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  • Writer's pictureC.H. Shealy

What does it mean to be successful?

What does it mean to be a successful author?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for over four years. When I started my journey as an author in January 2019, my sole objective was to see if I could even write a full-length novel.

Success then, was to simply write a book.

It’s now 2023 and I have written six novels. One standalone as well as a five-book series. Is writing and publishing a book enough though? My work is out there for the world to see, which was one of my main goals. But the question remains, what makes an author successful?

I honestly don’t know.

Is it writing a book? If so, then yes, I suppose I am successful.

It is completing a series? Again, this is another feat I have miraculously managed.

Is it being able to make a living off your writing?

Or having hundreds or thousands of reviews for each book?

Or being able to add “Best-Seller” next to your name on all of your books?

If it’s one of those, well… I can’t say whether or not I’ll ever be a “successful” author. I’m four years in and I still don’t know how to get readers to leave a review. Good or bad. Both are important. From my discussions with friends and family, I realize many people find the idea of leaving a review either too troublesome or too daunting. I don’t know how to overcome that.

If I could tell my readers anything though, it would be that their thoughts matter and that their reviews are one of the biggest contributing factors to an author’s success. Each reader has so much more power than they realize and play an integral part in an author's life. So please, share your thoughts. Even something simple like, “I really liked it”. Those comments give authors strength and provide hope when we’re feeling hopeless.

An author spends months, sometimes years, creating a world that they hope readers will enjoy. I think most authors know this is not something one does to “get rich”. We do it because we want to share the fantastical worlds in our heads with others. We pour our hearts into what we do, type until our eyes cross, and force ourselves to feel every emotion we put our characters through in a desperate attempt to create something that readers can lose themselves in. Your reviews and comments let us know that in a world where success is hard to define, we’ve at least succeeded in that.

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