I’ve been thinking more about the writing process and public reaction this week, and as often is the case, one thought leads to another. Maybe it’s just me, maybe it’s the ever-growing use of social media and how connected we all are, maybe it’s that the world’s perceptions have changed. Still, I can’t help but wonder.
What makes an author (or any creative type, really) a success?
For authors, is it selling a lot of books? Is it having a huge media reach? Big ideas that are well-executed? Does selling books still count if you’re self-published? Is it getting in with a big publisher? Is selling books really successful or have you not made it unless a huge mega movie franchise has been made of your work?
With how many different authors that plow through my timeline and twitter feeds and everything else, is just writing a book and getting published enough?
Admittedly, I took a little bit of a break last year, not only because the death of a close friend hit me hard, but also because I changed jobs, and, honestly, I needed to evaluate what I was doing and where I wanted to head. The past couple weeks I’ve started writing again, starting slow and just pouring out whatever’s in my head at the time, and I’m feeling really pleased with myself again.
However, every time I look around there’s an ongoing debate about the direction of the industry, what word counts sell, what genres sell, what really “makes” an author.
So, today I want to hear from you.
What makes an author a success? Is there anything they can do to hedge their bets to get to that version of success? Is meeting, breaking, or shattering expectations necessary these days, or is simply writing consistently and finding personal fulfillment there enough? Authors, do you feel like a success? Readers, what are your thoughts?
What makes an author an author, and then what puts them into success territory?