How do you define success?
Over the years I have tried to think about and explain why I do what I do in an attempt to deal with my career and book sales—sometimes disappointing, sometimes miraculously good.
As I think back to 2016 and look ahead to 2017, I feel the need to reconsider, to re-evaluate, how I define success.
There are so many books and blogs and seminars (costing hundreds and hundreds of dollars) to tell you how to sell more books, get a bigger mailing list, create more effective Facebook ads, earn more money with your writing… the list goes on. It was “the thing” in 2016 to create and sell “how to be a more successful author”.
Yes, I have to admit, I succumbed to some of this hype. I listened in on the free webinars offered, I watched the videos, read blog posts about the books, and you know what I came away with—I don’t need to be a successful author selling thousands of books a month.
I just don’t need that. It’s not me.
Yes, I would like to sell more than the hundred or so books I sell every month, but not because I want to or need to earn more money (I am extremely lucky to have a husband who earns enough for us), but because that would mean more people are reading my books. That is my goal.
I want more people to read my books.
Success for me is having engaged readers, the more the merrier (sorry, pun intended). Why? Because I want to have an impact on my readers’ lives—even if it’s just for a few moments or the few hours that it takes to read one of my books.
I want to make someone happy. I want to relieve their stress. I want them to think about something other than their regular life for a short time, to get lost in another world. I want to make them think, as well.
Yes, this may be a lot to ask—especially that thinking part, but that’s what I want.
This is why I write—to bring joy and relieve stress. Is that too much to ask? I hope not because that is why I write.
Earning money with my writing is a validation. It means that I haven’t completely wasted those hours I spent writing, but it isn’t my destination, it isn’t why I write.
Have you thought about why you write? Is it because you need to earn money? Or do you write for another reason? Does it make you happy? Does it give you something meaningful to do? Does it provide an outlet in your life, just as reading does?
I’d be honored if you shared why you write.