Success Is Yours To Share

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

We write a lot about success on this blog—last week on Wednesday, Cathy C. Hall wrote about the seduction of the spectacular. Sometimes, we're chasing the spectacular—an agent, the best-sellers' list, a no. 1 badge—and we don’t celebrate success of all kinds, like a published book with a smaller publisher or a story published on a website. 

I nodded my head the whole time I read Cathy's post because I'm the worst offender of this. I'll look at all I've accomplished so far and constantly be disappointed in myself that it’s not enough--there aren't enough reviews or followers or national publications on my bio. I had a book review column in the Sunday edition of The News-Gazette (Champaign-Urbana IL) for six years, which is pretty cool, but my brain will say: Well, it wasn't The Chicago Tribune.

Sometimes, this type of thinking serves me well because it helps with my drive and persistence. These thoughts keep me achieving more and more. But it's also exhausting and probably not very mentally healthy. I'm always telling everyone else that we should celebrate every success from accomplishing a short-term goal to getting twenty reviews on Amazon to making the New York Times Best Sellers List.  Celebrating success helps to keep us going with our writing. It gives us an "attitude of gratitude." And success—big or small—is something to turn to when we're feeling down about a rejection or a one-star review.

This is why I LOVE that I am the collector of success stories for WOW! If you're a Facebook page member or Instagram follower, you've probably seen a post like the one I posted yesterday:

But if not, (and this past week, I received the nicest email from one of my e-newsletter subscribers who reminded me that everyone is not on social media) you may have missed these posts. I try to ask for success stories every month (especially when Ang, our fearless leader, reminds me!) for the Markets eNewsletter, and this is one of my favorite parts of the social media manager job. I love reading your success stories. They are so inspiring--from someone saying she finally got the courage to submit her work for the first time to someone landing an agent--I love them all. 

The other thing this Success Stories column does (while I put it together and then hopefully for you if you read it in the Markets Newsletter) is show you all the opportunities there are out there for writing. You don't have to fit into a box. There's not even a writing box any more. There are so many ways to get your words out in the world, and each one of them matters--from your own blog to self-publishing to literary magazines to traditional publishers. 

So...if you have a success story and you're reading this column today, please put it in the comments below or email me at margo (at) and put SUCCESS STORY in the subject line. But to make it in the February Markets eNewsletter, do it today, February 23, or save it for March! 

The other fun post we had on social media the other day, which I would love to put in the Markets Newsletter with the Success Stories column, is this writing "exercise" we posted with a photo, asking for a caption. (If you are on social media and you haven't connected with us yet, we do post a lot of reminders about classes and book tours; highlight our contest winners, bloggers, and freelancers; and we also post encouraging quotes, poll questions, writing exercises, and questions where we ask for answers in GIFs or one word--so what are you waiting for?) 

If you'd like to leave a caption below in the comments for our photo below (from Shutterstock), then please do! You can do both your successes and a caption in the same comment if you choose to do both, but separate comments are also fine:

What's your caption? Put in the comments!

Even if you decide to do neither one today, I hope that you'll take some time to celebrate anything you've accomplished during an almost year-long pandemic. If you've sat down at your keyboard, taken a writing class, been reading in your genre, that's amazing, and all of those put you one step closer to whatever your goal is for your writing. 

We hope to hear from a lot of you either below or on social media or in my inbox.

Here's to success! 

Margo L. Dill is the managing editor of WOW! Women on Writing and the collector of success stories! Plus, she teaches the novel coaching class which starts on 3/5. You can reach her at margo (at) To find out more about her books for kids, visit To discover more about her publishing company, Editor-911 Books, and to enter their recent warm-up winter contest for a $25 gift card (before 2/28), visit the website here


Sioux Roslawski said...

Margo--My caption would be: Women say they'll wear purple when they're old. I say, "Write--when you're young or old--surrounded by purple."

In a couple of months, I'll have something to share as far as the success column...

Angela Mackintosh said...

Your Success Stories column is so inspirational, Margo! Thank you for encouraging those stories. It's so important to celebrate our successes with our writing community who gets it. :)

My caption would be: "Keep dreaming and writing prose--even if it's purple."

Cathy C. Hall said...

Can I say a big WOW! to YOU, Margo, for that book review column! And success stories are what keeps us all going...they come in all shapes and sizes and thank goodness for that--can't wait to see what's coming!

Sue Bradford Edwards said...

A success story can be just what someone needs to see to keep going. Thank you for your work in pulling it all together for the rest of us. T

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