What is success?

Today, a friend congratulated me on my success of being a published author. Maybe it’s because I’m coming down with a cold, but instead of responding to what he said, I merely stared back. (Belated sorry, Brian.)

“Don’t you feel that it’s been successful?” he asked.

Some more creepy sickie-staring on my part before I sucked in a breath just to let him know I was still alive. However, his comment gave me honest pause. My book, THE TOWN THAT DISAPPEARED, has been available for about a month. I haven’t read any stats about how many books are sold by authors in the first month of their first book, so I ignorantly have nothing to compare it with. Instead, my whole sickie-throught-process made me not worry about what success means to others, but what success means to me.

I decided I love the creative act of storytelling and writing. Being able to do that in itself feels successful. Writing regularly and sending chapters through my critique group on schedule is successful. Completing any project is successful. Setting it aside, starting another, and coming back to the first for a few dozen revisions is successful. But most of all, sharing with kids and teaching them about writing and history feels awesome.

In summary, yes, I feel successful because I completed a project and equally because I get to teach kids. Is my book successful? I’ll have to get back to you on that one.