Success as a Blogger/Writer

Darren Rowse's post, A Secret to Sustain Yourself as a Blogger at forced me to answer the questions, Who is a successful blogger? and When have I achieved success?

It reminded me of a conversation... disagreement... ok, it was more of a confrontation I had with A. C. Crispin at the last writers' breakfast I was invited to at Shore Leave 28. She informed me that I was not a "real writer," and I responded that I was

  • a real writer when I first put pen to paper
  • a successful writer when I finished my first book
  • a published writer the moment the book was in print

I would be a bestselling writer when I had a book on a bestseller chart. Well, Fate's Harrow has hit number 1 on the Amazon Charts several times.

I feel the same way about blogging, I am

  • a real blogger when I set up the blog
  • a successful blogger ever time a post to the blog
  • a good blogger because the things I blog about interest other people (no matter if that is 1 other or a million)

I will be

  • a financially successful blogger when the blog makes up a significant proportion of my income
  • a great blogger when I have rallied a vibrant community of contributers and commenters to the blog

Numbers mean less than nothing to me. Would I like to have millions of readers? Sure, but I would much rather have a group of readers that share the same interests as I do and who help me find more stories that I am interested in and help me by challenging my views and opinions on the subjects I blog about. (which I already have)

I think most people stop blogging because they learn that

  • they are too private or introverted to share their lives and opinions with a world of people they do not know.
  • they discover that it is a lot of time, work, and effort to find topics to talk about on a regular basis
  • they find out that this is not the easiest and quickest way to become a celebrity or millionaire
  • they get the harsh criticism that people feel they can give you when you do anything in a public forum.

Some people just love to complain. At the book launch party for my first book Liquid Sky, people came up to me to tell me how much they hated my books... Really? What books? Do you mean the one that just came out today or the ones that you imagine that I have written so you could enhance your own sense of superiority? These are the people who just long to complain.

Blogging, like writing, is something you either enjoy or not. For some people, it is almost a compulsion. If you enjoy it, then do it. It is important to know why you are blogging, then hold onto that reason.

I blog because I enjoy the conversation, and I want to have as many as I possibly can.