Sunday, September 08, 2019

What Is Writing Success?

By Terry Whalin @terrywhalin

Success is a pursuit for many writers, authors and publishing professionals. If we are honest, each of us will define success in different terms. In this article, I want to give you some ideas which hopefully will encourage you to keep going with your writing.

Occasionally book authors will ask me about success or becoming a bestseller. When asked, I attempt to give them my best answer—and basically it will boil down to that author's marketing activity and drive to sell books. There is no single path for each author. If there were such a path, then every book would be a bestseller and we know that isn't the case.

For me, I write about topics and people which interest me. Thankfully I have a broad spectrum of interest so there is never a lack of possibilities for my writing. I learn a great deal with each article or book or writing project. Each one has built a great deal into my life and the richness of that experience. I hope writing brings that sort of experience in your own life.

I've been promoting my book about Billy Graham every day for over four years. I post different messages and links and images but have been doing this process over and over every day. Last week one of my long-term friends added a message to one of my Facebook entries about Billy Graham saying, “Wow I didn't know you wrote that book.” She purchased the book and is reading it and has told me she is going to write a review of it when finished. I'm grateful this friend discovered my book and is reading it. This one exchange is success for me and one of the reasons I wrote that book.

As authors (from my experience), we don't get lots of feedback from readers of our work. Yes you may see an occasional review or get an email or comment. For every review or comment, I expect there are many more readers who never reach out to the author.

It's the same with these articles in my blog. The people who comment are rare (outside of the spammers which I delete). Yet each week for years I continue to write and post a new entry in The Writing Life. I see these lists of the top writing blogs—and mine is not on it. These lists come from well-known and respected writing magazines. Yes I have an email subscriber list of about 500 which goes up and down but stays around that same number.

Last week I got an email about this list of ranked writing blogs. To my surprise, The Writing Life blog was the fourth rank of 100 blogs. Notice this ranking includes several criteria for the ranking—including followers. It was encouraging to see my followers and be listed on this ranking.

My encouragement to you:

1. Follow your own path with your writing and persist to reach the right publisher and right readers.

2. Understand that success varies for each piece of writing and some writing will reach people you have no idea that it reaches.

3. Continue to move forward in spite of rejection, doubts, fears and other emotions. The journey is a key portion of the reward.

Success is different for each of us and I hope in this article, I've given you some insights and motivation to persevere and move ahead with your writing. Enjoy the journey.

What is your definition of Writing Success? Let me know in the comments below.


What is Writing Success? Get some ideas from this prolific writer and editor. (ClickToTweet)

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2 Comment:

At 4:32 AM, Blogger J.D. Wininger Left a note...

Mr. Terry, I share your posts often, but very seldom leave a comment. It's not because I don't have one, it's because I tend to focus on my readers and followers more than I do my mentors. I pray that you will one day read one of my articles or books and offer your sage wisdom and advice. Until that time, know that you are appreciated and prayed for as one of the mentors God has placed in my life; allowing me to grow in the craft to which I've been called. God's blessings sir.

At 11:45 AM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...


Thank you for the gracious feedback. I appreciate your words and that yu share my work. God's blessings on you and your writing.



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