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  • Writer's pictureIan Patrick

What does success look like to a writer?

What is success? It’s a question everyone asks themselves at some point in their life. I know I have. I had a great policing career but I never thought about whether it was successful or not or how I would measure that. Management liked to think they could define what a successful police officer looked like but when it boiled down to what they’d measure it was obvious it wouldn’t work.

I’ve now embarked on another journey with my writing but should I see it as a career, vocation, or an art to be measured statistically? Does it matter?

Success is subjective; but what it means to the person is something every writer should decide on early on in the journey to avoid disappointment. We’re not all going to get the traditional deals, the high advance, or the best seller flags but that shouldn’t, and mustn’t, undervalue the work we do.

There are readers for everyone and the art is discovering who they are and getting the story to them. Once you are with the right group word will spread to like-minded individuals who will enjoy your work too.

I fluctuate between my meaning of success but when I get a message from someone who’s just finished the book and loved it, or read a review that says the same, or promotes an aspect of the story they enjoyed without giving away the plot that gives me a huge boost.

I get more of a buzz out of that than anything else and these messages fire me up to do better the next time. I go back to them at times of doubt and read them again.

So if you’re a writer who’s just starting out then have faith and confidence in the process and define your own success and what that means to you.

Joanna Penn explores this in greater detail in one of her books and you’d do well to visit her page as it’s packed with great information.

Thanks to everyone who has read and reviewed my work or sent me messages of support. Without you my efforts wouldn’t be worthwhile. IP

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