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#IWSG – How Do You Define Success

#IWSG How Do you Measure Success?

Hello Lovelies,

Welcome to another look into my life as a writer and the fun of #IWSG monthly prompts! This month we’re looking into what defines success as a writer.


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!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting
You ready?
Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!
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?
The awesome co-hosts for the September 1 posting of the IWSG are Rebecca Douglass, T. Powell Coltrin @Journaling Woman, Natalie Aguirre, Karen Lynn, and C. Lee McKenzie!


For those who don’t know, I’ve been writing for probably close to 30 years, publishing for nearly 15, and I have run the gamut of defining success. From setting a goal to write 50K words in a month. (I’ve “won” Nano about 9 times.) to writing The End to cap off a new story (over 17 times.) to holding my book in my hands, to being a guest speaker at conventions, to running a publishing house and helping others see their dream happen, and I’m getting pretty darned close to filling up a whole bookshelf row (my ultimate goal is to be able to write enough good content to fill up a whole bookshelf, but still working on that.)

But the best experience I have had of “success” is one that I cannot plan for or control and in some ways, that makes it so much sweeter.

That is the moment when a fan shares their passion for your work, completely unsolicited, often unexpectedly. This happens as social media posts, book reviews, at book signings, and sometimes randomly on the street.

The best example I can share is when I was at the second annual SLC Comic-Con and this young man came up to the booth asking for the 2nd book in The Hunters Saga. I let him know that it wasn’t out yet but that it would be out later that year and gave him a bookmark so he could find me online to purchase it when it came out.  He didn’t even realize I was the author but he asked if I’d read the book and went on to tell me how it had completely changed his life. He felt so alone in the world until I’d written a character whom he could completely relate to with Chris.

That was when I realized that representation matters so much. Sharing stories of people with different motivations, different drives, different hopes and dreams, different experiences, all of that is so important. Because we don’t get that so much in the mainstream media. I started my career off focused on writing strong women, women like me and my friends who didn’t fit the “traditional model”.

This is why I keep writing and exploring new and different characters and stories.

People are different. We need to accept and embrace those differences and see how those differences can create a brighter more vibrant world.

Giving that feeling of not being alone, of being seen and known and VALUED.

To be able to do that with “silly fun fiction stories that people don’t really NEED” (that quote is from a nonfan who didn’t understand why I was wasting my time writing when I could be doing really valuable work.

So glad I did not listen to that person’s opinion.

Until next time,

Keep reading, writing, and growing! 

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Joining IWSG- Craft of Writing Books and What’s New?

IWSG- Craft of Writing and What's new

Hello Lovelies,

Man, it has been a hot minute since I posted anything, hasn’t it? My whole routine of things has been so out of whack and I have been trying to do all the things and getting so overwhelmed.  I have been struggling, for real. How, after being in the writing industry for 12 years, after writing 13 books, and reaching a pinnacle, can I be struggling?

Because no one tells you that even when you achieve “success” that there is a lot to maintaining success. Other writers share their experiences with imposter syndrome all the time, but we all seem to think “Oh, once I hit this magical number (of sales, of books published, or experience, whatever), that feeling will go away.”

The last two years have been rough as I try to republish all my books, re-release all my courses, build my blog back out, and work a day job all while dealing with my health issues.

So my first step to trying to get back on track with the site is to start writing here regularly. Get back to the creative stuff, not just the replicating stuff. But I need some outside help so I’ve joined the Insecure Writer’s Support group.

Insecure Writers Support Group Badge

I’ve been an avid fan of the group for years, but have never been more than a spectator until now.

Each month IWSG members share a post discussing our struggles as writers, network to support one another, and it gives me some outside motivation to keep to a schedule over here on the blog.

This month, we’re sharing the top books we recommend to help with writing craft.

My bible, which sits on my work shelf in view whenever I have questions is The Elements of Style by William Strunk and E.B. White.



I probably review this book every couple of months. It isn’t focused on writing fiction but I tend to be a very functional writer and need the reminders from this gem. The tips apply to all forms of written communication from blogging to fiction writing.

Alex J. Cavenaugh recommends Save the Cat, which is another great resource that is geared towards screenwriters but is a fantastic tool on storytelling in general. Check out all the other recommendations on the list. I know I will be buying a lot of books on the craft of writing this month!

One that is on my TBR so will be the first book I buy is Story Trumps Structure: How to Write Unforgettable Fiction by Breaking the Rules by Steven James.


Any that you recommend? Let us know in the comments so we can all grow together!


Until next time,

Keep Writing!