I never really had any milestones about my writing. Keep in mind, I haven't been at it that long -- seriously at it, that is. I've been writing forever but I didn't seriously try to get published until 2004 and it wasn't until 2005 that I discovered contests, feedback, and what I feel is my voice. It was in 2006 that I realized I had what it took. I think prior to that, I was kidding myself, but last year I think I knew that it was just a matter of time. I don't mean to sound arrogant or anything here, it's just how it went. Once I figured out what I had to do to write, once I figured out my voice, it was a matter of putting it all together into the right story.
Did I want best-sellerdom and all that? Nope. My goal has always been to Write Good Books about subjects that I want to write about. I don't want to compromise in order to hit a market, and I don't want to compromise in order to impress a judge or an editor or an agent.
I wanted to write my book, my way, and sell it.
And I have. Will they be successes? I think they will be. Perhaps small ripples in small ponds, but I think those ripples will grow. Word of mouth, back list, friend telling friend -- I may not get the promo budget from a big publisher, but I think eventually I'll have some modest success. And that will be fine.
For me, personally, I want to finish the SciFi series I started three years ago and get it into the best possible shape I can. Those books are the ones I'll be most proud of if I sell them and they do well. They're a challenge to write and plot, and if I can make a success of those ... Then I'll feel like I'm a real writer, regardless of who publishes them or how well they do. These are stories that really stretch me in terms of craft, so doing them well will be a true test for me.
But for now I'll continue honing my talent on my books that are so much fun to write, and learn more and more as I go along. When I'm ready to tackle my Big Books, I will. I'm not quite ready yet. I still have on the training wheels and am stumbling along the road.