Measuring Success

How do you measure success as a writer?

Novel Publicity posed this as one of its author Facebook page questions last week.  I’ve considered this question regularly, and need to come back to it when I get off track.  I SHOULD develop a writing mantra along the lines of “Success equals creating something meaningful.”  Okay, need to work on the mantra, but I think you get my point.

Forces must have realized I needed to think about it, as I came across Charlotte Carter’s blog entry, Win Vs. Compete.  Her final question:  “Where do you fit on the competitiveness scale?” I’m very proud of my military background and heritage.  However, spending 25-years in competitive organizations among extremely competitive people drove a competitive edge into me that I don’t think was there by nature.  And now, as a writer, it’s time to focus on what I want as part of the process and in the end, not what someone else has defined for me as success.

The forces hit me on the head to help me with answers to the success question in the past few weeks.  The first example came in the form of a fan letter from a 9-year-old boy whose name I have, but whom I don’t know personally.  His heartfelt sentiment and the thought that he may now be inspired to be a writer meant far more to me than my current number one ranking on Amazon in the Military Families books category.

Fan Letter for Believing In Horses

Fan Letter for Believing In Horses

To continue helping me define success, the troop leader of Girl Scout Troop 1017 in Calvert County, Md., provided me an opportunity to present Believing In Horses to 18 terrific young women who spent the past year volunteering at Freedom Hill Horse Rescue.  They earned their Bronze Medal in several categories.  Their inspiring leader gave them each a copy of the book, featuring the rescue and horses they helped save, in recognition of their dedication and hard work.  Seeing the girls’ faces, commitment, and enthusiasm reinforced my thinking.  The success is about them, not me.

Now that I’ve figured out my definition of writing success…I’ll be working on finding the exact right words for that mantra…odd, for a writer.  Suggestions and thoughts gladly welcomed!


  1. Thank you – I hope you have the same happiness.

  2. Maureen Sevilla Says:

    Success is having a reader write a love letter to you. How touching. Congratulations.

  3. Interesting post. It caught my eye because I’ve been pondering the issue myself. Congratulations of the publishing of your book and the wonderful response you are getting.

    I hope to stay in touch, but I’m not sure how that works on WordPress.