certainly wouldn't use this career to achieve that goal.

Many authors, even moderately successful ones, have another job to supplement their income and I think this is why so many writers feel a failure because they are unable to live off their writing alone.

But surely a successful writing career is more than making millions off one book alone? After all, money does not make one happy, it only guarantees a better class of misery.

However, every writer has to start somewhere and no one can say you won't achieve the fame and fortune of Stephen King some day.

So how do you know if your books are successful?

  • Are you only a success if all your books are Hollywood films?
  • Are you a success if every book you write turns into a film but the critics all hate it?
  • What about if you only sell one book per month but only receive 5 star ratings?
  • What if you sell a hundred copies per day but only receive low ratings?
  • Are you successful if your writing is technical genius but everyone hates it?
  • What if your writing is full of errors but everyone loves it?
There's no 'right' answer here. Everyone has their definition of success and what it means to them. My definition of success has been achieved because I have accomplished everything I have set out to do. I have written and published two books and I am currently writing my third. I have received both high and low ratings for these books but I still receive fan mail from people overseas and now I have a regular income from my writing.

So, are you a successful writer?


  1. As with beauty being in the eye of the beholder, success is in the mind of the writer. I do make an income from the freelance articles and devotions I write, but as you stated, it definitely is a waiting game. I recently was told that a pastor at a church in another state told his congregation that he used one of my devotions as the inspiration for his sermon that day. Sometimes I forget that people do actually read the words I write, so that bit of encouragement was 'success' for me.

  2. Hi Gloria,

    It's a wonderful feeling when people tell you stories like those. I remember when I first started writing I kept thinking no one will want to read what I have written, but now I know they do because of the fan mail I receive.

  3. LK, once your words are out there you are a success. If even one person gets enjoyment out of your books you are a success. You will have many successes I enjoy your page and often visit. It took me 60 years to publish one of my works, and although it will not make me rich my work will be out there forever. I continue to smile.

  4. Hi Patrica,

    Wow, that's quite an achievement! 60 years eh? Remarkable. Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you when you say that only one person has to like your work - you're a success then. Thanks for commenting.