Take my man Stephen Foster. He was America's first professional songwriter. He drank too much and his marriage suffered. His songs are still performed today. He died broke at 37.
He wrote "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair" but his wife had already left him.
Is that success or failure?
Or is the paradigm irrelevant?
I'm thinking about myself, of course.
I've never been cut-throat ambitious. I've written all my life, but never worked particularly hard at getting published. I have publication credits here, there and over yonder, but not what you'd call a career. And do I care? No, not really.
I'm living my life on my own terms. That's what matters to me.