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What does it mean to be successful in writing?

Despite all of my procrastination, I've dreamed most of my life of being a full-time writer. That is, I would love to be able to support myself and my family completely through my writing. I realize that’s a big dream, and it’s one that most writers never achieve. While I am beginning to take that dream seriously and work towards it, I also don’t want to consider myself a failure if I can’t completely achieve it.

So what does it mean to be successful in your writing? There are several answers to this question. It really depends on what you as a writer want out of it. My ultimate definition of writing success, as indicated above, would be to make enough money from my writing that I wouldn't have to have a “day job.” Failing that, it’d be nice to make enough money to supplement a job that’s less demanding than my current day job, which would be pretty satisfying too.

Ultimately, money probably shouldn't be the main indicator of writing success. Most writers are
never able to make enough money to live off of with just their writing. Thus, a lot of quality work would not get produced because people would give up on themselves once it becomes apparent they’re not going to make enough money from their work.

Other definitions of success may include just getting your work out there and building up a small but vocal fan base. For some, success may mean reaping the therapeutic benefits that so often come with writing. Others may find it enough to just entertain themselves and a handful of others with their work.

Money isn't the be-all and end-all of writing, or indeed, of any career. Loving what you do, whether it’s writing or anything else, is what life’s all about.

What's your definition of writing success?

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