Writer Success For Me

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

The first Wednesday of each month, the Insecure Writers Support Group hosts a blog hop. A blog hop is accomplished through internet magic where links to our blogs end up congregated on one page. Each month a question or questions are generated to stimulate bloggers’ thoughts about the insecurities of writing. We bloggers can choose to answer the question(s) of the month or discuss other insecurities of writing.

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:  We post our thoughts through our own blogs. We write about the doubts and fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs. We offer words of encouragement for others who are struggling. We visit others in the group and connect with our fellow writers – we aim for a dozen new people each time – and return comments. This group is all about connecting!
We rock the neurotic writing world!
Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month a question is announced we can answer in our IWSG post. These questions may prompt us to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. We include our answer to the question in our IWSG post or let it inspire our post in some other way if we are struggling with something to say.
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? What?

Remember, the question is optional!

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!
Photo by Bram Naus on Unsplash

I need to convince myself I really believe how I define success for myself as a writer is what I’ll have achieved when I complete the journey I am currently making. I will be better served to define success to be what is at the end of the road I’m now travelling. If I define success for myself as a writer any other way, it likely will contribute to another detour from the path I’m on and I’ll end up off on some side trip I’ll regret. 

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

In my most recent writing plan of attack I’ve implemented more consciously the practices I’ve picked up from several writing coaches. The practices are some I’d previously dismissed, believing I could somehow accomplish good writing without the discipline these practices encouraged. Up until recently I continually made the mistake of editing and re-editing every paragraph as I went along. I was aware the better practice would be to write a quick first draft and come back later to ruthlessly self edit. Even though I knew the better practice, I didn’t implement this one nor many of the others. The poor results have made it clear to me I had best get with the program. 

Photo by John Oswald on Unsplash

I am choosing to define success for myself as a writer to be getting 100000 or so words of a first draft written. Following the discipline of not editing as I go, I will more likely get a whole story written. Once I have 100000 words I will probably edit out about 10000, but first I need to get the story fleshed out and not worry about fine tuning until the proper time.  If I continue to use the approach I’d used so often in the past I’ll end up writing the same first chapter, or even first scene, over and over again and never get a whole story written. 

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

It would also do well to define success for myself as a writer to be tied to results which are not dependent on anyone but me. I cannot control what other people think of what I write. If my experience of a sense of success as a writer depends on someone else, I have empowered someone else to influence my sense of self-worth.  So I’ve decided my success as a writer is defined as 100000 words of a raw draft. Even if I am the only person who can stand reading it, I will consider it a success. It would be one of the biggest accomplishments I’ve ever completed. 

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

9 thoughts on “Writer Success For Me

  1. I comb through my drafts continually, and each pass-through nets me more ideas to move ahead. I’ve tried just dumping words on the page, but that has never worked for me. Everyone needs to find what works and cultivate that. It seems you’re on your way, so keep at it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll do minimal editing when I’m trying to clarify where my story is going, but I’m mostly a dump the story out and edit later kind of person. (I have yet for a story to reach 100,000 words!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, my spreadsheet has 135000 words (it’s the way the math worked out for the plotting I’m doing-I’m a plotter). I set up to write 1000 words per day but I’m already off schedule because it takes up so much time figuring out where to fit the pieces. There’s a lot in common between writing and a jigsaw puzzle.


  3. That is an awesome goal! I am totally with you on writing something that makes you happy and not letting others opinions define what you feel about your progress. People will always have something to say but at the end of it all it’s how you feel about what you’ve created that matters the most.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Shutting off that inner editor is tough. I’ve seen better results by forging ahead with the whole draft first, though. Everyone’s approach is different. At the end of the day, the doing is reward enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m definitely one to write a messy first draft first and then edit the book into shape afterward. But that doesn’t always work. Sometimes I need time to think about what’s coming next. During that time, I’ll do a bit of editing to straighten out my thoughts. Each book is different.

    Liked by 1 person

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