Note: This is Day 11 in the “Recharge Your Creative Batteries in 31 Days” Challenge. For the rest of July, we’ll be posting different ways for you to get yourself on the path to living in a creative flow and reaching your writing goals. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss any.
You want to be a successful writer. You dream of seeing your name in print. You imagine what it will be like to attend your first book signing, not as a reader, but as an author.
Problem is, you’re just not there yet. In fact, you’re not even close.
Sure, you’ve written a bunch of stuff: a blog post here, a short story there. But that’s about it.
Your writer-friends on the other hand? They’re making shit happen. One of them recently got something published while another just quit her crappy day job and is now freelancing full-time.
So what’s your problem? Do they know a secret that you don’t?
I don’t know your writer-friends personally, but I’d be willing to bet money on the fact that they’re doing something consistently that you’re not: writing!
The Secret To Writing Success
If you want to be a successful writer, if you want to make your writing dreams a reality, there’s a big, important secret you need to know.
No, it’s not story structure (although you absolutely need to know that to ever get published). It’s not creativity exercises (but those do help). It’s not even being a better writer than everyone else.
It’s having a writing routine. Sounds simple, because it is.
A writing routine is the difference between a casual writer who dabbles now and then, and a successful writer who makes her dreams come true.
It’s not about someone being a better writer than you are or having more ideas than you do. It’s the fact that successful writers consistently show up to the page, every single day without exception or excuses.
When was the last time you did that?
Making Success Real
There are no shades of grey when it comes to being successful. Success is black and white—either you do the work every day and make the commitment to yourself/your writing or you don’t.
Plain and simple.
You can make excuses all you want and complain that you just can’t fit writing in every single day. That’s all fine and good.
While you’re making excuses, successful writers will be sitting down and putting words on the page.
If you want to be a successful writer too, you need to do these 3 things at the very least:
- Give Up Any and All Excuses—hard to do, yes, but worth it. Excuses hold you back from achieving things in your life. They keep you from fulfilling all the dreams you have for your writing. You only have so much time on this Earth, why waste it making excuses? I know you’re scared, we all are. But successful writers push through the fear because that’s what it takes. Nothing worthwhile is ever going to be easy.
- Get Into A Writing Routine and Never Stop—Stephen King writes every single day of his life (don’t believe me? Read On Writing). He shows up to the page. He does the work. Everything he writes may not be best-seller quality at first, but he knows that’s what revisions are for. He doesn’t let the possibility of writing something awful stop him from writing. First drafts are shit, that’s just how it is. But you can’t get to the good stuff without writing some shitty stuff first. Routine will help you get to the good stuff, dabble-writing here or there won’t.
- Push Through—stuff is gonna come up. Life will get in the way. You will feel the fear. The fear will almost paralyze you at times. But you gotta push through. You gotta keep working toward what you want. Feel the fear and do it anyways, that’s the mantra of successful writers. Adopt it for yourself.
Being a successful writer isn’t for everyone. It isn’t even for most of the writers out there who call themselves writers.
Yes, if you write anything at all you’re a writer, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be a successful writer. Success takes work. It takes perseverance. It takes believing in yourself and believing that every small step you take is moving you closer to your goal.
I’ll leave you with words from the brilliant Stephen King:
“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented
individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work,”–Stephen King
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