Thursday, July 06, 2006
How Do We Measure Success?
How do we measure success in our writing?
Obviously, publication is a goal and a strong motivator, or we wouldn't drive ourselves nuts attending conferences, making connections, editing the heck out of our material, networking, joining critique groups, mourning each edited word, consuming massive amounts of chocolate, and buying up Sally Stuart's Christian Writers Market Guide like its going out of style!
But are we failures if we never get published?
Are we successful because our book is sitting on a shelf in a store, or because we've shared it with our family and friends and received compliment after praise after compliment? Are we successful because we got to have our first book signing, or because our printed out, home-made, tie-wrap bound copy of our manuscript got passed around the church and thoroughly enjoyed by all? Are we successful because we got top reviews on Amazon, or because we accomplished something important to us, and pressed on against all odds?
I don't want to look up one day and wonder what this was all about. I don't want to hear the wonderful words of "yes, we want to publish this" and think "I've arrived!" only to wonder later "what if this isn't success? what if success is being multi published? what if success is having endorsements by all the big name authors? what if success is being on the best sellers list? what if -"
If we live our lives by "what-if's" it will pass us by.
Therefore,I am officially labeling myself right now, today, as successful. I am a writer. I am actively pursuing a God-given dream and goal in my life, with my entire heart and being. If that's not success, then I don't want any part of it.