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Saturday, 1 March 2014

What Does 'Success' Mean to You?

I was thinking about a friend of my Mum's the other day. She is sadly no longer with us, but I remember her as a keen writer, often to be found in her 'writing shed' in the garden. 

We are talking some 20 years ago now, and she unfortunately never got her work 'out there.' So, this got me thinking about how different it may have been if she had lived long enough to benefit from today's opportunities to self-publish.

Things have changed so much, no longer do you have to send out your manuscript countless times in the hopes of ensnaring an agent.
 I read with much interest Carol Hedge's blog post regarding whether an agent is even needed/wanted these days. On further searching I found  THIS really interesting article by Hugh Howey, which definitely shows some good reasons to self-publish! 

Having only written short stories, I for one am extremely unlikely to to have ever had my work see the light of day if it wasn't for 'Indie' publishing (sounds so much better than self-publishing doesn't it?)

Back to 'what does success mean to you?' I am thinking that I have successfully placed a piece of my work out in the big wide world, on Amazon (which was both scary and exhilarating!) I have had three short stories published in women's magazines. I have had one published on-line with Alfie Dog Fiction. Now, these are not BIG successes by any stretch. But, I am further on than I was last year. As for the novel...

Having read the article and blog, (plus loads of others) and thinking about my Mum's friend - I can safely say that when my novel is finished (I hope Indie Publishing is still going by then...haha) I know I will be able to publish it. Having people read it will mean it IS a success, even if only three people read it, because at least it made it out of my imagination. I know that I won't be one of those people spending all hours sending out a manuscript again and again in the hope of gaining an agent and traditional publishing deal. I haven't got that kind of patience!

So for me, success is growing and developing my writing, seeing my short stories in print (and getting paid for them) and Indie-publishing the stories that I want to write that don't fit nicely into a market, AND when the time comes I will publish my own novel. 

What does

mean to you?


  1. Whenever I see my story in a magazine, I feel a success... I won't mention the novel because I still haven't started it!

    1. You certainly should Wendy, you have had a lot of stories published - I am hoping to follow in your footsteps!
      Um...what novel? Did someone ,mention novel? ;)

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    1. A really interesting post, Sam, because I can relate to the points you've made. I look at my 'success' - modest as it is - as a journey. Each publication of a short story either on-line or in print does count as a step along the way. When - note the optimistic 'when' not 'if' - I get my novel finished and ready for submission, I'll let you know what 'success' means then! Success at finishing an extended piece of fiction in the first place, success at getting an agent interested enough to ask to read more, success at being published the traditional way, success at Indie-publishing it.......?

    2. That's a good way of looking at it Jan- each small success as a journey! Well I shall await your further views on success when your novel is out then :)