When You Make It

Have you made it as a writer when people look for your book or books in the bookstore?I’m not sure what it means to make it as a writer. Does it occur after publishing a certain number of books? Is it when one receives the Pulitzer? Is it when one has a specific number of stalk- ahem, fans?

I don’t know. Perhaps my naiveté is due to my own lack of self-confidence. I don’t ever feel that I’ve made it as writer. Yes, I have a degree in creative writing. Yes, I was accepted into a somewhat competitive writing program. Yes, I have a blog with a small following. Those things don’t tell me I’ve made it. Those things surprised me when they happened, and they continue to surprise me. Someone likes my writing? Someone wants to hear what I have to say? Amazing.

Could I lose that sense of amazement if I were to gain a larger following? Would my attitude toward my writing change if I were to become semi-famous and have a book and a speaking career? Would I feel that I’ve made it?

I don’t think I would. I hope that I wouldn’t. Feeling that I’ve made it means I have nowhere else to go. I’m stuck at a certain point. I might have to keep writing the same thing or in the same style over and over again. I’ve reached the end. I would have to live on past glories rather than press toward new ones.

To me, that’s a death knell for the writing life or any sort of creative life. “Making it” may be a laudable goal, but it can’t be the end-all, be-all. The bar has to continue to be raised. The distance has to be lengthened, or the pace has to be quickened. I have to keep moving forward to something. I have to keep writing.

What do you think about “making it”? If you have made it, what has your experience with the status been?


  1. Never Erin. What made you think like that 🙂 You are lack of self-confident? You are not a good writer? People don’t enjoy your posts? All of ’em are totally wrong. You have all of it. You are an impressive artist. I like your cartoons. Make use of your writing to improve my writing skills. it’s alright to think that way but just to work harder on it.
    But I just wanna tell you something. You gotta find a way to engage with others 🙂 Large followers doesn’t mean that all enjoy our readings. We need loyal readers and friends. They don’t comes easily. They may even don’t know about your writings. So you need a little push. Good doesn’t come easily and not rewarded always.
    You can go further. Think of more glories. There’s more readers waiting to see your writing. You just need to show them. Personally I’m happy of my status today. I didn’t made it yet but I’ve got interesting friends like you on the way of my journey. We gotta learn more if we need to make it perfectly. BTW No one’s PERFECT 😉

    •  @Mayura Oh, I always lack confidence. I’m continually being taken to task for the lack.
      Thank you for the compliments about my writing and art.
      What do you mean by engaging with others?

      •  @Erin F. Erin, I mean just more exposure to your content 🙂 May be it’s only me, but I think your articles should get more reads. Specially for writers who don’t have an idea behind the effective writing and its ingredients.

        •  @Mayura Perhaps they should, but it takes time. This site only is two months old. It’s a baby in terms of search results. I’m not only relying on the web, either. I’m trying to network locally more often.

        •  @Erin F. Ohw yeah. I remember you said that you’ve moved here recently 🙂 Totally forgotten. BTW it’s not only about search results 🙂 I mean getting connected with similar bloggers in your niche.

        •  @Mayura I’d like to think I am connected with many of those bloggers, although there aren’t too many who are trying to do what I’m doing. I also don’t like to stay within my niche when it comes to reading. 

  2. Hi Erin – I’m not much of a writer, but I enjoy having a blog and I also know who’s blog I enjoy reading ~ yours is one of them. I’m not much of a critic or refined, but I can tell you’ve got skills.  Unfortunately most people on the blogging sphere only self promote (I cannot tell what a large chunk of them are even talking about, but I know it’s something about marketing and SEO – seems like a lot of folks patting each other on the back).  
    Good thoughts on never making it ~ always a mark to press towards.  No matter how good we think we are, there are a million others better.
    Makes me glad I’m not in control of this thing…. 
    I gave up trying to get blog traffic on my own – I write for sort of a life archive and occasionally I get someone who has been reading in the shadows and compliments me or contacts my business for China services…that feels great and it pays off.

    •  @Jacob Yount Enjoyment is such a crucial factor. I’ve been thinking about the joy factor a lot lately (I even have an upcoming post about it!). 
      Marketing and SEO are hot topics, so I know it’s easy to get pulled into talking about them. I have a professional background in marketing, but I think the way I talk about it is different from many in the blogging sphere. Maybe. Somebody might have to fact check that. It doesn’t play a huge role on this site because that isn’t the aim of this place. I guess I’ve found where my heart lies, so it’s a little harder to pull me into talking about hot topics. I have an anchor. If I didn’t, I probably would be tossed to and fro by the waves of…something.
      I’m glad I’m not in control, either, which probably is a weird thing for a sometimes recovering perfectionist to say. It takes off some of the pressure. I just have to do what I’m called to do and try not to worry about the rest.
      I’m not worried about numbers. As a businessperson, I know I need a larger audience, but I’m also trusting that it’s going to grow organically. It won’t be because I’m using some shortcut. Persistence and patience are important for long-term and sustainable growth.
      I was reading an article the other day, and an author put my ideas this way: “Every novel is the first novel.” I like that saying. I think it says everything about the attitude a person should have toward one’s work.
      Thanks for the comment and the compliment! Sorry for the novella.