"The only way to fail as a writer is to stop writing." Agree? If not, what defines success for you?
Specifically, success as a writer?
I feel sad right now as I feel I have put so much into Hubpages yet have a very low score and you are almost double mine after just few weeks ,,,So makes me feel really low actually so maybe I should quit sadly even tho I promote this place a lot..If you like anything I have written here please let me know,,,
In reverse, the statement means that we ARE successful as writers IF we continue to write. You look at my HubPages score and feel less-than-successful because your score is lower. On the other hand, I could look at your number of HubPages followers and feel less-than-successful because your is so much higher than mine! There are a million other stats I could use to define myself as writer (i.e., traffic on my blog website, number of books sold, number of followers on Pinterest, etc.), most of which would NOT define me as a success.
You have a lot more articles on HubPages than I do (another measure of YOUR success). One thought: Perhaps it would be beneficial to review and remove any of your articles that have little or no traffic, low scores, etc. It might be better to have fewer articles with high traffic (i.e., your best ones) vs. having a larger number of articles, many that may be dragging down your score.
I encourage you to keep writing, for that is the true measure of a writer's success. Your articles are eclectic and informative. Do not let a score or a statistic steal away your joy in writing. :>)
I totally agree. The only way to improve as a writer is to keep writing. I know that a lot of people get discouraged or lose interest overtime because writing is a very competitive business. You should never give up, because you are right, you only fail when you stop writing.
I recall way back in 1969, after attending a Writing course, I was sitting at the downtown city railway station waiting for the train home, when one of the other students said something to me which has stuck with me for life. He said, "You know, if you want to be a writer you need to write every day. Yes -EVERY DAY!"
In the forty-six years which have transpired I did not write every day. However, I did write on most days. And now, in retirement, I can say that I do write every day.
About twenty-five years back my grown up daughter said to me, "Of course, you are a writer,Dad. You're always writing." And then it dawned on me. We do not have to be successful and published authors to be writers. Writing is something we feel impelled within to do; the necessity to express ourselves to ourselves primarily. And if others enjoy or get something out of it, then that is a bonus to both them and to ourselves.
So in response to your question I say, "Yes, the only way to fail as a writer is to stop writing." At least, before Nature makes it so that we can no longer hold a pen or use a keyboard.
Loved the personal stories you shared in your answer (a sign of a good writer! :>) I, too, have heard that one needs to write every day to be successful at writing. I'm not there yet; maybe that needs to be my New Year's resolution for 2016.
That statement is a truism of course, therefore agreed, although may not be related to success. I have an adage I use personally, "It only takes one to have an audience". If occurs, then IMO I am successful 'as' a writer conveying a message. One may play with that however they wish.
Once measures are introduced then the definition of success for many changes. Possibly it evolves. I can run and am successful until I do not run fast or far enough. But, still, I can successfully run.
For me after a time of study I realized there is a difference between being a writer and an author. Even though used many times synonymously, IMO they are not. Not meaning to go off tangent let's take a peek. Using Wikipedia we discover:
"An author is 'broadly' defined as "the person who originated or 'gave existence to anything' and whose authorship determines responsibility for what was created. 'Narrowly' defined, an author is the originator of any written work and can also be described as a writer."
I prefer the broad stroke of the brush . . . the big picture view with success. I prefer 'anything' itself may mean 'my adventure as a writer' . . . after all I created that. So, we may discover a painter, a sculptor, a writer, or even a cabinet maker 'can' be an author of a work. So, what are the keys? For me one is the meaning of -ship:
"a native English suffix of nouns denoting condition, character, office, skill, etc"
When I play with that I think of my 'ship' that I sail on the oceans and seas of writing. When the currents are calm and the winds in the sails are full I head toward the Island of Success easily and quickly. But, like most destinations upon the great oceans and seas that destination is never seen while sailing. It is beyond the horizon.
I must navigate the currents both turbulent and calm. I must understand the weather. Mr. Sunshine will open his wide arms of warmth stretching across the brazen blue horizon. Or, it may be a torrential down pour with looming clouds of obscurity. There may be sudden squalls pushing me off course. I, still, forge forward navigating those changes seeking a point on the horizon. And, if not arrived upon I discover both comfort and confidence I know the Island Success is where it always will be . . . beyond the horizon.
I read once where a famous author (James Michener) preferred to be known as a 'writer' instead of an 'author'. He thought 'author' was a bit pretentious, while 'writer' was more down-to-earth. But I like your emphasis on 'author' as creator. Nice!
When thinking in terms of "success" I don't think in terms of "success as a writer". I view each piece of writing as its own thing that, once completed, either will or won't accomplish the purpose I had in mind for it and when/if someone reads it. If it accomplishes that purpose then I'll call the piece of writing a "success".
The word, "success", in general has too many different meanings that are sometimes very narrow, sometimes very broad, most times very individual and varied. It's a judgment word, and it's a word that boxes in (and boxes out) human beings. It's also a "measuring word". As someone who writes for a number of different reasons/purposes, I don't really see any place for the phrase, "success as a writer".
As someone who writes, I'm pretty picky about words. I have my collection of words that I really like and then there's the words that are kind of neutral but are needed if we're to create sentences (or even chesive thoughts). The word, "success" is a word I pretty won't use unless it's absolutely required in a piece of writing (like this reply to this question). It's too poorly defined, broadly defined, and/or narrowly defined. It also has a way of being superficial, or at least "too surface level" for it to really have a place in writing or thinking. It's also a word that attempts to describe what often speaks for itself. Then, too, it's sometimes a word that gets it wrong. So, either way, it's just a word that runs too much of a risk of either being cheap, confusing, redundant, inaccurate, or generally too wishy-washy of a word to have a place in most writing or thinking.
The word certainly has its own place in the "universe of words", but words that leave so much room for interpretation, misinterpretation, misunderstanding, and lying to oneself and/or others don't (in my opinion) belong with the words, "as a writer", OR, for that matter, the words, "as a human being". Unlike the words, "success", I'm not above measuring or judging either. It's just that "as a writer" (and as human being) what I measure and judge carefully are words - and "success" far too often just doesn't measure up.
Having said all that, I disagree. Successful writing requires more than just writing.
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