Defining Success

Dictionary Success Magnified

Many of us write because we love to write; it’s our outlet that keeps us sane. Publishing is a by-product that becomes our businesses to pay for our writing habits. This means we need to make decisions, sometimes difficult ones, on how we proceed with our business. No one wants to burn out.

In order to figure out our pace, first we need to define what success means for us. This is personal—breaking even, becoming solvent by paying off debt, or going full time. It’s going to look different for every individual. You need a strategy that works for you. There are plenty of books available on strategy, but even before you look at them you need to sit down and ask yourself:

  • What do I want?
  • What are my goals to get what I want?
  • What is feasible?
  • What am I willing to do in the short term to reach my goal?

Many writers use the fiscal year to plan out the year. While this can be useful, setting yourself up to work in your own natural cycles within that is extremely beneficial. From there, breaking down goals into trackable metrics can help you gauge your growth. Newsletter open rates and social media can be great ways to measure progression. Celebrate the little successes that lead to bigger success.

Whether you want to keep your day job or become a full time author is entirely up to you. Writing part-time doesn’t make you any less successful than someone who is full time. Find your own definition of success, put it front and center each day. And strive to hit that mark every single day.

Sine Mairi MacDougall

Sine Mairi MacDougall

Sìne Màiri is a Gàidhlig speaker from the Nova Scotian Gaidhealtachd. She’s an author, international incident starter, and recovering educator. Having taught all over the world from the UK to Northern Canada to China, and back again, her specialties are language and literature, history, and youth services for alternative education. She unapologetically writes about the themes she’s encountered in her travels; resilience and found family being chief amongst those themes. Her current fiction projects include two urban fantasy series that she hopes to launch in the coming year.

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