#IWSG: Success As a Writer


It’s the first Wednesday of the month once again and this means it’s time for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group (#IWSG) to meet. I don’t really have much to share with respect to how well I did in the area of writing. I mean, I did okay, having written 21 blog posts over the month of August. I didn’t really broaden my writing horizons at all, but that’s okay. Other creative outlets (ie. polymer clay) have taken priority.

So, with no further ado, let’s get to this month’s question. This month, the optional question is how we define success as a writer.

As someone who has only had one short piece published so far, I can’t really define success by how well-accepted my works are in the area of publishing. At least not unless I want to consider myself a massive failure. This doesn’t mean I don’t define success by external standards though.

When I first started writing for an audience with my online diary in 2002, I hardly had that audience in mind at all. The service I used didn’t have a comment feature or stats, so there was no way of knowing who’d read my writings except if they’d E-mail me about them.

When I transferred to WordPress in 2007, I still didn’t care about or even pay attention to my stats. I was delighted when my blog posts got featured on a popular-in-my-niche blog, but that’s about it.

Then when I started what I refer to as “my old blog” on this blog in 2013, I did understand more about blogging and WordPress, so I did pay attention to how many comments I got. That’s usually how I defined success at the time. I also checked my stats more regularly, but still didn’t really know what they meant.

I still to this day usually define success by the engagement I get on my blog. Since starting this blog in 2018, it has been steadily improving.

I do try not to obsess over my stats though. I mean, back in the days of my old blog, I would hardly ever respond to people’s comments because those comments would distort my stats. I have learned since that it is not just morally expected but good for your engagement too to reply to each comment you receive.

Besides the number of comments I receive, I would like to add that it helps boost my sense of success as a writer to see that people are genuinely touched by or interested in my writings. I feel therefore that the content of comments also matters.

How do you define success as a writer?

16 thoughts on “#IWSG: Success As a Writer

  1. I love this – I’m only new-ish to blogging (2 years, just reached my 100th post), so when you say 21 posts in a month is okay, my jaw drops in awe! Your insight into stats is interesting, too, and I completely agree that responding is so important. I don’t know if it’s trite to say thanks for dropping by each time; maybe I’m too small of a blog that each visit does make a difference; but I’ve found the same with social media that replying and engaging is the number one thing which keeps people coming back.
    All the best with your writing and blog, and Happy IWSG Day! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for commenting.

      Oh haha, for me 21 posts in a month is okay indeed, as in July I got 30. However, there were times when I struggled to post once a week or even once a month. I guess we set the bar higher as we are more successful.

      I do still usually thank my commenters for stopping by. It may get a little boring, but so what? I am genuinely grateful!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. my enjoyment of writing the piece, pure and simple. If people “like” things, all well and good, but I don’t think many people actually read them, especially if you write something like a short story, which demands peoples’ time.
    #i don’t bother about comments either. I might read something and appreciate it, but if I have nothing relevant to say, I won’t leave a comment.
    Stats are all hokus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, I enjoy the process of writing too and I wouldn’t write just for the comments. I did that briefly with my old blog, sharing so-called conttent that I thought others might find relatable, but that took away much of the pleasure of it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t measure success by getting published either, especially since I’m only working on my second manuscript. I do measure my success by how much I help other writers and authors through my blog. I measure it by comments, which I try to increase by following other blogs, and page views because I have a massive number of silent readers each month.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really like your perspective on responding to comments, I’m the same way. It always makes me happy and flattered when someone visits my site and reads what I wrote! I really admire your consistency with blogging (21 posts is amazing!), I hope to achieve that one day, right now I’m only at like 4 a month haha, quite a way to go. Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, thanks so much for saying that. That really means a lot to me. I tend to compare myself to those bloggers here on WP who post multiple times a day, but then of course there are also bloggers who post less frequently than me and that’s okay too.


  5. Thanks Astrid for your piece on blogging success. Comments are the best, especially when we share thoughts and musings. My advice, forget the stats. I have people visiting from improbable places who never comment…and wonder if they are not just robots at the end of a virtual line… Happy September creativity.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Most times I try to remind myself that how I feel about my writing is the important thing, but YES to your comment about also defining our success by external standards! So true!

    This whole post was great. Thanks for insights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course how we feel about our writing is important too. Like, if I write a post that I think is going to be popular but I’m not happy writing it, that’s not going to help define my success.

      Liked by 1 person

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