Everyone has a different idea of what being a successful writer is. There are probably as many definitions of the ultimate reward as there are writers in the world.
For me, the ultimate reward is the writing itself. When I sit down to write, I get to let go of my stress. Whatever happened during my day disappears as I concentrate on the subject at hand. I can also use any negative emotions to fuel my creative writing and bring real drama to my scenes. By turning my anger or sadness into art, it makes it something beautiful and I can go on with the rest of my day.
Holding a finished article or story in my hand is my second greatest reward. Particularly if I overcame obstacles or writers block, finishing that piece of writing makes me feel that I've accomplished something. Even the simple act of crossing "write one blog post" off my to-do list makes me feel proud!
While my work may not be recognized by the masses yet, I have occasionally received messages from people who were touched or inspired by something I wrote. Once, I asked a question at the end of an article and received a letter from a woman who ran with my ideas and started pursuing a passion she had never made time for. I was floored that a simple article had made such a difference in someone's life!
I don't write for the money or for fame, I write to communicate my ideas, opinions, and creativity. But when someone lets me know that they were inspired to do something they always wanted to try because of something I wrote, it warms my heart. I can live without awards and fame if my writing makes a difference in the life of just one person. That recognition is far more profound.
These questions are ones that all writers should reflect on, whether they write professionally or just for fun. Knowing what is important to you is a great way to improve your efficiency at communicating your message. I am a firm believer that people should know their motivation for participating in creative activities. It can only make their work stronger and more focused.
So take a few minutes to think about it today: What is the ultimate reward from your writing? What would be the ultimate recognition? Why do you love to put words down on the page?