Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – At which point do you consider yourself to be successful? by Susan M. Toy

Delighted to share a post from the archives of Susan M. Toy that will be of interest to all of us who write books.

At which point do you consider yourself to be successful? by Susan M. Toy

(This is primarily meant for authors, but could possibly work for any creatives.)

At what time during the life of your book will you declare yourself to have been successful? Not successful according to others, but according to you – yourself. When will that moment come that you declare yourself to be a success as a writer?

– When your book has sold thousands of copies and is listed everywhere as a big bestseller?

– When you’ve made enough money on sales to have covered any out-of-pocket expenses for publication and compensate for the inordinate time you spent writing the book?

– When your book receives the 50 reviews or 100 reviews required by online sales sites to push it into the next level and generate more sales?

– When many bloggers and online reviewers want to promote you and your book on their sites?

– When you hear privately from friends and family, or even complete strangers, that they have purchased and enjoyed reading your book?

– When you receive reviews and promotional blurbs from advance readers who have enjoyed your book and praise it?

– When you type “Final File Ready For Formatting” and send that off to be professionally formatted, published and made available for public consumption?

– When you push back from the computer after finishing up those final edits of your book and know that you have done everything you could to make this the best book possible … you’ve written the story the way only you can tell it, you’ve had the book professionally edited, the cover has been professionally designed, and your editor and any beta readers who have helped you are in agreement that this is a great book. Is this the moment you consider yourself to be successful?

Now flip my list over and read in reverse order.

If, like me, you can say – honestly – that “when you push back from the computer” is the moment you consider yourself to be successful then you’ll be able to look at the rest of these achievements with great satisfaction, if and when you achieve them. Because while they will show to others that you have reached some level of success, none will ever match that initial success you feel in actually writing and finishing the book! There are so many, many people in the world who, every day, say, “I’m going to write a book. How hard can it be?” You know, after having completed writing a book, exactly how hard it is! But … you were successful in having finished writing and that, to me, is something to celebrate – even if you only celebrate with yourself and in your own mind. No one can ever take away that sense of accomplishment and, once you have completed your great book, there is a terrific amount of satisfaction in having done the very best work that you are capable of doing.

All the rest of the “goals” on this list are icing on the cake, or coloured streamers on the bicycle handles, as JP McLean declares! If you are self-satisfied that you’ve written the best book you can then you will find readers for that book. And the other levels of “success” will follow on. Eventually.

In the meantime, give yourself a satisfied pat on the back!

©Susan M. Toy.

Thanks Susan… I hope you have given yourself a pat on the back…’Doing’ the best is all that matters

Susan’s book One Woman’s Island is now in print. I read and reviewed last year and can recommend.

About the book

Running away from Canada, Mariana hopes to forget a failed marriage and the death of her husband by embarking on a whole new life. She moves lock, stock, and two cats to the small Caribbean island of Bequia. But the move brings more than she could have imagined. New friends ask her to help solve a recent murder in the expat community. And then there’s the problem of her neighbours, a young woman and her children. Seemingly abandoned by family and friends, Mariana believes they need her help! By becoming involved, Mariana is carried along from wanting to simply “live with the locals” to being overwhelmed by their culture, one so vastly different to what she had left behind in Canada that she doesn’t know who among her expat friends she can turn to for advice. So she carries on regardless and discovers that Bequia isn’t exactly the tropical paradise it had promised to be.

One Woman’s Island is the second novel in the Bequia Perspectives series that picks up again a few months in time after the first novel, Island in the Clouds.

The most recent review for the book

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to move to an exotic island and begin a whole new life? Author Susan M. Toy has brought that dream to life for the reader. Mariana, the main character in the book, is grieving for so many things. Her life in Canada had been one of loss and longing. She’s looking for a fresh start in the Caribbean island of Bequia. Once she gets there she is met with more than she bargained for. She becomes an unwilling bystander in a local murder mystery.

The expat community that she becomes a part of is not exactly the emotional balm that she hoped it would be with its strange and colorful characters who are living with secrets and emotional turmoil of their own. The local culture of the island is something of a culture shock for a woman finding her way solely on her own in a strange new place. This little island with so much natural beauty reveals itself as a character with a personality all of its own that winds itself hauntingly throughout the story. This book is moving, engrossing, and leaves you wishing for more of Susan M. Toy’s writing.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by Susan M. Toy

Read all the reviews and buy the books:

Read more reviews and follow Susan on Goodreads:

Connect to Susan via her website:

I am now looking for assorted Festive posts for December, recollections of Christmas past, family, humour, short stories, poems, recipes etc.. Have a delve through your previous December posts and if you are not planning on re-using.. pop them over to me at

31 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – At which point do you consider yourself to be successful? by Susan M. Toy

  1. What you say is so true but it is easy (especially when we have so much access to other writers’ success stories on the internet) to allow the stress of competition and dissatisfaction to rob us of the joy we felt in creating. Posts like this help us perfectionists to get perspective again. thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you for a great post. My first book is coming out soon and I’m hoping I can make people laugh, and possibly lose themselves in the stories for a day or two. That would be successful for me. Thanks again, and take care.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great Post Susan and I couldn’t agree with you more! The most magic moment is when you read your work back and for one luscious moment think… MY GOD I WROTE THAT! As you so rightly say from that point everything else is a bonus!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Weekly Round up – Christmas Fairs, ABBA, Stuff and Apricots | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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