I was talking with Ryan Johnson, and we got to the topic of why we write. Ryan says he writes because he is bored and needs something to fill up the time. The reason I bring this up is it gets to how writers measure their success. If Ryan writes and isn't bored for sometime than he is successful; whereas others may consider a certain amount of publishing to be successful.
As for myself, I have been published twice by my school magazine, had a hand full of poetry features around town (most set up by friends), and never gotten past the first round of a slam; does this make me a successful poet? Sometimes I don't think it does. Most of the time however I stay true to my original purpose in writing:expressing myself. This goal is not at all concerned with quality of poetry produced. As long as a poem expresses some thought of mine it is a success. I've talked to a pastor or two about how I feel it is important to my faith, but I'm not sure that argument holds much water. Sometimes it expresses my faith, and I feel there is some type of a spiritual discipline at work, most of the time it is me doing what I want.
What do you think? How does one define success as a poet? Why do you write?