Success is in the eye of the beholder…

How do you measure your success?

This question has been popping up all over for me lately and I can’t seem to shake it. So I’ve decided to take a deeper look at it, rather than pretending it isn’t there. Here are some ‘success status’ questions:

Do you consider yourself successful if you make a large annual salary? Is having a stable, happy family your measuring cup of success? Is garnering a large cash advance your tool of a successful writing career? Maybe raising your son or daughter and sending them to college is your greatest idea of what success is.

Photo by Anthropologie.com

Success for so many people can be so many different things. Kind of like the book publishing industry. A prime example of differing opinions and how each person’s tastes are unique, are all the literary agents out there. They are all looking for something they can fall in love with and fight for till the end. My quirky mystery might not be your bloodsucking vampire cup of tea and vice versa. It’s different for everyone and that’s okay.

Therefore measuring success in rigid terms becomes difficult and comparisons should be avoided.

If you haven’t sold your book yet, or if you haven’t landed your agent partner in crime as of today… Fear not. This is NOT a measure of your success as a writer. You’ve completed a manuscript. That’s a success! You’ve written a perfect query letter, that too is a massive success! You’ve spent hours upon hours researching agents that might make wonderful business partners, that too is no easy task and therefore another success!

Just because your book hasn’t been turned into a blockbuster movie, or you received another form letter rejection… It has nothing to do with your success as a writer. Start looking at all of the small steps you took that brought you to this door today.

You’ve already had many little successes the entire way, you just didn’t notice them.

Congratulate yourself on completing your novel. Keep looking for the silver lining in those clouds and I guarantee you’ll continue to find it. Success comes in all shapes and sizes just like people. Each marching to the beat of it’s own drum. Start tallying the small hurdles you’ve jumped and I bet you’ll start feeling the glow of success, whatever that may be for you.

“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.” –Maya Angelou

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