Wednesday, September 1, 2021

#IWSG: Success! Success?

 It's time once again for the Insecure Writer's Support Group monthly post! 

 

The IWSG is a fantastic group of writers and bloggers who share posts the first Wednesday of each  month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass (me!), T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

Remember, the question is optional!

September 1 question - 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?
 
Before I get to the question, let me say that I'm excited to be a co-host again! I'm a little disoriented, because I've just gotten back from a month in the mountains, but I'm also excited that I managed to add about 20,000 words to my novel between hikes, and am closing in on the finish!
 
So what about it? How do I define success? I think that changes from day to day. On some days, success is simply sitting down and writing. More often, it's about the finished work, whether it's a short story accepted somewhere or opening the box with copies of my latest novel. Seeing a polished and completed work out there for others to read and enjoy feels like an accomplishment, at the least.
 
Was it Stephen King who defined a writer's success as paying the power bill? Someone did, anyway--and this month, thanks to lots of solar power and not being home to use much energy, I earned more than twice the cost of my power. Success!
 
Finally, though, I think the sweetest sign of success is a note from a reader who loved my book. There really isn't much that can top someone telling you they couldn't put it down.
 
How about you? What's your favorite sign of success?
 
 ©Rebecca M. Douglass, 2021
 As always, please ask permission to use any photos or text. Link-backs appreciated.

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69 comments:

  1. Hi Rebecca - I think you're right ... the best is having readers who appreciate my posts - granted I don't 'do books'! I really appreciate my commenters ... good to you with your books - cheers Hilary

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    1. I think whatever we do we want people to see and appreciate it!

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  2. Oh, yes, those are definitely signs of success - and that's maybe all that we need to keep us going :)

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  3. Congratulations on adding 20,000 words between hikes. That, for me is success. Thanks also for co-hosting the IWSG this month.

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    1. I couldn’t have done it if I hadn’t had momentum when I left home. I didn’t want to drop it for a month—it would have been too hard to pick up the threads!

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  4. That is success.
    Congratulations on writing so much.
    And thanks for co-hosting today.

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  5. All of the above, Rebecca! Hope I'm as successful during my upcoming trip. Thanks for, co-hosting this month.

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    1. Don’t beat yourself up when/if you aren’t. It really depended on the circumstances—we tended to have quiet afternoons in camp, which were perfect for writing.

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  6. Thanks for co-hosting with me this month. I think it's awesome that you wrote so much on your trip.

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  7. Thank you for co-hosting. Love this post!

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  8. Thanks for co-hosting! Success is such a personal and subjective thing, which is what makes it so wonderful!

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  9. I agree that having a reader contact you is a great sign of success. It makes all those long hours feel worth it.

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    1. Once I got recognized in the grocery store by a kid from a class I'd visited. He was shouting and yanking his mom's arm with excitement :D Now THAT was a thrill!

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  10. Congrats on 20k words!! And nearing the finish line is always a great feeling.

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  11. Hi Rebecca! Thanks for co-hosting this month. Lucky you for spending a month in the mountains hiking. Lucky, lucky you! I hope it was dry. I'm getting tired of this rain. And bravo for moving forward in your work-in-progress. Seriously--way to go!

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    1. Out here in the west, we hope for rain. But we had good weather and minimal issues with smoke--and finished just in time, as they have now closed the National Forests!

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  12. Great to have you co-host today, Rebecca. And I enjoyed reading your definition of success. Loved that you got in some hiking and a lot of writing.

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    1. My thoughts on success--in writing or life--have had to undergo some adjustments over the years.

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  13. 20k words while hiking? Cool! I want to try it.
    "Success is paying the power bill." Touché, Stephen. Thank you for co-hosting this month!

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    1. Well, 20K on the days when we were back at the cars by early-mid afternoon :) While backpacking, I managed about 600 words of a short story and my journal (mostly a log of what we were doing).

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  14. Thanks for co-hosting today, Rebecca! Hiking and 20,000 words ~ well done, my friend!

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    1. 220 miles, 22,000', and 20,000 words. I call that a successful August!

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  15. I love the idea about making enough to pay the energy bill. That's a wonderful goal!

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    1. Yes! Though good thing my house came with solar panels--lowers the bar considerably!

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  16. Love that! I'm not at power bill levels yet, but some months, I've been very close!
    Here's to words and bill payments!

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  17. Hey, congrats on the power bill! Keep it up and maybe you'll pay the bill for a REGULAR month! ;-)

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    1. Yeah! Actually, my power bills are pretty low all the time, thanks to the solar panels. I bet I gross almost that much most years, averaged out. Net is another story :p

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  18. It is nice to be able to have solar power. Helps with writing, internet, and its affordable. Extra bonus, proceeds from writing keeps it all going. Success on multi fronts. Congrats for hiking and closing in on your finish. I'm thinking energy from walking in the mountains helped with creative flow. Thank you for co-hosting this month.
    Lynn La Vita @ http://la-vita-dot-us/write/

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  19. Those are some fabulous examples of success, especially that personal note of a happy reader. To me, that's quite ultimate too, but I forgot to mention it in my IWSG post. I had to snicker about being able to pay the power bill and I thought "Luckily, my power bill is zero!" (We have solar on our camper, never stay in pay campgrounds, and while visiting family and friends - in houses - we don't pay rent :-)). I'm still in depth when it comes to my first book.

    Great post! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. I do maintain a house even while traveling, so I get to pay the power bill. That’s easy. If I managed to pay the *water* bill, I’d get really excited.

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  20. Yes! Readers are our greatest source of encouragement. May you always receive love letters ;-)
    Thank you for co-hosting!

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  21. Congratulations on paying the electric and on getting so many words done. A month away sounds lovely.

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    1. Time away from home seems to be what I’m doing just now.

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  22. You're right: the definition of writing success is fluid. It evolves as we grow as writers and and change as people. But the readers' joy in our stories are the best, always.

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    1. yes, that one thing really does seem to remain constant.

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  23. A love note from a reader is one of the best things for an author...at least for this author. :)

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  24. Thank you for co-hosting this month! I think the greatest success would be hearing from a reader who loved your book. Hooray for you!

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    1. It’s inspiring, knowing someone loved it so much they sat up half the night reading!

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  25. Between record high temps and AC costs, I seriously doubt I'm going to pay the power bill with earnings from writing anytime soon.

    I do love it when someone tells me they enjoyed something I wrote. Although, I did once did get the comment on a horror story that it was well-written. When I said "I'm glad you enjoyed it," she replied, "I didn't say I enjoyed it." 🤣

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    1. That’s hilarious. I guess maybe horror really isn’t something we “enjoy”? I don’t know—I’m so chicken I don’t read horror :D

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  26. I love that quote about paying the power bill! That's a concrete goal I can shoot for--maybe next year? Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. Next goal will be the water bill, which is considerably higher!

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  27. Congrats on the word count. Wow. 2,000 words! Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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    1. Happy to host—it’s fun, though it totally distracted me from my day’s writing…

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  28. Ha! I'll be doing well if I can make enough to pay the monthly service charge on my business checking account. LOL Thanks for co-hosting.

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    1. I'm enjoying the co-hosting! It's good to have that extra nudge to visit more blogs.

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  29. A month in the mountains sounds amazing. Do you write on trail, or just in the breaks between? (I'm working out logistics) Happy IWSG Day.

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    1. I don't do much writing when backpacking. My journal, which records where we went and what we did, with occasional efforts to describe the scene or how I feel (something beyond "hiked 9 miles. My feet hurt!") is about the total of on-trail writing. I did manage maybe 600 words of a short story one long afternoon in camp.

      What we were doing was a lot of car-camping and day-hiking, with two short pack trips. After the day-hikes I'd get back to camp, clean up, and there'd be a couple of hours to dinner. That was my writing time.

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  30. Congratulations on a solar powered success! LOL I love that. And yes, a finished story feels like a definite success. Thanks for co-hosting this month.

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  31. At this point, I feel like anyone sticking with it, whatever they turn out, is successful. Congrats on the your utility bill success!

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  32. Hi
    Yes, sometimes just sitting in the chair and making yourself overcome your on lethargy to write words that you don't feel like writing is success. I know days like that too. I'm sorry I'm late but I was still working on my submission for the anthology.

    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat G @ EverythingMustChange

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  33. Ooh, a note from a reader would be a fantastic success. That's something I can look forward to.

    Thanks for co-hosting IWSG this month!

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  34. When someone comments on your book about how much they liked it that's definitely success! It shows that someone was touched by your work.

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  35. Great post! And thanks for co-hosting. My *favorite* sign of success is just sort of a quiet settled feeling in my brain that comes with getting it down in words. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

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  36. You are so right! The feeling of success comes in different ways in different seasons of the writing. But yes, I agree getting that hand-written note about how much someone loved the story is the pinnacle of success for me too. I must admit, the one hand-written note I have received in all these years is still pinned to my bulletin board. Thanks for co-hosting!!

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  37. Ha! My earnings wouldn't pay the power bill. But you're so right about success being just sitting down and writing. Even writing one good line is so satisfying!

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  38. It's always interesting to me how variable success can be. I definitely see those days when I'm able to sit down and write as a success!

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  39. Sorry for the late reply. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog.
    I agree that nothing beats hearing from a reader who likes your work.

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