Friday, September 27, 2013

Qualities of Successful Writers: Persistence and Tenacity

What does it take to go from being an aspiring writer to an accomplished writer?

There are two traits every serious writer must cultivate within themselves: persistence and tenacity. It's easy to daydream about being a writer. It's easy to tell people you're thinking about writing a book someday. If someday is not today, then that book may never get written. Being a writer takes sitting down and actually writing. First you must make time to write an important part of your weekly schedule. For instance, I write in the mornings, often before dawn, so that I can start my day with at least a couple of hours writing before I can be pulled away by distractions. Some people I know write well into the night, after the kids are asleep. Whatever works for you, just carve out some time to write.

It may take several drafts to get it right. I probably write and revise each of my chapters at least 30 times (even 50 times). I read the chapters to a critique group and get feedback, then I revise my chapters a little more until they are good enough to submit to a literary agent or editor.

Selling your manuscript to a publisher takes even more persistence and tenacity. You have to have a tenacious spirit and a voice inside your head that says, "Never give up. Keep believing you'll get published." If you receive any rejections, just say "Next!" and move on to the next agent or publisher. Keep searching for ways to publish your book.

The reality is the process to selling your book to a publisher can take months to years. Self-publishing is faster, but still requires a lot of work, and a financial investment up front. After I completed writing my manuscript for SHADOWS IN THE MIST, within nine months of self-publishing, I was holding the published book in my hands. Once the book enters the publishing process, you work with an editor and proofreaders to make sure it's polished.

When the is book finally selling in bookstores or on Amazon, the author is required to promote the book so people will know it exists, and hopefully, buy a copy. Authors typically do book signings, radio interviews, blog interviews, sit on panels at conventions, speak to groups, and teach workshops, all while writing their next book.

So if you are an aspiring writer, and desire to be a published author promoting your very own books, instill in yourself a tenacious attitude that you will never give up. You will do whatever it takes to get your books written, published, and in the hands of readers. 

The most successful authors who have become bestsellers all have these two traits: persistence and tenacity.

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