"Success happens when a writer’s goal is to always move forward by improving craft, marketing, and professionalism."
We live in a comfortable society. But that can be dangerous for writers who choose complacency rather than pouring a steady stream of effort into their writing. Success happens when a writer’s goal is to always move forward by improving craft, marketing, and professionalism.
Have you ever met a writer who expected and demanded results from readers, other writers, and those involved in the profession without doing their share of the work? It’s a sad case of entitlement and can occur among writers of all levels. We cheer the ones who early on recognize a too-comfortable, smug, and self-satisfied attitude and change before rigor mortis appears in their writing career.
What are signs a writer may be headed toward a shattered professional life?
- My last book did well. I see no reason for me to fix what’s not broken. I’ll simply slap on a new title and tweak the current content. In fact, I’ll make a template for this book project, and the rest of the manuscript will come.
- I’m tired of social media. Honestly, interacting with my audience takes time. They can find someone else to answer their questions. Besides, I have no clue if they’re even buying my book. The social media guideline that posting is “not about me” didn’t take into consideration my apparent success.
- If the publisher wants to edit my work, I’m good with it. It takes too much time for me to edit and re-edit. What’s important is my name on the cover.
- Attend a writing conference? Are you kidding? If I’m not teaching at a writer’s event, then I’m not going. I already know it all.
- The last thing I intend to do is help another writer. What a waste of time. And what if I gave away my secrets to success and that writer sells more books than I have?
- I’m done with healthy eating and exercise stuff. All the hype about not being able to write well when our bodies are out of shape is just a lie. Bring on the burgers, fries, and milkshakes.
- I’m donating all my writing books. Not needed for someone of my caliber. Another thought is to sell them since I read and applied the information.
- Meeting deadlines is just for new writers. My publisher knows I deliver an excellent book when I’m good and ready to send it in.
- Career counseling? Who needs it? I’m set with my brand. Readers will devour my books just because my name is on them.
- Time to increase my advance and raise the percentages on my royalties. Better yet, where are my movie contracts?
I hope you’re laughing at the above ten danger signs of a complacent writer. Below are three signs of a successful writer.
- I pledge to daily increase my knowledge of the craft, marketing, social media, and the publishing industry.
- I pledge to reaching out to readers, provide information to better their lives, and create stories that entertain, inspire, and encourage them.
- I pledge to pay it forward to new and struggling writers so readers will continue to enjoy books long after I’m gone.
I challenge you, dear writer, to strive for a career that increases your skills, invites new readers, and pays it forward to the next generation of writers.
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a former director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
DiAnn shares her passion for helping other writers be successful by teaching writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com