I often wonder how some authors are highly successful while other authors seem to struggle. The more I looked into it the more I realized the following about successful authors.
1. Successful Authors Write About Things They Are Passionate About
Whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, it is imperative that you write about something you care about. Successful authors have some emotional connection to their content or story. If you are writing fiction, then write from a place of emotional familiarity. Your genuine experience will come through in your writing and your readers will connect with that. If you are writing a nonfiction piece, choose a topic you are passionate or enthusiastic about. After all, if you are going to invest your precious time in what you are writing, you owe it to yourself to write with passion, feeling and enthusiasm. Your readers will feel it also.
2. Successful Authors Take Risks
Some people write to please others or write for money. They shun controversy. Don’t be afraid to put what you’re feeling in your book. In the world of fiction, you have no doubt heard about creating characters that are larger than life. That doesn’t mean they are giants; it means these authors go above and beyond and take risks. They make decisions that we would not have the courage to take in our own lives. After all, it’s not about what we would do when we are tethered by the restrictions of polite behavior…it’s what we would do in our wildest imaginations that make our readers sit up and take notice.
For the nonfiction writer, it’s time for you to also take a stand. Take a view and stick with it. The greatest journalists are the ones who are not afraid to speak their minds. Get into that habit and you’re well on your way to being that next great writer.
3. Successful Authors Have A Plan
This is definitely the most ignored habit but equally the most important phase of the writing process. Planning is essential to the success of any undertaking and writing is no different. Whether you are writing a short story, novel, or screenplay, planning the story before you begin writing is as essential to your success as ink is in your pen or power is to your laptop.
I can have a dream, hear a song, or see something on TV and then everything starts to unfold for me leading me to write about it. I use it like therapy. It’s at this point where I take the time to plan out my story. I do my research and jot down a beginning, middle and end. I found out the more planning I do in advance the less writer’s block I have. This also makes the writing process for me more enjoyable. The more planning you do, the more enjoyable the writing process and the less rewriting and editing you will have to do.
4. Successful Writers Write Every Day
This is something I really struggle with because there are so many distractions. When I start to write something, I can write for hours. But then there are other times I just don’t feel up to it. This is like any other job out there, but I personally have made up my mind that I am going to try and set aside some time to write something each and every day. That is how you become a writer. Even if you only write one page every day, that’s 365 pages in a year and that’s a whole book!
5. Successful Writers Are Persistent
It is said that persistence outstrips all other virtues. Almost every successful author I read about has said that their success is due (at least in some part) to pure persistence and determination. It does not matter if you are self-publishing or working with a publisher who rejected your work. The message here is Don’t Give Up! Rewrite your article and resubmit them again and again if necessary. The authors that succeed are the ones who don’t stop. As the saying goes, winners never quit and quitters never win.
6. Successful Writers Let It Go
When you have written your article, book, or screenplay, once it’s submitted for publication or approval let it go. If you’ve done the best you can with it, let it go and trust that it will make its way to where it needs to be. Start something else right away. Regardless of whether what you have submitted is accepted or rejected, you are a writer and a writer will always write regardless. Once you finish one piece start immediately on another
In my opinion if you adopt these habits yourself, before you know it, you too will join the ranks of highly successful authors!
Ann M. Hampton, P.S. D.D.