WINNING! How do you know?

Speaking of winning, I just wanted to let everyone know that my 'BlogOholics Anonymous' post is being featured on the Blog Entourage today.  If you're not a follower of the B.E., I'd highly recommend it.  They feature some great blogs (at least I'm telling myself that today), and offer opportunities for you to gain some exposure for your own blog.  Plus, I'll be monitoring the comments today and I'd love to see some familiar faces!

Here's the link.

What do  you consider to be a writing 'win'?

I also thought I'd take this opportunity to ask you all about your idea of 'winning' in the writing game.  When I started writing, I thought my idea of winning was publication.  That's it.  However, I've noticed that my idea of winning has become increasingly simplistic.

For instance, having a blog post recognized and featured on another popular blog makes me feel like a winner.  Having people say nice things about my blog in the comments, or seeing other people share my thoughts on Twitter also feels like a win.

Looking back, I'd compare my initial idea of the writing win to driving toward a mountain that you intend to climb.  On the way there, your goal is pretty simple: get to the top.  Then, once your standing so close to the base of the mountain that you can no longer see the top, you realize you've got more to worry about than simply standing on the summit.  You're going to have to first find a path through that gnarly looking brush, then you're going to have go around those impossibly large boulders, and so on.

I guess I'm trying to say that the peak no longer seems like the most relevant thing.

As far as 'real' writing goes I'm noticing more and more often that whenever I re-read something I've written, if it brings a smile to my face, I feel like I've accomplished something important.  Sort of like I'm becoming a fan of my own work, so to speak.  (Which hasn't always been the case.)  That's so far away from my original ideas of success it's not even funny.

I know many writers use word counts, etc. as tangible goals.  So what standards of accomplishments do you have?  Have they changed over time?



  1. I definitely agree with re-reading your work and how it makes you feel if it brings a smile to your face. That happens to me sometimes and I'm like 'Did I write that? Cool!'

    The base of it is that we first write for ourselves and then for others. Every milestone should be a win, whether it's the finishing of a chapter, creating plausible tension or constructing a difficult sentence. It all adds to the final goal which is the finished product.

  2. Oh I like your new look, EJ!!I think you've hit the nail on the head here. As a writer you have to celebrate the smaller accomplishments. There really is no final destination, unless of course you hit mega fame/success, but even then, ther'll be critics trying to steal our mojo in some way. If you're smiling at what your writing then your doing okay.
    Me?I'll consider myself a winner when I can quit the dayjob and write full time. THAT'S my ultimate goal. :)

  3. I've been a writer since age 10. (Like thirty years before my dear E.J. You were even born)
    Someday when I'm successful, I'll be a published author. I refuse to give up and be a loser.

  4. @TDR: HA! I really wish I were as young as you probably think I am!

  5. Whenever I sell a book or eBook I feel like a winner--especially when the royalty check shows up.

  6. Hey E.J.:

    It doesn't take much to make me happy regarding my writing.

    Here are some things that make me feel like a winner:

    When I've written 400 - 3,000 words a day.

    When I get active comments on my blog.

    When I've touched someone's heart or tickled their funny bone or, scared the crap out of them. While I write paranormal, sometimes it's so scary I scare myself. Last week while sweetman was away on a biz trip, I wrote a scene with a demon in it. I was too scared to fall asleep that night. Really. But, there's always humor no matter what I write.

    And, I finished writing a whole novel and am primping it for publication.

    That's it in a nutshell.

  7. I have a hard time using word count as a sign of progress because I tend to write a lot and then cut a lot, too. I tend to think of progress in terms of "scenes" - and since I write out of order, I feel like I'm winning when I have many "scenes" that fit together in consecutive order :).

    But now that I'm a more active member of the writing community, my little individual achievements don't seem like such a big deal. I feel like I'm winning when someone I know takes a step in his/her career, or when someone wants to collaborate with me on something - when I feel myself becoming a more integrated member of the community.

  8. My wins change along the way. The big win, of course, is being published...but the small wins are the pieces I publish on my blog every day. Then too, I was one of those folks who use to say: "Someday I'd like to write a book." Now, I've written one. It's God awful, to be sure, but I proved to myself that I could make myself sit down and do it. The next win will be improving my craft to the point that I don't shudder when I read the next one I write. My gnarly bush is just ahead and I'm going to grab onto it, and then aim for that boulder!

  9. I think that winning would be having some kind of acknowledgement from people that I directly know that what I write is worth reading. No one in my family supports what I do...they think writing is a waste of time.

  10. I set my bar very low. I'm happy with my writing as long as I don't bore myself.

  11. Everyone seems to be talking about the journey this week. Maybe it's because we are a quarter way through the year or something. The talk this year seems to be all about learning and enjoying the journey which can only be a positive thing. Maybe it's to sweeten us all up since the publishing world looks ever bleaker in the search for publication. Who knows, but I like all this talk of journeys. I used to hill walk in the Lake District in England, it is so beautiful and the peak was the least interesting part of the journey, save for the view I guess.

  12. Originally (when I began this writing journey) I thought "WINNING" meant getting an agent and becoming a traditionally published author. Now ... I consider "WINNING" to be simply not quitting. I will keep writing and moving forward.

  13. My perception of "winning at writing" has really changed too. I used to thrive so much on other people's complements. now, I really thrive more on re-reading it a few months after writing it and yeah - you're right - if it makes me smile, that's the best.

  14. Right after he says he's bi-winning, he says, "I win here I win there." I think it's a little bit of taking the good things little by little until you reach your goals.

  15. Love you post! Will definitely be back tomorrow!


“Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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