Thursday, July 21, 2016

3 Key Ingredients to Becoming a Successful Writer

Recently I came across an interesting proposition. Pen Center USA is offering an Emerging Voices Fellowship. It's explained as:
"A literary mentorship that aims to provide new writers who are isolated from the literary establishment with the tools, skills, and knowledge they need to launch a professional writing career."

In layman's terms, that means a $1000 grant and an eight month professional mentorship. Pretty sweet deal, eh? But does a writer really need all that?

I think not.

Stop. Put away the pitchforks and rotten eggs. Give me a chance to explain my position . . .

While writerly bells and whistles are nice, and I certainly wouldn't turn down a thousand bucks if someone handed it to me, these things are not necessary to become a successful writer. What is?

3 Key Ingredients to Becoming a Successful Writer

Stamina
Determination is a trait every successful author owns. The secret to becoming a writer is to write. Not talk about writing. Not dream about writing. Parking your butt in the chair and writing is what makes a writer. It's not always fun. It sure as heck ain't glamorous. And newsflash: you won't make a bajillion dollars. But if an author is what you really want to be way deep down in the marrow of your bones, you've got to have stamina to keep pounding out words even when the going gets tough.

Grit
Rejection sucks. Whew. Glad we got that one out in the open. It's seriously a slap in the face when you read a review or receive a rejection that attacks your writing. In order to become an author, you've got to have the guts to take stinging criticism without getting your hackles up.

Humility
A teachable spirit is what sets apart the winners from the wannabes. Learning and growing are part of the process so that you don't stagnate. There's no room for pride in the publishing biz.

So . . . do you have what it takes? And if not, are you willing to do what it takes?


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