April 8, 2011

What is Writing Success?

What is success? Is it money? Fame? Influence? Happiness?

What is success in a writer’s life? Is it publication? Awards? A huge platform? Prolific writing?

Whether we’re talking about success in writing or success in life, we need to bear in mind that the world’s version is usually the opposite of God’s version. Isn’t that true with most things?

It’s so easy to look around and suppose that because we don’t have an agent or a published book or a popular blog we aren’t successful. But when we really get to the core issue isn’t success about being satisfied? We can have all the accomplishments and accolades the world has to offer, but if we aren’t content inside are we truly successful?

Next time you feel less than successful, ask yourself these questions:
Do I enjoy writing?
Have I obeyed God in my writing?
Do I consistently write to the best of my ability?
Am I writing from my heart?
Is my life worth living even though I haven’t reached my writing goals?

If you can say yes to all or even some of these questions then you are successful.

Success isn’t found in keeping score. Success is the satisfaction that one feels on the inside.



Angel said...

These are questions I've been asking myself lately and your post is such an encouragement. Thank you!

Linda said...

You always dispense such wisdom. It seems simple enough, but there is such great depth here.
Thank you Bonita.

Anonymous said...

This actually reminds me of a fiction workshop class I'm taking this semester. It's a pretty easy class: we have one short story to write that we've been able to work on all semester, and our other grades come from turning in critiques on each other's stories.

I'd been working on this one story all semester, and our last class meeting, I just couldn't allow myself to post that story to our discussion board for critique this Tuesday coming. I would feel horrible and like a complete failure if I did. The story is awful, and I only enjoyed writing it for the first couple of pages. Then I realized it wasn't working, and I tried to make it work, but that wasn't working, either.

Finally, something clicked with an idea for the story I'd actually wanted to write at the beginning of the semester, but didn't know how to pursue. I knew I'd be an idiot to pass the opportunity up to finally write it and work it out, so last Thursday, less than a week before my critique day, I started writing it, and it just came out of my brain so naturally.

I'm really happy with my story now, and I feel like my classmates are going to like it so much better than the first one I'd been working on. I really feel like this story is coming from an intimate place inside of me, whereas the other one was something I was trying to make happen. I don't have to make this story I'm writing now happen, because it's just happening on its own. I mean, I know how I want it to end and everything. It just worked out so perfectly. I even wrote a blog post about it today.

I'm hoping that when I'm finished with the final draft, I can start submitting it to literary journals. That would be so amazing if I could get it published, but just the fact that I started writing and working out the story I'd wanted to write all along makes me feel like both my story and I are a huge success, whether it gets published or not.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I linked this post to a post I have scheduled for Monday. :)

Rambling Heather said...

I agree with Linda, "You always dispense such wisdom."

Bethany from Confessions of an Organized Homeschool Mom said...

Gulp! Good reminders (as I pursue an agent!!!).

Julie Gillies said...

What an encouraging post, Bonita! I couldn't agree more. We are only responsible to God and ourselves. If He is pleased and we've done our best, then we should have peace.

Melissa_Rae said...

Well...you are successful...because your posts always do exactly what you set out to do: encourage writers. Yet another post I need to print out and keep taped to my computer screen. Thank you for this. :)

Flamingo said...

i love these questions!i think i could apply them in a myriad of ways even beyond writing. thanks!