August 21, 2020– Quick, what would make your writing life ideal? Hold on a second, let me clarify that question. What accomplishments would make you feel like “you made it” as a writer? The answer is different for everyone. When I polled 100 writers last year at a festival and asked what would make them feel like they’ve made it as an author, here’s what they said:
- A traditional publishing deal.
- Being on the New York Times Best Sellers List.
- Seeing their book in a book store.
- Seeing someone in public reading their book.
- Signing their books at an event/book tour.
- Having their book turned into a movie.
- Being interviewed on TV about their book.
- Seeing a celebrity with their book.
- Quitting their day job to write full-time.
- Having their book translated and sold in different countries.
These were the top ten answers, but what do they all have in common? That every single thing on the list would evoke a feeling of excitement and pride. This list can be broken down to one thing-how these events would make us feel. It all comes down to feeling good about our work, and I’m here to tell you that you don’t need ANY of the things on the list as accomplishments to feel good about your writing. I’m also here to tell you that if you feel good about your writing and your work, that you’ve already made it as an author. No outside factor should be able to define you as an artist, you are not more or less, with or without any or all of the things on the list. Don’t focus on accomplishments, do it for the love of the work. Keep writing, the world needs your stories.