The Measure of Success

This week, I took some time after my morning Bible study and prayer to talk with God about this whole “publishing” decision I’ve been mulling over for a few weeks now. Even though I have months if not years before I have to make a choice for my current W.I.P. between Self-Publishing and Traditional Publishing, my anxious brain wants to have all the answers now.

I’m working on being patient and focusing with where I am in the process currently, and trying to channel this gnawing feeling to know towards something beneficial.

So, I made a list – I make lists. I’m a list maker. – with three and a half simple questions to try to help focus my thoughts and guide me forward as I continue to research. Here are those questions about the answers I came up with:

#1 Why do I write?
I talk about this question a lot. It’s a guiding light kind of question for me, but I wanted to remind myself of my answers before moving forward.
-I write…to grow in Christ-likeness.
-I write…to emulate my Father, the creator of all stories.
-I write…to explore Truth when my heart clings to lies.
-I write…to expell the darkness that blinds with the Light that never fails.

And then, a follow-up question hit me, one that I truly had to search my heart to answer honestly. But there was a lot of freedom in that.
#1.5 Why don’t I write?
-I don’t write…because I want to get famous.
-I don’t write…because I want to get rich.
-I don’t write…to prove my worth.
-I don’t write…to prove anything.

#2 Why do I want to publish?
This question was a little trickier, as I wanted to be honest with myself, and dig deep to know my own motivations.
-I want to publish…to share my journey (see question #1 above).
-I want to publish…to encourage others with Truth and Hope.
-I want to publish…to offer readers rest and an escape through my stories.

And then I realized I had one more question, one more than was much more materialistic than the ones before.
#3 How will I measure success?
-My book is successful if…it glorifies God.
-My book is successful if…it gets a bookstagram tour.
-My book is successful if…it get at least 25 reviews.
-My book is successful if…100 copies sell (not given away).
-My book is successful if…people I don’t know read it and love it.

To be honest, I was surprised that certain answers didn’t come up for this question. I didn’t find I had a need to see my book sold in a physical bookstore or become a bestselling novel (even though that would be very cool). There is a lot of freedom in knowing what I hope for, what I hope for, not what I’ve been told success as an author looks like.

So that’s where I’m at on my journey! Slowly putting the pieces together to figure out which road I will take.

What are you answers to these three (and a half) questions? Your answers might be different, and that’s great! I think that being specific and knowing what your goals are is helpful in any endeavour.

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