Success vs. Impact

As writers, we tend to judge our writing by the markers of success. We check the likes and comments on our blog posts. As authors, we check our reviews and the numbers of copies we sell. It is normal to look for success in our endeavors, but is that the only measure of their success or worth? What about their impact?

I have read hundreds of books in my lifetime, but the ones that made an impact on me are in a separate category. I love to be entertained by a good historical fiction book and an informative non-fiction book is always welcome but how many have made a significant impact on my life?

“IMPACT – TO HAVE A STRONG EFFECT ON SOMEONE OR SOMETHING.” Oxford Languages

When I think about the books (other than the Bible) that have impacted me in my life, I think about those I read as a teenager. First and foremost was “On the Beach” by Nevil Shute. It gave me an abhorrence for the thought of all-out nuclear war. “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran was a lovely book of poetry and prose that spoke to my soul. And of course, “1984” and “Animal Farm” showed me about the abuses of totalitarianism. Then there were those that spoke to me as an adult. “Hinds feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard taught me about the difficulty of the Christian journey and the faithfulness of Christ. The Zion Covenant series by Brock and Bodie Thoene taught me about the personal costs of World War II. “The Crucifixion of Ministry” by Andrew Purves is teaching me again (as I read it the third time) about laying down “my agenda” and letting Christ work in and through me.

Impact in writing is not always about a book though. Articles in magazines have impacted me at just the right time when I needed help or information on a subject. And blogs, how many times have blog posts spoken to me and encouraged me? One blogger that always informs and educates me is Jack Parquette who writes the “Quo Vadis” blog. I have laughed at his wry sense of humor and been enlightened by his historical view on many of the issues we are dealing with today.

Remember, there is more to writing than the fleeting markers of success, there is the possibility of making a real impact on someone’s life.

Think about those writers, books or bloggers that have made a significant impact on your life. In the comment section below, please share some of them with us.

Image by Rony Michaud. Courtesy of Pixabay.