Friday, August 11, 2006

What Makes a Writer Successful?

Success is defined in the dictionary as: (1) the accomplishment of an aim; a favorable outcome; (2) the attainment of wealth, fame, or position; (3) a thing or person that turns out well. What does it take to be a success as a writer?

Most unpublished writers thinks it's that first sell. But what if you never sell again? What if your book tanks? To some published it's probably making the bestseller lists. But what if you never make a list? Does that mean you haven't been a success?

Sitting down and writing makes you succesful. Just finishing a book makes you a success. So many people say I'm going to write a book some day, but they never even begin.

Here's a little something that puts it more eloquently than I could:

Where Success Goes

Success does not necessarily go to the person who has the most elaborate plan. Success goes to the person who takes a plan and puts it into action.

Success does not usually go to the person who can take a few noisy, impressive strides. Success goes more often to the person who steadily puts one foot in front of the other.

Success doesn't automatically go to the person who starts out with the most resources. Success goes to the person who makes the best use of whatever is available.

Success goes not to the person who makes the biggest promises. Success goes to the person who reliably follows through on promises.

Today is your opportunity to put your plans into action. Today is filled with moments in which you can put one foot in front of the other and move steadily forward.

Today you have the chance to follow through on the things you have promised, and to make the most of the good things that are available to you. Use today wisely, and success is yours.

-- Ralph Marston

What do you think makes a writer a success?


Kelley St. John said...

Success for a writer is putting words on the page. To paraphrase Nora, you can edit a crappy page; you can't edit a blank page.

The Ultimate Success for a writer is reading the words he/she has written and liking them ;)


MaryF said...

GREAT post, and just what I needed to hear.

Kathy said...

Thanks, Debbie. I just read Nora Robert's interview in the RWR last night and this post really brings everything she said home and then some.

I've often wondered what qualifies as success. I always thought validation for me as a writer would come from selling a book. But thanks to positive posts like this one, joining my local chapters and attending workshops and conferences, I'm beginning to realize success is not measured by world standards. Nor is it measured by a paycheck or world affirmation (though that's very nice). No, success is measured in the heart, in little steps taken to reach personal goals.