IWSG Day- How Do You Measure Success?

IWSG badge

Happy New Year! Who’s excited for the first IWSG post of the year? If you don’t know already, IWSG stands for Insecure Writer’s Support Group. It’s a safe haven for writers, created by the illustrious ninja captain Alex Cavanaugh. Let’s face it, a writer’s life is not easy. Often it can be lonely and taxing. Which is why this group is the best thing since sliced bread. Because it allows us, every first Wednesday of a new month, to come together to share our woes and fears. It allows us to meet new friends and encourage each other. While we continue on this never ending writing journey towards publication.

To find out more about the group and/or maybe even sign-up, click on the badge above. And don’t forget to check out the awesome co-hosts for the January 6 posting of the IWSG: L.G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, and Michelle Wallace!

Our Twitter hashtag is #IWSG

The new year is synonymous with new beginnings. Pretty much we’re starting off with a clean slate. So there shouldn’t be anything to worry about, right? Wrong. The year 2015 is behind us. But the same woes, doubts and fears, from last year and the previous years always remain.

So far, 2016 has been good to me. Had my 200th blog post milestone the this past Monday. Received the proof my poetry chapbook that same day too. Preparing a book launch/blog tour. But what’s starting to nibble at the corners of my mind is if I’ll be successful in 2016. What if my book sales remain stagnant even after the blog tour? What if my submissions haven’t been accepted by a journal, magazine, publisher or agent? What if? What if? What if?

It’s neverending right? Problem is, you’ll never know what’ll happen until you give it your all and review the end results later. Then I thought, after trying your best, how do you then decide if you were successful.


How does anyone even measure success? I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but is there one universal way to do so? It’s not like there’s a measuring cup we can actually use.

But there is definitely one way to measure success, which the muggles uses to judge our worth as writers. Money.

If our sales were good, good being more than three figures, then we’re successful. If not, then our efforts in writing and sharing our babies with the world is disregarded. Ugh.

There has to be better ways to measure success than that. Yet, I still struggle to unbind myself from it. If I’m not making money, then all the things I’ve heard about writing, that it’s a hobby, not practical, etc, makes it true. And it does not. I won’t let it.

So for 2016, let’s remind each other, money does not equal success. It’s being brave enough to write the stories inside us and sharing it with others. It’s rewriting our stories an X number of times. It’s reinvigorating our love and excitement for our stories. It’s committing ourselves to our stories, submitting them and querying agents and publishers. It’s…help me out here?

How do you measure success?

Eighty percent of success is showing up.- Woody Allen (2.0)

31 thoughts on “IWSG Day- How Do You Measure Success?

  1. Thoughtful blog post. Yes, it seems money and material things are the measures of success. Happy to see you are trying to “unbind” yourself from that perception. If a person feels fulfilled, satisfied, joy in her heart, I would deem that success.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you JQ and thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts is similar to Chemist Ken…know what they say about great minds? But yes, success is measured by one’s fulfillment and joy in what they are doing and have done.


  2. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m really not sure how I measure my own success. If we’re talking strictly about writing, I keep records of my daily word counts. Anything over a certain number of words is a successful day to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the age old question, huh? It’s impossible to come up with a definition that will satisfy everyone, and so I think it’s important what success is to you. I’m with you in that if I can write a certain number of words in my day, or accomplish a number of things on my list, then it’s been successful. But over the long term, my idea of success is working toward a bigger goal every day and finally accomplishing that goal.

    Success is an ever-changing definition to me, too. Today it’s keeping my toddler out of the garbage and toilet and alive until tomorrow, and tomorrow it may include writing a book review or article for my blog, etc. in addition to today’s goals. Hopefully all of that works towards a larger goal in the end though, one of a responsible adult and a decent blog and a published book.

    Best of luck to you with your writing in 2016!


    • Thank you for your in depth look at the subject of ‘success.’ You’re right, ‘success’ is both illusive and subjective. But if you’re able to achieve what you’ve set out to do on a daily basis, you’ll be awarded by accomplishing your goal. And that is success. Also, what is it with toddlers and toilets? Mine is the same way but now he’s moved up to sinks. Sigh.
      Happy Writing 2016!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I measure success by the fact that I’m still going, or I’m still submitting things for publication. The way I see it as long as I’m still trying and not a gibbering wreck in the corner than I’m doing ok.

    I got my first paid contract last year too, so not earning enough to pay the bills yet but it’s a start and a tiny success all on its own.

    Have a great 2016 and keep being brave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy 2016 Deborah and congrats! And yes, ‘success’ is having the bravery to persist and persevere in our writing. “Never give up, never surrender.”- Galaxy Quest


  5. How do you measure success? In every step of the way. Sitting down to write? That’s a success. Finishing the book? That’s a success. Editing/agenting/querying/proofing/publishing/whatever your process is? Those are all successes. First book sale? That’s a success. Getting your first good review? That’s a success.

    Then you start to write another book, and it’s all of those successes all over again, and hopefully more, if the next book is better and you sell more copies.

    See? You can be very successful just getting that first book sold. You would be way more successful than a lot of other people out there struggling with the same dream.

    IWSG January

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Every step taken and toiled in honing our craft, taking the next step in editing/revision/querying agents, are all successes. And so is what happens after that and continuing the process all over again.


  6. Excellent point – success should not necessarily equate to making money. I released my first book last year and it’s certainly not! But I’ve gotten great reviews, so that’s nice. I’m just happy to finally have my art out in the world to share with people.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Alexia. And congrats on your first release. And I understand wholeheartedly. It’s having our babies out in the world, being read and enjoyed, that is the true success.


    • Yeah, I like Chemist’s success is measure by happiness definition too. You can have it all but if you’re not happy, what’s the point. Are you even successful? I think not.


  7. Happy new year, Lidy! I measure my success by what 15-year-old me would think. Some days it’s harsh, but it feels like I am being authentic to me. And according to 15-year-old me I’m not doing so bad, although there are some things she’s disappointed about. Some days, I measure success by just being able to sit down and write.

    Good luck with the poetry book relaunch and blog tour.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy New Year Ula! And thanks for signing up for the blog tour! Speaking of 15 year olds, my 15yro self would probably say what the hell took you so long, before she shows how proud she is. But yes, like the quote from Woody Allen says, showing up, sitting down and writing is success.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hey Lidy!
    There are lots of great things happening here at your place!
    Congrats on the achievements: 200th blog post, the poetry chap book, the upcoming blog tour… 🙂
    “Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles one has overcome.”
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Lidy – thanks for visiting my site earlier. I gave up on the money measure some years ago – by that I’m a failure, especially in my family’s eyes. Success has to be getting a response… making people think or even be happy. I think I achieved that as a journalist, but the jury is out now that I write fiction – or attempt to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, when it comes to writing and other creative jobs, you have to give up on the idea of monetary success. Success is being happy with your writing and that people find it enjoyable and relatable. Sorry, your family thinks otherwise. Wish you all the best and happy writing!


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