How do we measure success as authors, bloggers, or as whatever mode of expression we chose to deploy? How do we measure success in anything, and who has the authority to set the standard or the rules?
In some fields, such as academia, finance, and science, success can be measured by reference to laid down standards, critical standards through which such fields of enterprise can be verified and controlled.
Yet what of the disciplines where the measurement of success or failure is almost impossible, the areas where personal taste and intuitive judgment is far more powerful than any book of rules. We, as writers, like any artist seek perfection yet if we are honest we seek an impossible dream. No manuscript is ever truly finished and the closer we get to publication, the greater the self-doubt that haunts our dreams. Unlike science or academia, we have no standards or benchmarks to refer to, and no textbooks to help us on our way, but despite such problems we do have one thing that no-one can take away from us; and that is our minds
Yes, our minds. Ephemeral and at times utterly uncontrollable and incomprehensible they urge us on to put pen to paper. They drive us mad with frustration as we fill up the waste paper basket or the computer trash bin, and they mock us for our blindness as we vainly seek that one all important word, but they also smile upon us as our words begin to flow.
So we write, rewrite, swear at the screen, get sworn at by our partners, and make ourselves another coffee, until we finally satisfy ourselves that our goal has been achieved
Yet does this mean that we are succesful writers?
In purely financial terms there is no success until profitable publication, and if you are a professional or a career writer then yes, success means money, and that means deadlines and writing for a definable return, but if only a small percentage of us writers or would be writers reach such wonderous heights of success and stardom, does this mean the rest of us have failed?
The book industry, critics, publishers, money men, and some career authors would probably say we have failed, but what if they are wrong. Profit is profit, and, when running a business, such returns are critical, but does such profitability tell the whole story, what of other factors that might come into play?
Well, how about self expression, a vehicle for self discovery, or a remedial process through which issues can be worked through or aired?
We all have different reasons for writing, wether it be a novel, a blog, or a social media message to show that we are still alive or well, but whatever the reason one rule hold true.
If you write you are a writer, and by doing so you are a successful writer
Ok that is is just my own opinion, and I’m sure many reading these words will disagree with such a simplistic statement, but might such simplicity be a blessing in disguise? So, if your words are your own and are wqritten with saincerity , why not forget fame and fortune, and why notignore all the doubters around you?
So what that you may not become a best-selling novelist, so what you probably won’t win a booker prize, that is just the cream on top of the coffee. By putting pen to paper, or by typing your words and thoughts onto a screen, you are writer, a succesful writer, so hold your head up high and carry on writing.
Do I have any evidence or facts to back up my assertions, yes, and that is personal experience. I began to write short stories many years ago to exorcise or at least come to terms with certain inner demons. I carried on writing, but kept it all private as my confidence was nonexistent. Then I went to a writers group, and finally, after many years on umming and awing, I girded my loins so as to find myself where I am now, a fully fledged self published author. When did my success start, when I held my book in my hand?. No, I became a succesful writer when I penned my first story for that is when I released my thoughts from my mind and put them down on paper
Quite simply, in that moment, I became a writer, and thereby a succesful writer, Sure it is a great feeling to be in print, and a wonderful feeling to see my partner so happy as she stands by my side, but the really important breakthrough came with that first story.
So my message to all all who say, I can’t write, or I have great idea but no-one would want to read my words is very simple. Go for it and keep on writing, or follow anything that interests you. You have a mind, and thereby self expression, nothing and no-one can change that, so go forth and let the world know that you are alive
I hope you enjoy the videos below