Thursday, April 2, 2015

How Do We Measure Success

I thought today that I would look at the concept of "success". Last week, we just had announced the finalists for the RITA and the GOLDEN HEART awards with the Romance Writers of America. Following that week, there were probably a lot of authors who were not feeling very successful. In fact, this is a pretty common thing that happens. We have lists such as the New York Times and the USA Today Best Selling lists. ESPN just released their list of the top athletes over a time period. In each case, there will be winners and there will be those who now feel they are not successful.

But here is the thing. We have to consider what success really is. Once again, I returned to the good old "online dictionary"

  1. the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.
    "the president had some success in restoring confidence"
    synonyms:favorable outcome, successfulness, successful result, triumph;
    Hollywood ending
    "the success of the scheme"
    • the attainment of popularity or profit.
      "the success of his play"
      synonyms:prosperity, affluence, wealth, riches, opulence
      "the trappings of success"
    • a person or thing that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity.
      "I must make a success of my business"
      synonyms:triumph, bestseller, blockbuster, sellout; 
      informal(smash) hit, megahit,winner

As you can see, success is not necessarily measured against other people. Look at the first definition in particular. "The accomplishment of an aim or purpose." I would have to say, for a first time author, if the aim or purpose was to get that first book written, and he or she gets to "THE END" this person was a success. If your goal or aim was to submit books and make the effort to get published, and there are query letters going out. You are a success.

For authors who want to make money in this business, if you are getting those books out there and the income is flowing, you are a success. You will notice this says nothing of a 6-figure deal. This says nothing of a TV or movie series.

We have to understand that success has too many variables to consider. In fact, the nature of this business says that, because of the genre some of us write, or the path we have decided to take, we might never see that Best Seller List. We might never see that 6-Figure deal. But, we can be "a person...that achieves desired aims or attains prosperity."

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