Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Just the Question (#IWSG September 2021)

How do you define success as a writer? Is it holding your book in your hand? Having a short story published? Making a certain amount of income from your writing?

The answer to this question evolves as you grow and change as a writer. My first goal was to finish writing a book. Next was holding a book in my hand. Getting a short story published was also a goal.

Currently, my next level of success will be:
1. Making enough money off each book to pay for the next one (editing, design, marketing, etc)
2. Finishing a trilogy

The first one I kinda completed. I did make enough money from the last book to pay for the next one; life just got in the way so the money's no longer there. And I'm well on the way for goal number 2; I'll be quite happy when I complete that one.

Ultimately, though, my true markers of real success are the following. I think I've shared these before, because I've held onto these goals for a long time. Once I hit these, I will know I have made it:

1. Seeing someone read my book on the bus or subway. At which point I will lean over and whisper, "Not very good, is it?"
2. Finding my book in the discount overstock bin for $0.99 at Chapters/Indigo.
3. Having my book turned into a shitty, low-budget Canadian indy film, a la "Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter."


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Writers post their thoughts on their blogs, talking about their doubts and the fears they have conquered. It's a chance for writers to commiserate and offer a word of encouragement to each other. Check out the group at


  1. Glad you're achieving some of your next-level goals. Good luck making your bigger markers of success.

  2. Not sure I really want to see my books as movies on the SyFy Channel...
    Funny what you'd say to someone reading your book.

  3. I like your goals. I, too, want to see someone random reading one of my books. And maybe we have--with all the ebooks, who knows what people are reading?

  4. You have the BEST goals ever! I need to revise mine to include "see someone reading my book at the space hotel" when I book my trip.

  5. Great goals, CD! I would be happy to achieve any one of these. You have an ability to make people laugh. I think that's a great measure of success in writing!

  6. Crossing my fingers that your books get made into low-budget indie films. Sign me up for tickets!

  7. I honestly love your goals and how you marked down that an author's success is defined by how far along their journey is. I want to say congratulations on making your way for writing your trilogy. You cracked me up for seeing someone read your book and rib on them for thinking it is bad. I wonder if they would ask for your name at that point and realize who you truly are.

  8. “At which point I will lean over and whisper, ‘Not very good, is it?’” That made me chuckle.

  9. Those are some good goals for defining long-term success. I would have to agree, they are a surefire way to tell that you've made it. But the more immediate goals are good measures too.


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