When I was young, all I wanted to do was write for a living. For almost as long as I can remember, all I wanted to do was be an author. In my mind, I would write these novels that would thrill and chill and keep people up at night and have nightmares and that would be my job. I was a weird little kid.
I have achieved that, but there are, dear readers, many a day when I do not feel like I have. I mean, in my imagination, I wrote full time. I could and would work anywhere I wanted and would just spend all day, every day, writing and creating my stories. I would not spend time in a windowless office writing about things for a company - for example.
I still think that dream is achievable, but I wanted to write this for those of you who are young writers out there. Listen to Uncle Bryan when I say - I achieved my goal. Sure, it may look different than I thought it would, but the fact remains I am a writer. I have over 30 works out there in fiction and non-fiction and I get paid to write them.
But does it make me a success? Well, too often, I have the same doubts that many of you young writers probably do. You think you cannot become a success. It depends on what you consider success. If you are looking for JK Rowling-type success, then yeah, you are probably going to be disappointed. That kind of thing happens very rarely in this biz. No one really knows where the next big literary thing is going to come from. I mean, the 50 Shades stuff was Twilight fan-fic, folks. How could anyone predict that would happen?
With my publishing my work through Amazon, I have the ability to make my books available in print, electronically and as an audiobook. These days I do at least a print and ebook, and many have been turned into audiobooks. I have been doing this for a long time now and I have sold thousands and thousands of copies in print and ebook and hundreds of audiobooks. Now, thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I now see when people download my books and read them. I can see how many pages are read. I can tell you that many, many hundreds of people have read many, many thousands of pages of my work.
I still think the day when I can wake up and stroll down to my home office and spend all day there just working on my books will happen. I truly do plan on taking the novel I just finished and using it to try and find an agent. I still hope, even at the age of 45, that I will find a way to do that thing I dreamed of. However, I have had to learn to redefine what success is.
1. I have written lots of books, short stories, articles and reviews.
2. Those works have been read by many thousands of people all over the world.
3. I have people who follow me on social media or reach out to me via this site and ask me when my next novel will be out.
4. That means, I have fans. Perhaps not as many as I have dreamed - but they are there and they are loyal.
I suggest you redefine success, too. Keep moving forward. Keep striving and trying, but remember that success can take many faces. I am still looking, but I have to try and remember that I have had much more success than failure in this crazy business. It's not quite where I want to be, just yet, but it's pretty awesome.
Keep writing. Keep publishing. Never stop dreaming. Be kind to yourself.