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.
IWSG SEPTEMBER 2021 PROMPT
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!