Hey there, friend. You probably want to be a successful writer, but what does that mean?
What does it take to be a successful writer?
When I was in high school, I shared a sample of writing with a friend, and she told me I was going to be the next Stephenie Meyer. This was a compliment; Twilight was all the rage during my high school years. Although I appreciate this friends support and belief in my capability of a writer, it put into my head a lofty notion of success.
We are swamped with stories of prolific writers publishing several novels a year. We are in adoration of writers like Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. But let me tell you a little secret. You don’t have to be them. You don’t have to write like them to be successful.
Do you feel the relief? I’m letting you off the hook. You do not have to be famous, you don’t have to write a series of books that land a movie deal and a theme park.
Unless that’s what you want.
But really, to be a successful writer, all you need is one thing.
You need to become the writer that you want to be. That’s it.
So rather than waiting for success once you’ve accomplished fame, take a moment to celebrate the small victories.
Small victories lead to big victories. Sometimes, we should let the little wins be enough. So let yourself be a successful writer for all your small victories.
Today you are a successful writer if you have done any of the victories mentioned in this post.
How to Be a Successful Writer Today
You Believe in Your Message
If you are anything like me, you are writing with more purpose than to simply fill a blank page. I like to explore emotions, thoughts, and feelings I don’t understand. Questions I’m not sure I know the answer to. I want my romances to inspire teens. To teach them what a healthy, loving relationship looks like. To provide them examples of how they deserve to be treated. There is a lot of garbage out there, and I want young girls to have access to positive examples too.
You want your words to have an impact on those that read them. You want to influence people. Help people. Make them see the world in a new way. You want to share a personal story. Whatever your reason, your words have a message and you believe in that message.
Confidence in why you write will go a long way. Without confidence, you won’t get very far. But if you believe in yourself and your message you will have the confidence to write. You will work hard to reach your goals because you see the worth in what you are doing.
If you believe in your message, you are a successful writer.
You Want to Write
Sometimes, there are days when I’m dying to write, but it just doesn’t work out. I am more than a writer, and sometimes my other responsibilities take precedence. I am a wife and a mother. Sometimes housework, dishes, and laundry fill my day and leave no time for writing. Sometimes my little one(s) are fussy and need extra snuggles. Writing is very important to me, but my family will always come first.
So on the days that sitting down to write isn’t feasible, I consider my desire to write a success. As long as I want to write, I know it will get done. There may be days when I can’t, but my desire does keep it a priority in my life. Because I want to write, when I have a day where I can’t, I try extra hard to write the next day.
There are also days when I don’t feel like writing. So days when I do want to write, whether or not I actually get around to it, are a success. Wanting to write is better than not wanting to write.
If you want to write, you are a successful writer.
You Thought about Your Novel
When I don’t write, either because I didn’t want to or I was too busy with other things, I try to at least think about my novel. I could be thinking about it when I’m folding the darks or loading the dishwasher.
Even on days when I do write, I still find myself thinking about my novel.
Thinking about your novel should always be a success. How else are you going to figure out plot holes or the perfect ending? As you think about your novel, you’ll work through any problems that are arising. You’ll find the perfect quirky personality trait for your main character. Successful writers think about their WIP.
If you thought about your novel, you are a successful writer.
You Wrote for 5 minutes
If you write for 5 minutes every day, that’s 1,825 minutes or almost 30.5 hours. It’s not a lot, but if it’s all you have time for, it’s a heck of a lot more than nothing. Any number of words written or time spent writing is better than none. So if you have a full-time job, or writing is one of many hobbies, let yourself count any amount of writing as a success.
And maybe it starts with 5 minutes but increases to 10 then 30 then an hour. Before you know it, you’ll have a first draft completed. This may not be a sustainable way to churn out several novels a year, but it’s definitely a way to write a novel every few years. And if that is enough for you, then take it as a success.
If you wrote today, you are a successful writer.
What other small victories make you a successful writer?