Friday, January 15, 2010

How Does Success Change a Writer?

Do you think success as a writer--however you define it--changes your work? Does having a wider audience and/or wider acceptance of your work improve or deteriorate the quality of your writing?

Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Love, Pray, has received mixed reviews on her latest book, Committed. One of the reviewers I read stated:

The only event more hazardous to a writer’s career than a book’s catastrophic failure is its meteoric success.

What do you think? If you published a best-seller, how would it change your writing? How would it change you?
Article Quoted From:

Photo courtesy of Zsuzsanna Kilian at


Beautiful Unicorn said...

That's a really interesting thought; I've always found that successes, however small or large, can be difficult psychological obstacles in their own right. One of the biggest challenges I find with moving on from a successful project is not letting over-analysis of what made it successful cloud my perspective on the next thing I'm working on; the pressure we tend put on ourselves to replicate the success, maintain a reputation, etc. is an easy way to shoot the creative process in the foot. Lately I'm trying to redefine my concept of success; putting less weight on the success of the product itself, and focusing more on a finding a successful process, i.e. one that keeps me inspired and willing to innovate (though that's certainly easier said than done)

TH Meeks said...

I agree. We can get so tied up in in what we've done instead of what we're doing that we inadvertantly crush creativity--which is all about being in the moment.