I realize I think differently from others. This fact became clearer to me this week when discussing writing-related topics with another writer. The conversation centered around my OWP (other writing persona). And the conversation turned to the topics of publicity, promotion and marketing.
The way I see it. There are many ways to market yourself as a writer. And Bria Quinlan (an awesome person and someone I consider a friend) had a post about the Writing Career Mindset last week. That post plus the conversation with Author X I realized that my writer mindset, demeanor, attitude was different than others. And realistically, I knew that but this was a “ah ha moment” so to speak.
Anyway, during the conversation with Author X the topics of “waiting” and “success” came up. Specifically, waiting until they were famous/successful to do something. Whether it be building and maintaining a blog or website, joining twitter, donating a free story, putting up a serial read on their website, submitting a story to a charity anthology where all royalties go to a specific charity.
And it got me to thinking, which my dad has told me is a dangerous thing. Why wait?
Why wait for some mystical point where “success” is bestowed upon you? Who defines if you are a successful? How will I know when I am a success? Will I know it if I see it, get to that point?
Isn’t it about reputation, building a reader base, building a name for yourself as an author, getting your name out there?
There are plenty of reason to wait. And I know how real life can get in the way, stop you, make you pause. I’ve been dealing with real life for a while now. And sometimes real life sucks. But one thing what I’ve had to deal with, am going through right now in my personal life, has taught me is to why wait.
If I waited for some magical “ok you can do it now” then I wouldn’t do anything. My thinking is do it now because if I waited I would still be stuck in the same place I was. I don’t like being stuck. I prefer to move forward. It is me who defines successful for myself not someone else, not something else. And I will admit for years the thing that was holding me back the most was me.
In many ways I am more successful as a writer than I was last year. I have more focus, a better attitude and a better mindset. I have defined, realistic and smart goals. I know where I want to go with my writing, what I want to accomplish and how. I have a career business plan.
And I do make a small bit of money with OWP. I have sold short stories, novellas and poetry. I have even self published a book of poetry. To some just the act of selling is a success. For others it’s submitting (a story). And for others still it’s a numbers game either monetary or quantity books sold to readers.
Success if a personal thing. Each person has to define it for themselves. Would I meet other’s standards? Probably not. Do I care? No. And that is another kind of success right there. Not letting others perception of me, hinder me.
But it goes back to – why wait? What are you waiting for? What is your definition of success?