ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing

How Do You Measure Your Success As A Writer ?

Updated on December 21, 2014

Writers are people too

Contrary to how we feel, writers are like all other segments of humanity. We are individuals with unique goals and varying philosophies. We write for many reasons and the reasons are as unique as the material we write about. But, because we are different, we may also measure our success by different standards.

Writers also have a variety of ways in which we measure our success. Some feel successful when their work has received a lot of views. Others measure success by the volume of their written work or the money they’ve earned. And, there are some who have something to say that they feel might make a difference in the quality of a human life and feel successful by the simple expression of those feelings.

In communities of on-line writers, we often find ourselves drawn to those who have a similar interest but find that our reasons for writing and the manner in which we measure success are quite different. It is the beauty of being a writer as it allows us to individualize our career. Writing allows us to be who we are and to practice our craft for whatever reason fulfills us.

Serious writers understand that writing requires an investment of time. They carefully research their subject and then apply creative methods to communicate the information. Others write about a life experience or from a place inside them about issues that matter to them. And some, do both, understanding that the rewards or measured success will vary.

Reasons to write

Writing purely technical articles, product reviews, or “how to” articles may bring you lots of readers and money too but you may miss making a personal connection to your readers. They will read your material and move on. They may return a few times to see what else you’ve written on the subject but rarely become devoted followers who support your work. For many writers, this is the perfect environment. It allows them to maintain a bit of anonymity and more time to write.

If you write with passion about social concerns, human rights, protecting the environment or animals, you will connect with readers who share your passion. It’s about people connecting with people on issues that matter to them and you will find that your readers become loyal fans and supporters. It is human nature to feel a sense of community when we share our hearts and passions with like-minded individuals.

Whether you write for money or self-expression is up to you. Many of us strive to find a balance. We attempt to write good material that others will find useful and that will financially support us but we also use our love of writing to enlighten and serve our fellow man. We measure our success both in numbers and in impact on the world we live in.

This author’s opinion:

As a newcomer to the freelance writing world, I have experienced feelings of success often and in a variety of ways. On my personal blog about Alzheimer’s, I have felt success when a reader shared their own tragic story of watching a parent fade into the darkness of Alzheimer’s disease. My heart swelled when they explained that after reading an entry on my blog, they no longer felt alone. That is success in my opinion.

When when I wrote my 100th hub here on HubPages, It was thrilling to see that after writing 100 hubs I had none that had gone idle, no violations, and no broken links. That was success in my opinion.

Most of my financial gain has come from writing SEO (search engine optimized) articles on Textbroker.com. It’s my least favorite work but I must admit that when I made my first payout after only 15 short assignments, I could barely contain my excitement. That was success in my opinion.

The truth is, since starting to write in May of 2012, I have felt the most successful when I have written about social issues; issues of injustice or abuse of human rights. The articles I’ve written about eugenics, the oppression of Native Americans or, the many lessons that have been given to me through nature or life experience have been my most successful works. I consider them my most successful because they have allowed me to connect with people and those people left heartfelt comments on my articles. They also became followers and after a while – friends. And that is real success for this writer.

Although I did not start writing to make friends, the friends I have made are the most valuable asset of writing. Friends share my work, encourage me, and support the issues that matter to me. They have given me a sense of community, of belonging to a group of kind and compassionate individuals who are willing to stand beside me when it counts. They read and promote my work, no matter what I write, and in their generosity, I gain more readers, more followers, and more pennies. And, I do the same for them. It is a win/win for all concerned.

Writers Who Care

Among the many great writers here on Hubpages you will find a growing community of caring individuals who write about social justice,civil rights, homelessness, hunger, and more. These writers really care about the human condition and are using their talents to make a difference. I encourage you to visit their profiles and read some of their work. You will find many ideas for how you too can make a difference in the world.

© 2012 Linda Crist

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thanks for the visit Educateurself. I appreciate your comment.

  • profile image

    Educateurself 4 years ago

    First of all nice article.I am absolutely agree with you that writing about your own journey,social issues,human rights,law etc will be feel by your readers.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi James. Thank you! I really appreciate your visit and your comment.

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

    Linda,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your wonderful article. You truly encapsulated what it is we are doing here, writing on HubPages, and you covered a variety of angles. Well done!

    James :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you for the visit rahul. Isn't it amazing that we can reach so many people now with so little effort. The beauty of it (for me) is that we discover that people basically want the same things in life, no matter where they live. We are ONE world after all.

  • rahul0324 profile image

    Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

    Useful article with a hidden meaning as Bill said....

    Online writing has given a platform to people all around the world to voice their opinion and to connect to people.... that is become global...

    I believe becoming global is one of the most important factors relating to HOW and online writing is one major platform for this kind of movement as we can see and say

    Useful article :)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi FaithDream. I appreciate your visit and your comment. I can relate to every word. It's easy to get caught up in the numbers but I can honestly say that my greatest joy is when someone tells me that something I've written touched them personally. I am so happy that you found some value in this piece.

  • FaithDream profile image

    FaithDream 4 years ago from (Midwest) USA

    What a great message and a great read. I never really thought about it before I read your article, but I guess I do look at my numbers too much.

    I write for pleasure, I write for inspiration, and I write because I love too. Sometimes I get so caught up in the trap of numbers: how many viewers, followers, how long they stayed on my page, etc. and it distracts me from my real reasons I began to write in the first place.

    Thanks for your article, it was a real eye-opener for me.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi shiningirisheyes! Happy New Year. Thank you so much for your warm comment. I wonder sometimes if I'm really a writer or just someone who has something to say. lol

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    You write from the heart and that is what keeps me coming back time and again. I so appreciate your soul and take great comfort when reading your many selfless hubs. Keep up the great work.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Martie. Thanks for the visit today and for sharing your thoughts. As a new visitor to my work, you have made me feel successful. I am always happy to see new names and faces so, it is a pleasure to meet you here. I wish you great success and all the other good things from life in 2013 as well.

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 4 years ago from South Africa

    So true - Writers do experience feelings of success in a variety of ways. I remember in the beginning of my writing career when receiving the money for an approved story and then seeing it published in a magazine. Those were the highlights.

    Here in HubPages the comments on my hubs determine my feeling of success and also the messages I receive from readers not members of HP - The score is but only a marketing tool, to encourage us to write and read more. Of course, the total views also determine our feeling of success.

    Great, encouraging hub, Irc. I wish you all of the best for 2013.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I agree. And, yes, we are friends, for sure! I post on HP for pleasure; it's where I have the freedom to write from the heart. Unfortunately, I need to earn a living which is why you don't see too much of me anymore. I'm busy through the week with the dreaded SEO writing, but at least I'm busy!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello seanorjohn! Don't beat yourself up. But, send those letters. I just finished writing four, as is my tradition on New Years Day. I write to tell the people in my life how much they mean to me. Parts of the letters are brutal while other parts are funny or full of love. The thing is, life is short and I don't want to miss an opportunity to share what I feel.

    That said, I often write and don't publish it. Sometimes the writing is more therapeutic than it is anything else. I have come to know myself better through writing. In my opinion, if you are totally dedicated to writing SEO articles for purely financial gain, then writing is a creative expression and extension of who we are, just like art. For me, it is as necessary as breathing. Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Happy New Year Shauna. Oddly, I don't see you and the others as followers. You are now friends who happen to be great writers. That's how you ended up in this one. We write for different reasons but we become friends by design. :-)

  • seanorjohn profile image

    seanorjohn 4 years ago

    I'm not sure why I write. I have written letters 5 or 6 pages long to friends and family and then never sent them. My older brother organised my brothers and sisters to write a chapter each and we self published a family history. I was the last to submit my copy. I have a tendency to write and then destroy it rather than revise and edit it. really interesting to read all the responses to your question. I need to get a grip or focus that other Hubbers seem to have. Voted up and interesting.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Leslie, something tells me you didn't need permission to be who you are. lol Honestly, I wouldn't change a thing. I love your attitude and honesty. I think you will see more success if you maintain that. Thanks for the great comment.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Gypsy, thank you for your comment. I completely understand. In this economy, most of us are looking for ways to handle our personal expenses. If we are to maintain our passion and not compromise, I think we have to strike a balance. That is my goal for the new year. Best wishes to you!

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, what a wonderful way to explain the reasons for writing and thanking your followers all in the same breath. Great job!

  • ImKarn23 profile image

    Karen Silverman 4 years ago

    I have often felt somewhat guilty that i have no interest in 'expanding' into a writing career! Your hub has made me comfortable with what's right for me - and that's simply writing about what moves me! While it'd be nice to be able to 'reach' a wider audience - i'm not going to compromise my topics or my style to do so! Success is so individual - i feel success when i wake up still breathing in the morning...lol

    i've come a long way baby!

    Great hub about giving oneself 'permission' to be what they are - and gauge their own meaning of success!

    up and sharing, Linda!

  • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

    Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

    Voted up and interesting. Wonderful hub. Writing is my passion and I especially love sharing poetry with people and knowing they enjoy what I have written However this year I must also start thinking about writing more that will bring in some finances. All the best to you in the New Year. Passing this on.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Ed, what a wonderful expression of why you write. It was honest and insightful. My best work is often the one I least expected to be; when I sit with an idea and just let it flow. Those pieces will never bring me money but when they are finished, I sit back and think - "I love it when that happens". It is a form of self-expression that often elusive to my conscious mind. Thank you so much for the visit and for sharing this bit of yourself.

  • Ed Michaels profile image

    Ed Michaels 4 years ago from Texas, USA

    Sure, I would like to make money writing, but even when I make no money and when I am unsure, or unaware, of who or how many are reading what I do write, I write anyway. I write because it is the way in which I think things through. I write to examine a subject, to reveal to myself what I think & what I know, more importantly what I do not know. I suppose that is why I am drawn to unsettled issues and unsettled moments, to the breath between question and answer, more than to a stable, set, determined end. Great hub.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Carol, I wish you success of your own measure in 2013. Thank you for your support throughout my short time here.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Louisa, thank you for your kindness. I am happy to share this journey with you.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    that is the way it is..different for everyone. All of us love making dollars from writing..well most of us. This hub really shared all the different reasons why we write, comment and share on Hub and other sites. Thanks for writing this..as we start the new year.

  • Louisa Rogers profile image

    Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

    That was a wonderful example you shared about the reader feeling less alone after reading your blog-- showing the power of writing to bring people together. I'm glad you're experiencing all your different types of success! Write on!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello janshares! You are too kind. Thank you for the lovely compliment. It means a lot to me. I wish you success in 2013!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    MazioCreate - welcome back to HP. I appreciate your time and comment and look forward to getting to know you better. Happy New Year too.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi MH and Happy New Year too. I'm glad you found this one encouraging.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Jim, thanks so much. Your comment means a lot to me. I value your opinion and support.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Maralexa. I'm so glad you enjoyed this hub. Thank you for spending time here and leaving such a warm compliment.

  • janshares profile image

    Janis Leslie Evans 4 years ago from Washington, DC

    Linda, this is just beautiful, a testament to your goodness as a writer and human being. Thank you for this perspective on us writers who engage in activities on a regular basis to make a difference for those in need. Voted up and beautiful, glad I stopped by for this one.

  • MazioCreate profile image

    MazioCreate 4 years ago from Brisbane Queensland Australia

    Thanks for sharing. I've been away from HubPages for a couple of months & have forgotten the community that dwells within this part of the ether of the universe. Continue the great writing and have an awesome 2013. Liked and shared!

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Congratulations, This is a very encouraging piece. I wish you all your dreamed successes.

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    A really interesting viewpoint about reasons to write. You are an excellent writer and an asset to HP. Glad to read your work.

  • Maralexa profile image

    Marilyn Alexander 4 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

    Thank you, Linda. You have introduced me to the H.O.W. website and network. You have said a number of things in this beautiful article that have moved me to another level in my writing career. You are truly a beautiful person.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hello Kim. There are some amazing people who are also writers here on HP. I am blessed as well to be among them. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • Kim Grbac Diaz profile image

    Kim Diaz 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    thank you both...I feel blessed to be in the company of fellow writers committed to such wisdom...:)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi CrisSp! Thank you so much. You and I share the feeling. I didn't come here for friends either. I came to make money and express myself. The money part is now laughable but I adore the friends I have made. I wish you every success in the new year too. I do not clearly know where I will be but wherever I am, I will be writing and know you will too.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    "Although I did not start writing to make friends, the friends I have made are the most valuable asset of writing." -- very well said Linda.

    We all write for a reason and whatever it is, may we all continue to grow in writing and be a lot wiser for a good cause.

    I hope that the following years bring you greater success and happiness in and out of HP.

    Happy New Year to you! Shared!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    lol...glad you got it pal.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    I think there might be a hidden meaning here, Kindred! LOL Only you and I know what that hidden meaning is, but I love it.

    And I love your heart and compassion. Thank you for writing about H.O.W., and thank you for the message.

    bill