How to Succeed as a Writer

Any writer has newbies asking how to make it in the publishing world.  And judging by the tweets and blog posts, most of us are still trying to figure that out ourselves.

The classic response is BIC: Butt in Chair.  (Or, as one writer friend likes to put it, DEC: Derriere en Chaise.)  In addition, you can go with BIC-HOK:  Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard.  My favorite is BIC-HOP: Butt in Chair, Heart on Page.

With that in mind, here’s my easy formula for success in writing:

  1. Write, write, write.
  2. Read, read, read.
  3. Write, write, write..
  4. Study, study.
  5. Write, write, write..
  6. Repeat 1-5 for the rest of your writing life.

Notice that there’s a lot more Writing than anything else.  In any worthwhile endeavor, nothing takes the place of practice.  Notice also that Reading is an integral part of writing well.  It has an element of Study, which is why I don’t spend quite as much time there as Reading.

But really all that addresses is how to succeed in writing a great story.  If you’d like some encouragement and a few tips for making it in publishing, head over to a blog post by the awesome Kristen Lamb (author of We Are Not Alone – the Writer’s Guide to Social Media).  She lays it on the line, and it’s amazing how much we’re actually in control of our success.

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9 Responses to How to Succeed as a Writer

  1. This hits the nail right on the head!

  2. asraidevin says:

    It takes a lot of hard work to succeed. Plus 10 years of hard work to become an overnight success. I’ve got 7 or 8 years left until I make it. Until then I’ll just muddle along writing and reading and studying and trying.
    Thanks for the reminder on what it takes to succeed.

    • Jennifer says:

      If I’m honest, Asrai, much of my ten+ years has been as a serious hobbyist (as referred to in Kristen’s post), not a working professional. It think I’m finally getting there, but I hope some of my past experience counts toward my time as a hard-working pro! I’ll be muddling along beside you.

  3. Leslie Rose says:

    I like your formula. I even see the writing/reading correlation in my 5th graders. The more they read across all genres, the better they write.

  4. Pingback: So you want to be a writer… « Writers For Life

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  6. Great post and like the new site! 🙂