In the way such things do, a possible definition of writing success recently popped into my head: when the number of hours people have spent reading your stories exceeds the number of hours you’re spent writing them, you’ve done it. Whatever ‘it’ is.
I did wonder if it’s possible to, as our American friends say, do the math. I could maybe calculate it for a given book: if I spend (say) 40 hours a week writing and multiply that by the number of weeks I spent on the novel; then look at sales of the book and multiply those by the number of hours a novel takes to read … but how long is that? And does every book sold get read? And 40 hours really is just a guess. And some weeks I work on two projects. Hmm.
I’m pretty sure my overall score is still well under par – those million words of crap that no one ever will (or should) read will take a while to offset. Given how long it took to write (how many rewrites), I probably haven’t achieved it yet with Principles of Angels; possibly I never will, as that’s the novel I learnt the basics of the craft (re)writing. But with Consorts of Heaven, given I wrote it in a year, I’m pretty sure I’ll have ‘made it’ for at least that novel soon; especially with the mass market paperback coming out in a couple of months. Perhaps I already have.