How do you measure your success as a writer?
Just a few days ago I wrote a post about the possibility of receiving negative reviews for one’s work and how we must try to rise above them. Yin and Yang, I wrote, black and white. We must take the good with the bad. And that is all true. But you know what? The positive reviews are why I write.
In the days after the negative review appeared, two glowing reviews were written for two very different books – The Iron Admiral: Deception and To Die a Dry Death. It would be foolish of me to imagine that everyone would react to my writing as these two people have for these two books. But the reason I go to all this trouble to try to make my words resonate, to get my facts as straight as I can, put my ego on the line when a book hits the marketplace – is for exactly this. In these two cases, I’ve written a story that other people have enjoyed.
I’ll take time out here to explain that for me, a review is not the same as a critique. A critique is something I get on the rough drafts, the unpolished gem, where people I know and trust can tell me all the things that are wrong and don’t work, correct my spelling, fix my grammar. A review is done on the finished product, where I’ve given it my best and, for good or ill, it’s out there in public. Not everybody bothers to write any sort of review, either positive or negative and certainly none of my stuff has made it to the best seller lists. It’s an ambition, of course it is, but not on the expectation of earning a mountain of money. (Don’t tell my husband, okay?) I write, therefore I want to be read. I want to share the stories in my head and you betcha, I’m really, really grateful and delighted when readers enjoy my work.
So thanks, folks, for the positive reviews. I’m very, very grateful to know that I’ve been successful.