Measuring Writing Success – Diane Craver

A few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon I received a surprise call from an elderly gentleman, Bob. I recognized his name instantly because I knew him from being the photographer at various school events. He’d taken pictures of our children at First Communions, graduations, and had even taken videos at our local public high school back when our older children had their commencements. He’d also been a high school principal and had accomplished many things during his lifetime.

He explained he had a reason for calling me. Bob told me how he was writing a book about the successful people in our township. He then told me about some of the people he had already interviewed for his book. A few had made their immense fortunes in their own start-up businesses and companies. During the conversation he mentioned how he wanted to interview me. Apparently, my name came up when he’d discussed his book with others. I was shocked. I’m not a bestselling author with a big New York publishing house. I thought about mentioning to him that I wasn’t famous or wealthy like the other people he had already interviewed.

But I changed my mind when Bob told me, “I’m legally blind so I can’t drive any longer. You’ll have to drive to my house for the interview.” I told him that I’d be happy to be interviewed for his book.

On the planned afternoon, I drove to his house and was greeted by Bob and several huge, well-behaved dogs. I learned Bob definitely was blessed with a gift for storytelling. Before he started interviewing me, Bob shared so many fun and interesting stories about his life and about the choices he had made as a young man. I enjoyed hearing how he met his wife and how much our small town means to him and to his family. Then he got to my interview and explained that he would have to tape my answers. Sometimes he would stop the recording to tell me something he remembered about someone in his book or about life in general. I realized we both have a deep love for our families, and we know what is really important in life.

If your books haven’t made the New York Time’s Best Selling Book List and you don’t have tons of money in your bank account from your writing, don’t fret. Maybe we shouldn’t feel valued only by the amount of royalties earned from our writing. How many times have people emailed you or told you in person that your book has meant so much to them? Our books can touch people on some level when we reach deep inside our core to write with passion. Whether you write non-fiction or fiction, your words might have helped some individuals in a dark place to have happier and brighter days. Reaching out to others with the written word will always be important.

People in your lives might share with others how they personally know you and think you are an amazing writer. Maybe your fiction has given them a sense of purpose and hope as they enjoy their escape from their daily lives to another world while absorbing your stories. Word of mouth in this special way means more and more readers will buy your books.

There might even be a Bob in your life wanting a bit of your time because, in your very own spot in the world, people are sharing about you, their local author. Each writer needs an audience somewhere so why not start in your own hometown?

Diane Craver has a new Amish romance, A JOYFUL BREAK (Dreams of Plain Daughters, Book One) and is available in print and ebook. She has recently reissued a romance, MARRYING MALLORY. Diane has published through a variety of houses, including, Samhain, Whimsical Publications, and Victory Tales Press. To learn more about Diane and her writing, visit her website & blog at: and


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