What Is Success?

It seems I’m feeling all philosophical today.  (More like I just can’t bring myself to go back to writing just yet so my mind is wandering and I get distracted by things.)

For those who don’t know it, I’m a bit anal about tracking my sales and numbers.  I think partially just because analyzing numbers is something I find fun to do more than because it’s anything worth spending time on.  (Especially given how bad I am with Access databases.)

So, looking at those numbers, I just realized that since November 2014 I’ve made at least $50 a month on my writing.

Now, on one hand, $50 a month isn’t even enough to buy a really good meal in most big cities.  But on the other hand, it pays for my Coca-Cola addiction quite nicely.

And it’s $50 more than zero.

Each month there are strangers out there who pay to read what I write.  That’s pretty damned cool.

And something I wasn’t seeing the first fifteen months of self-publishing.  (Hint: You can’t just throw up a few short stories and expect them to do much, especially if you then disappear for ten months. Or more.)

And the other cool thing is that there are complete strangers out there who’ve liked my writing enough to leave positive reviews.  That, too, is pretty damned awesome if you stop to think about it.  Not that I don’t like my friends saying they liked my writing, but what else can they say?  (“You know, that kinda sucked…”  I don’t think so.)

People who have no obligations to me whatsoever have said I write well.  That’s really nice.

That’s success.  I think…

(And I have to remind myself of that every once in a while.  Because on the flip side I see people selling far more than I do and I think, “Gosh, I suck at this.  Why doesn’t my novel sell thousands of copies a month?”)

So, on a lighter note.  There’s this fantasy book giveaway that may have one of my pen name books included.  Check it out:



About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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