Friday, March 6, 2015

Am I successful?

I'm going to speak to a few middle school students today about being a writer. These are students who have vocalized an interest in such a career. A large part of me wants to scream from the rooftops about how good it feels to be recognized; a larger part of me wants to hide under the covers.

It's just so intimidating. I'm not a successful writer. Yes, I can write. I sit at my computer and write all day some days. On Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, even here occasionally. On a very rare occasion something of substances flows from my fingers into a word document. Truthfully, I don't get paid to write. I submit works of fiction that are often unpublished. I made a whopping, wait for it, $12.54 off my eBook on Amazon last year. I do so because it brings me pleasure.

I said I'm not successful. Some days I agree with that and some days I heavily disagree. What is it to be a successful writer? J.K. Rowling is a fluke. Yes, she gave us the most read work of humankind, but this happens once in a millennium. Authors rarely make such ridiculous amounts of money. Let's look at Suzanne Collins. Few people know she wrote for children's television shows before creating Hunger Games. And withe the cult following of that work, her other series, The Underland Chronicles, came out of the woodwork.

With all this in mind, can I consider myself a successful writer? I mean, I can string sentences together and sometimes in logical order? I may not sell many books, but each day I learn new things. Each day, I tweak my craft just enough to see myself blossom.

I believe there are two levels of success. First would be the ability to put forth legible, interesting works of literature. Second being the ability to make some kind of income doing so. The second very much depends upon the first. If you can not create the work, you can not make money doing so.

OK. I am pretty sure this post is very much all over the place. (If you made it this far, pat yourself on the back!) Consider it a bit of stream of consciousness with some true insight splattered throughout! I have, however, managed to pump myself up for today's meeting. Now, just to shower and leave before I lose my nerve...