Whenever young writers are gathered, one question that is always asked – in varying forms, is ‘how can one become a successful writer?’ It goes without saying that this poser has no direct ‘A-B-C’ answer. As a matter of fact, successful writers will offer different tips on excelling in the writing craft because writing is a personal journey where what works for one may not work for another.
However, there are certain habits that can improve any writer’s chances of making it in the industry. In this article we will address 4 of them which are very important:
BE SYSTEMATIC: HAVE AN ORGANIZED DAILY ROUTINE AND FOLLOW IT!
In order to be able to initiate and complete your writing projects, you have to create a schedule that you can fit your activities (including writing) into and follow it diligently. Successful writers who have a day job create their writing routines to fit in. So, instead of letting your writing affect your job or the other way round, create or identify the ‘free’ times of your day and use it for writing – but be consistent, even if it means setting an alarm on your devices.
BE A PHOENIX: DEVELOP A THICK-SPONGY SKIN. TAKE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK.
One of the things that can make or mar a writer is feedback/criticism. Some are good – tending towards empty flattery, and some are bad – seemingly attacks meant to destabilize. As a writer who intends to be successful, you must develop a thick to withstand the criticism from dismissive critics and overly aggressive editors and learn to overcome rejections of submissions and failure to win contests/prizes. Successful writers learn to rise beyond the slump and objectively assess criticism or rejections. Do the same.
BE AN INVESTIGATOR: RESEARCH! READ! ASK QUESTIONS!
No writer is born with all the knowledge in the word and, even with subjects that you seem to be very familiar with, there are always angles and perspectives that will remain elusive to you and which will take away from your writing. So, like most successful writers, ensure you read as much as you can (especially when you have a particular project at hand), research the theme of whatever you are writing, and ask questions from people who can give information and alternative viewpoints. Ensure this doesn’t turn into information overload.
DROP BREADCRUMBS: ALWAYS LEAVE YOURSELF SUBTLE WRITING PROMPTS.
Every writer has these moments of brilliance where ideas just pop up and, often times, you may not be able to work on that idea at that very moment. Sometimes, when you want to revisit that idea, you find out that it is gone and only a shadow of it is left in your mind. What successful writers do is to always keep brief notes of these ideas as they come. You can use the notes app in your phone, use a physical sticky note and paste them on the walls of your writing space or you can keep a small pocket notebook where you write down the ideas/tips as they come to you. Those ideas scribbled down have helped many writers create bestsellers and you can cash in on that too.
Let us know what your thoughts are on these tips and if you have found any of them useful.
Also, remember that it is never too late in life to start writing. You can start your writing career at any point in your life. So, answer your calling and share the wonders of your imagination and perceptions with the world.
I am a member of the WRR editorial team.