Over the past few days I've been editing and putting together some short stories for a collection. One of them, Underground, was my first piece of published fiction.
I first wrote the story in 2004, and sent it off to a literary magazine in New Zealand at the end of that year. Although it wasn't accepted, Sue, the editor, was great and emailed me with feedback.
At that point, while I appreciated the feedback, I didn't really know how to implement the suggestions. So in my ignorance I accidentally did the best thing possible. I put the story away for a while and worked on other writing projects.
I must be a slow learner, as it was 18 months before I sent a reworked version of Underground off to Bravado!
I remember very well the day I came home from work, logged onto my computer, and saw the email accepting the story. I danced around the room for ages, literally. The joy and exhilaration were almost too much to hold in. Then I grabbed my phone and rang a few people who knew how much it meant to me.
One of the things I hadn't done at that time was to define what success was for me. That day having Underground published was it.
To know if you've 'made it' you have to define what it means for you. We'll all measure success differently. It might be selling a million books, making a pile of money, great reviews, or winning a prize.
What does success mean to you?