I’ve been thinking about success and failure as a writer. Obviously penning a best seller is for many the ultimate mark of success. What is the opposite? What is complete failure? If you finish your book you have passed the point of complete failure. But what happens if you book just sits there, unread and unwanted. Well the Creative Pen has a great article on just that subject. https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2017/08/24/7-reasons-to-smile-not-a-bestseller/ To that I would add an even worse scenario, your book rockets to the top of the list for a few weeks and then nothing. Even worse your next book is a dud. Can you say one hit wonder? I don’t know if thinking of a writing career in terms of success or failure is healthy. There are so many little successes and smaller failures that they all kind of blur together. We can celebrate and wail for a bit with each of them as we move on to the next.
I caught this story on Forbes.com about author Mark Dawson, Amazon Pays $450,000 A Year To This Self-Published Writer.
I like reading about success stories. They offer encouragement and some insight to what is working. At the same time, I have to remind myself that what works for one author is not necessarily going to work for me. First off, unless I’m writing in the same genre it is like talking about apples to oranges. Some genres sell more than others and have a eager fan base. My second thought is, well really I don’t have one. I’ve read enough of these articles and looked at enough sales data to know that genre is the key for many of these Amazon “Platinum” club writers. In addition to having a number of titles for sale, but that is a topic for another post.
One thing that is hard to grasp is this idea of success. Sure making a boatload of cash tops many of our, “signs of success,” lists, but there is more to being a successful writer. The act of completing a novel is a success, in my opinion. Everything else will fall into place after that, even sales. The only problem with success is you have to repeat it. So rest in your glory for a little while because the following morning you’ll be back at the keyboard working on the next one. Then one day soon you’ll see your name in a Forbes article.
I think this post from Anne R. Allen’s blog is a great picker-upper for any writer wondering when the success will come. I know I had visions of being the next hot young twenty something best seller back in the good ole’ days.