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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Have you ever wondered why some writers are more successful than others?
All my life I always wanted to be a writer. I did not, however, associate being a writer with being rich. All I wanted to do was read and tell stories.
In secondary school many years ago, I had a small fan club of friends who gathered around me to hear stories from the books I had read. These books were by James Hadley Chase and Denise Robins. Remember them?
I wanted to tell stories the way they did, and captivate people. So, I read everything I could find about their writing and, in turn, entertained my friends.
They looked forward to lunchtimes and stolen moments away from lectures.
Looking back, those periods in my life were some of my happiest moments growing up. I thought I was pretty good. My friends told me I was good at storytelling. For a long time, I knew I had a shot at being a good writer.
But life took me on a different journey and my dream to write was forgotten for a long time.
I have rediscovered that dream. And this time I want to stick with it and be successful at it. While I want to be a great writer someday, I also want to make a living from it.
Success in writing for me also means making an income from it.
So, how do you become successful at writing?
Here are 5 proven strategies to be successful as a writer.

1. Identify what you are
Call yourself a writer. With that declaration, comes confidence. You will develop the commitment to act on that knowledge.
When I wrote my first romance novella, I did not see myself as a writer. I called myself every name other than a writer. I wasn’t confident to discuss what I was writing with my friends.
Luckily that mindset didn’t last long.
Own the title proudly and watch your confidence soar.
2. Submit yourself to a master
I am an advocate for mentoring. As writers, we are constantly evolving. I am still growing and learning as a writer, so are many writers, especially the budding writers.
We all want to be masters of the craft, someday. It is therefore important that we learn from the masters. It will help us grow exponentially.
Most famous writers had mentors in the early stages of their writing careers.
Ernest Hemingway had a mentor. As a young man, he was mentored by Sherwood Anderson, who helped him get his first publishing deal.
Neil Gaiman also had a mentor. His mentor was Alan Moore.
Jay McInerney’s mentor, Raymond Carver, encouraged him to take on writing full time. And the list goes on.
3. Show up and do the work.
To be a master of the craft, you must show up and do the work.
Look at it this way. You have a 9–5 job that requires you to turn up 5 days a week or even more days, in some cases. You show up every single day to do the work, (unless life happens) right?
You don’t decide to turn up two days out of 5 days. If you don’t show up without a legitimate reason, you run the risk of losing your pay, or even your job.

It’s kind of the same with writing.
To be great at writing, you must write every day. You cannot write at random. You cannot show up every 6 months to write. You write every day- well, almost every day.
I wrote my books while holding down a 9–5 job. I wrote while commuting. I still write while commuting to work. To crave only quiet places to write, in my opinion, is an excuse not to write.
A good place to start is to decide how many words you can write a day and commit to it. 300- 500 words per day seem achievable.

Jeff Goins does it. Look where he is today.
Nicolas Cole writes 10,000 words a day. He is super successful as a writer.
My son wrote every day, for a whole year. He is not yet successful as a writer, but his perseverance to write every day for a year was inspiring. Such mindset will set him up for success someday.
Consistency is the key to becoming a successful writer.
Granted, it is not always easy, but I am thriving to follow this rule- one day at a time
4. Master more than one skill
It is important for a writer to have more than one skill. My books could have sold better if I knew how to promote them. Since realizing this, I have learned a few things about marketing and advertising. These are skills every writer should have.

I am also learning podcasting. I have always shied away from it. A friend of mine tells me podcasting is easy to master. It looks as if he could be right because I am beginning to make progress.
I am obviously not saying you should be a jack of all trade. Far from it, but mastering one or two additional skills to complement your writing skills will stand you in good stead.
5. Be kind and generous
Give more than you take.
It is important to spare some time and comment on or share other people’s articles, especially those of new bloggers and budding writers.
Give them support and encouragement. You were once a newbie like them.
Be generous with your advice and content. Don’t show up only when you want them to buy a bunch of courses or books from you.
The kindness and generosity you show people do not go unnoticed.
The recipients will turn up when you need them- to buy the courses, and books that will make you even more successful.

Take away,
As writers, we all have ideas of how we want to be seen. While some writers just want to use their writing as an outlet for frustrations or happiness in their personal lives, others want to be famous for their writing, but not necessarily rich from it.
Yet, others want to be great, famous, as well as make a good living from it. These are all brilliant reasons to be a writer.
Whichever way you see yourself as a writer, the important thing is to show up and do the work. Success will come with determination and dedication, eventually.
Thanks for stopping by.



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