I don’t care about being a successful writer anymore.
Instead, I care about being a happy writer.
I’m not sure if it’s age, the pandemic, or just personal growth that’s caused my paradigm shift. But, I definitely see writing in a different light.
Maybe it isn’t that I don’t want to be a successful writer—but that I define success differently.
I used to define success in terms of having more and more readers. Success meant getting published (and thus have more readers). Success meant making money from writing (because of having so many readers).
I thought successful writers have an audience.
The problem with the above is that I was seeking validation from having an audience. And there’s never enough validation that can make you happy.
I thought about all this when I started watching the HBO documentary “Fake Famous.” It’s about people wanting to be famous…for being famous. It’s fascinating in how they live inauthentically and fake it until they make it (such as buying views and followers).
I haven’t been that bad. I never wanted to just be famous. But, in the course of focusing on having an audience, I forgot about why writing is so powerful. It’s not about having an audience or getting accolades.
Instead, being a successful writer is by harnessing our unique power as writers.
Writers have the unique power to express thoughts and feelings of others who may not be able to do that themselves. We give voice to the voiceless. We enlighten, we challenge, we may even entertain. But we do so in the effort to connect to others.
The thing that “fake famous” people don’t realize is that having an audience is never enough. It will never fill your soul.
Fundamentally, writing is about connecting with others. It’s about feeling like you are in a community.
Connecting is fundamental to being happy.
I don’t want to be successful, anymore. I want to be happy.
How about you?
On another note, there seems to be some exciting things on the horizon for indie writers. Facebook is going to have a self-publishing platform that’s monetized. Amazon is starting KindleVella for serialized short works. Even if you don’t like either Facebook and/or Amazon, I think it’s exciting to have more competition. Even Medium seems to be thinking about how to cater to indie writers more.
What do you think? Are you excited?
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