The Secret of Success

19 Sep

Writers are always looking for that one sure secret of success that will propel them to fame and fortune. Talent, hardwork, skill, free time, certain styles of writing or submitting, even plain, old-fashioned luck, have all been mooted as ‘the’ key ingredient to success. Obviously, there are many things that can greatly help or hinder your writing success; but, I believe I have found the most important one of all….

Energy. If you want to be a successful writer, you need bucketfuls of energy. It doesn’t matter if you have inborn talent, whether you have put effort into your writing, the amount of skill you have perfected, how much free time you have or how you actually write, even luck is not as important :  if you do not have high energy levels, you are extremely unlikely to be successful. You not only have to be able to actually get something written and redrafted, but you need to be on top of submitting and publicising your work. Even if you are lucky enough to manage to write and have published a novel that catches the public mood, you will still need to put plenty of effort in to make the most of that advantage.

Energy is at the root of all other aspects of writing. Do you lack that inborn spark of talent? It doesn’t matter, with effort you can make your own spark. Not too good at spelling, grammar, plotting or some other aspect of the craft? With effort, you can learn. Want to put a lot of work into planning, researching, writing or redrafting your writing? You need time and energy. Not too much free time? You can make time – it might not seem easy, but it can be done. Even luck relies on you doing something (networking, submitting, mentioning that you write) to allow it to open the door.

Thankfully, energy comes in many forms – which is great news for those who have poor health, work long hours at stressful jobs or have families to care for. If your energy reserves are low, a sense of dedication to your writing can go a long way to motivating you. If you have highs and lows, try to time your writing-related activities to when you have a peak, no matter how brief – five minutes of productive effort can be worth hours vainly attempting to get your brain in gear. Cheat if necessary – make use of whatever labour-saving devices work for you; for example, if you find writing and editing longhand tiring, use a computer, and if that’s too much effort, use a dictaphone to record your ideas for later use. If possible, find someone to help you – many an author has had a kind friend or loved one, or a paid helper, type their work up for them.

Most of all, be honest with yourself. If you don’t have too much energy, or much of your energy reserves are directed into other areas of your life, whether work or hobbies, don’t try to do too much. Becoming a best-selling author might be beyond your capabilities right now, but, by properly directing your energy, you can lay the groundwork for later success or, at least, achieve a sufficient level of self-satisfaction with your writing. Attempting to do too much will either leave you feeling dissatisfied or compeletly burnt out, derailing your writing career forever. Energy levels change over the years and, by avoiding burn-out and disillusionment, you will likely find that you will be able to achieve your goals at a later date.

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One Response to “The Secret of Success”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A Helping Hand « atlanteanpublishing - September 20, 2012

    […] mentioned in my last post that it is useful to have someone else take on aspects of your writing work, such as typing up […]

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