Measure Your Own Success #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here, with my thoughts on Success.

 

In particular how you define success. And you know, this will be different for everyone, and if you start comparing yourself to other authors, well, then, you’ll be thoroughly disappointed.

There will always be someone who is more successful, or who you perceive to be more successful. And you know this whole successful thing is relative.

Yes, I think we can all agree that there are those authors, the ones that immediately spring to mind, because everyone has read them, or at least has heard of them.

You’ll find them in every bookstore, on posters in public transport etc.

Fame and success right there, I guess.

I’m not talking those authors, however. I’m talking you and me, the average run of the mill person, who also happens to be an author.

How do we define our success?

Well, the obvious one is to look at your sales. I just did an interesting exercise of working out my average sales per book with both of my publishers. It was a rather eye-opening experience, and it made it clear to me where I should be sending the majority of my books in future.

I’ve gone with my gut on these things in the past, but as hubby reminded me this is a business, and it deserves a calculated approach. In my case a calculator-wielding hubby, lol. Seriously, I’m useless with numbers.

So, that is certainly one way to measure your success. However, if you only look at your sales, you will probably end up disappointed. It goes back to there will always be someone who sells more than you do.

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I don’t believe money can ever be your sole motivation to write. If it is, you will a) end up disappointed, or far worse, b) sell your soul and integrity to the devil, and simply churn out things that you know will sell.

And that, my lovelies would be a such a shame. Of course, we all need to eat, and if you write full time with no other income, then yes, to a certain extent you will have to do that.

No judgment here. Every one of us authors defines their own career paths, and what is right for one will not be right for the other.

However, if you’re one of the multitudes of authors who write in addition to an evil day job, or to simply contribute to the family income like I am, then you can be more discerning in how you define your success.

To me, in its simplest form success means being a published author. Every time I type those magic two words – The End – I get such a buzz. It’s  hard to describe if you’re not an author, that sense of achievement.

Then there is that magic moment you get your publisher’s e-mail to say they would like to publish the book. The buzz of release day, and the oh so precious reader comments.

Never underestimate the power of that. A reader saying they enjoyed your story. That you lifted them up on a bad day. Even if that book tanks, to know that you reached that one reader… success in my book.

So, be who you need to be, and define your own success, peeps.

Make Your Dreams Happen

That’s all from me today, folks.

Do stay naughty and count your blessings. You’re more successful than you think!

D xxx

Let’s get real #TuesdayThoughts with Doris (@mamaD8)

Hello, lovely peeps, Doris here with a hefty dose of realism today. I apologize in advance if this turns a bit ranty, but I’m just sick to the back teeth with people’s attitudes to writing.

Many of us quillers on here have touched on the general slump which seems to prevail in sales these days. Not a day goes by it seems, when you hear of another author who hangs up the writing head.

I always shake my head in wonder.

Puzzled Confused Lost Signpost Showing Puzzling Problem

Maybe, I’m just being naive, and of course, I’m not walking in that person’s shoes and there are no doubt a multitude of reasons why a person stops writing, but I just don’t get it.

Writers write. It’s what we do. I know I don’t feel right when I don’t have characters in my head clambering to have their story told. Then again, from as far back as I can remember I’ve spun stories in my head. Imagine my surprise when I found out that some people didn’t do that.

The number of times I was told off for daydreaming in class is unreal. Even nowadays, I can be lost in my own world, and you know I like it there. You’re never lonely when you are constantly concocting stories and get to live a thousand lives. Be that as the characters you write about, or the characters you read about in a book.

I’ve always felt sorry for people who don’t get that enjoyment from immersing yourself in a book.

I digress, however.

So, how then can anyone simply stop writing?

Oh, don’t get me wrong I get the financial reasons behind it. How could I not? Do you think it’s cheap bringing up nine children and assorted furbabies in the south east of the UK?

I can tell you, it’s not. Far from it. Hubby and I had to tighten our belts on more than one occasion, and that’s okay. We chose to have a large family, and we stand by our choices. Hubby has always worked his socks off to support us all, and I have always worked in one form or another to help out with the family income.

At one point, when we had just the two kids, I was actually earning more than him.

*smiles*

However, all I ever wanted was to be a mum at home with her kids and when that day finally came, I was beside myself with excitement. I still worked, in one form or another, mind you, always around the kids and driving myself ragged.

Fast forward quite a few years, and hubby’s work situation changed to such a degree that we could manage on just his wage, and I was free to pursue a life long dream.

 

I had stories that I wanted to share with the world, and the fact that readers out there want to read said stories still gives me the most amazing thrill.

That’s why I’m writing. Not for fame, status, money or whatever else you can think of. Certainly not to become a USA or NYT Bestseller, nice though that would be. And should I ever make it on one of those lists, you’ll hear me squealing about it like a loon, for sure.

Could I live off my writing? Heck NO! But then, very few writers can and you know what, that’s okay. For me, at least, writing was never about the money.

Sure, I love a healthy royalty cheque as much as the next writer, but Hubby and I long ago decided that this writing business is far too fickle a mistress to ever be able to rely on it as a source of income.

Sure, there are those writers that do and kudos to them, but I don’t need that pressure in my life. As it happens I do sell well and I make a nice enough contribution to the family coffers, which means that we don’t have to tighten our belts quite as much as we used to.

A big thank you to my lovely readers here!

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I can see you all roll your eyes now. Well, that is all well and good for you Doris, as you don’t have to live on your writing. Not all of us have a hubby to support us. No, of course, you don’t, and that’s why the majority of writers have an Evil Day Job that actually pays the bills.

Trust me, if my sales ever drop that low as to not help us out anymore, then I, too, will have to seriously think about going back to some form of paid employment, but, does that stop me from continuing writing?

No, it wouldn’t. Writing is in my blood, always has been, always will be, and while my productivity might drop right down, I would still be writing.

Like I said, I can only speak for myself, and I’m not walking in that author’s shoes who makes the decision to stop.

I do feel sad for those that do.

This is a tough business and hugely oversaturated market, but there will always be room for good stories, and writers write.

Just do so with realistic expectations. If you’re looking to get rich, then this is not the career for you. However, if you’ve got stories inside of you burning to be told, then take a deep breath and dive right back in.

Tell the stories on your heart, and if you do manage to get some success then don’t let it get to your head. Likewise, if you don’t or you only sell mediocre whereas others, in your eyes, far less talented authors, soar….

Well, the green-eyed monster gets to us all, yes even me. I shake my head and I bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all in private as much as the next person, but, you know, it’s a wasted emotion.

It really is. Even for authors right at the top of their game, there will always be someone who sells more, is more popular etc.

This isn’t kindergarten, folks.  Life isn’t fair. Deal with it.

Instead of getting sucked into that negative spiral chose to be different. Stay and think positive, and write. That is the only thing you have any control over. And for goodness sakes be grateful. It is such an incredible privilege to be able to write a story, to have a publisher wanting your work and to have readers spend their hard earned cash on you.

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That’s all from me today, folks, but before I go…

Stop groaning in that corner!  😉

You’ll notice some changes around here because we had a little shuffle around.  Some of us Quillers are taking some time out, so we had a bit of a restructure.

So, your future schedule on this blog will look like this.

Monday: Jules Dixon

Tuesday: Yours truly

Wednesday: Kacey Hammell

Thursday: Raven McAllan

Friday: Moira Callahan

Saturday and Sunday, you can take a breather from us. We’re nice like that, folks.

Now, get outta here, but do stay naughty. 😉

D xxx