Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Eden Winters, Successful Author?

What does it mean to be a successful author? Does it mean winning awards? Does it mean books gracing best-seller lists? Does it mean that the author can give up their evil day job to support themselves with their writing? defines “successful” as “achieving or having achieved success. Having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like. Resulting in or attended with success.”

I also read a blog post (likely meant to deliver a healthy dose of reality to would-be authors) that stated that a “successful” author earned at least ten thousand dollars a year from their writing.

By those standards, as an author, I don’t have much to brag about. And if I were in this for wealth, position, of honors, I may never. And yet, I consider myself pretty darned successful as an author. The nerve of me! Here’s why I believe as I do:

According to the World English Dictionary, “successful” means “having succeeded in one’s endeavours. Marked by a favourable outcome.” And yes, “having obtained fame, wealth etc.”

I choose to ignore the last point in favor of the first two. What are my endeavors in regards to my stories?

1)      I want to tell a good story that people connect with.
2)      I want to entertain readers. Sure I get bad reviews from time to time, but the ones that say, “Wow! You really made me think!” make up for the bad.
3)      I can’t not write. I’d explode. Writing keeps that from happening.
4)      I meet really great people.
5)      As a beta reader and editor, I get to help other people make their writing dreams come true.
6)      I’ve been lucky enough to help some brand new writers go from “I can’t write” to “Guess what? The publisher accepted my novel!” That is the coolest thing ever!
7)      I’ve used my craft to raise money for worthy causes: PFLAG and It Gets Better to name two.

When you measure success by my goals, I’m totally rocking this author gig. Go me! Yes, I’ve had books acknowledged in the Rainbow Awards, and some have won awards. One even made finalist in the annual Lambda Awards. Did I win? No. But finalist! Whoopee! I’m a happy woman!

So, maybe my books don’t sweep the awards, and I’ve never had a book hit number one at Amazon (or anywhere else, for that matter), and I may never be able to focus totally on my writing without an evil day job, but in my own way, I’ve succeeded.

You see, I quit listening to the naysayers who said I couldn’t do it, and I wrote a novel. And that was just the start. I’ll never put in a pool and hire a cabana boy with my royalties, and I might never have lovely trophies to dust, but that doesn’t matter nearly as much as seeing my name in the dedication of another author’s book simply because I believed in them.

And hearing someone say, “Your story really touched me” puts trophies to shame, and deserves hugs, not dusting. I like hugs. If you’ve met me you know that. If you haven’t met me yet, you have been warned.

Hugs, y'all!


  1. And never say never!

  2. I have played witness to how much your words have touched and made a difference in people's lives. You truly are furthering the cause of equality with your words.

    You've given of yourself and your time to help a number of writers become published... and you've assisted a number of published writers to improve their skills through your editing style which is much more of a coaching or a teacher. (Thank you for helping me make me manuscripts sparkle).

    Success is in the eye of the beholder... when I grow up I want to be as successful as you cause as far as I can tell you are on the pinnacle.

    Hugs & much love,

  3. Nicely said!!
    And like "michaelrupured" said, never say never!!!

    1. Thanks, Sonia. I'll keep writing, and we'll see what happens. Either way, it's a great adventure, filled with wonderful folks I might not have met otherwise. Hugs.

  4. This sort of perspective is a great thing to keep in mind, and a pretty tough one too. I know how it feels to get down on yourself when it seems like you're never going to hit "the goal," like the goal of writing is the same for everyone. Success is relative, and about way more than just money. Nice post, Eden:)

    1. Thamks!

      Yes, it is about more than money (thought that'd be nice too!). We have to fight the urge to compare ourselves to others, and keep in mind what's truly important.