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Friday, November 16, 2007
2:00 AM | Posted by MsHellion | | Edit Post
Pirates define success as the amount of treasure they receive on a perfect haul. They seek the fastest ship, the swiftest sword, and of course, all the rum they can consume.
What do writers define as success?
Do you ever imagine your WIP on the shelves at Barnes and Noble? Do you envision the cover art, the color of the jacket, even the font for your name? Do you ever get an automatic high when you think about your first book signing?
Maybe you have envisioned your published work announced as Oprah Winfrey’s latest choice for her book club. Everyone knows that Oprah’s book club seal is a token promise of success.
Have you dreamed of being the guest writer on your favorite blog? Do you have an important message to convey in your story, and long for your voice to be heard? Would you like to be touted as the writer who achieved the perfect formula? Or, maybe you aspire to win a Rita, a Golden Quill, or NaNo *g*.
I think every writer at some point in time has these aspirations. For many writers all of these signify the culmination, or the defining moment of their success.
I have often thought about what I want out of my experience as a writer. What will actually define my success? My conclusion is far beyond people standing behind a velvet rope waiting for my signature. The most important thing is telling my story, and doing it well.
I have read thousands of books in my lifetime. I want to create in my writing what I love in my reading. I love the feeling of finishing a well-written book. I call it the awe moment. When I am a few pages from finishing the book and I want so much to read the last words, but I hesitate, because I never want it to end. Have you ever closed the cover of a book and become emotional from the beauty of the story?
I define success as the ability to write the awe factor.
I look forward to completing a story, not just any story, but my story. And when I finish I want to type the last words, roll my desk chair away from the computer, and know the sweet feeling of completion. I don’t care if it’s not the best story ever written, or even worthy of publishing. Finishing is my goal, and then the rewrites and quest for the awe factor will begin.
Maybe some would argue that I want to achieve the awe factor in order to have all the experiences I have mentioned. What they don’t understand is I view my reward as making a living doing something I love.
To me, book signings and cover art are icing on the cake, but the cake is the culmination, and what I crave the most.
Other than publishing, what defines your success as a writer?