As the director of DoctorZed Publishing I’m often asked by writers for advice and pointers on how to stand out from the crowd. With over 45 million titles on Amazon (2019), how does an author get their books noticed?
I’ve seen writers come and go. I’ve seen a lot of great talent that most people don’t get to see. Unfortunately, I’ve also seen a lot of talent go to waste. Granted, you need to have some talent to be a successful writer, but it isn’t talent that determines the success of a writer.
I’ve noticed in those writers that last longer than others that it isn’t necessarily their ability to tell a good story, rather their attitude that makes the difference.
In all, there are 5 basic attitudes of writers who seem to last the distance, and I’ve arranged them as 5 POINTers for any writer or content producer that is looking to improve and find writing success. These are:
- Plan your writing
- Organise your writing
- Innovate your writing
- Network your writing
- Toughen up
Let’s now discuss each of the 5 ‘writing success attitudes’ briefly.
Plan Your Writing
Ever heard someone say they’re going to write a book, then 5 years later they’re still saying they’re going to?
It’s just as true in writing as with anything you wish to accomplish: if you fail to plan you plan to fail. Failing to plan your writing venture means at worst it will never get done and at best take far longer than you had hoped it would.
When it comes to planning your writing, take a leaf out of the business model for planning and have a vision for what you want to achieve. In developing this vision ask yourself this question: What is the ultimate vision you have for yourself as a person and how can your writing help you to achieve it?
Organise Your Writing
A good writer is an organised writer.
If your writing space is cluttered and disorganised, your writing space is not conducive to creative work. Clutter, especially visual clutter, causes stress and stress is a major block to creativity. Get your workspace right and your headspace will write.
Being organised in writing also means setting goals and to-do lists. Yes, it may be mundane and left brain dominant, but like having a clutter-free workspace an organised calendar of things that need to be done reduces stress and increases writing efficiency.
One simple goal setting technique for writing is word count goals. Give yourself a goal of 500 words per day and within 100 days you’ll have written 50,000 words. How good does that sound?
Innovate Your Writing
A successful writer doesn’t rest on her laurels.
She is constantly thinking of how to improve her writing. She is constantly learning how to be a better writer and aiming to master her craft. She thinks outside the page. She innovates wherever and whenever she can.
Part of innovation is embracing change, and that includes embracing technology. The publishing world has been in a state of major change in the past 10-15 years. It’s been an e-volution of sorts, with a push toward digital technologies and delivery platforms. Remember, iPads have not even been around for 10 years. What will the next 10 years have in store for us, especially for writers and content producers?
Remember, iPads have not even been around for 10 years. What will the next 10 years have in store for us, especially for writers and content producers?
Network Your Writing
Yes, many writers cringe when they hear the word ‘networking’. Most writers can’t bear the thought of having to self-promote. They’d rather sit at their workspace, write what they need to write, and hope somebody else will sell their words for them.
Successful writers don’t rely on somebody else to do what needs to be done. They take responsibility for the marketing and promotion of themselves and their writing. They understand that it isn’t the book that sells, but them – their author brand.
They therefore get out and about, either face to face with readers at workshops, writers’ festivals and events, or online, engaging with their community through social media, email newsletters, their author website.
They even network with other writers, learning what they do to improve their writing and their marketing.
Perhaps resilience is a better word. A resilient writer will weather the hard times. When the going gets tough, the resilient writer keeps writing.
Things don’t always go to plan, even if you’ve got great plans. Sometimes life gets in the way of your writing. But if you stick to your plans, adapt them if necessary, be organised and innovative, and get out there and talk to the people you need to talk to, then you are actually doing what you need to do – be resilient.
To improve your chances of writing success, take note of the 5 POINTers that successful writers do well:
- Plan your writing to create a vision of who you want to be and how writing can achieve that
- Organise your writing to declutter and destress and let the creativity flow
- Innovate to improve your writing and master your craft
- Network to promote your author brand and your writing
- Toughen up to build resilience and get through the hard times
*This article first appeared on ContentPlexus.com and is re-published with permission.
‘Remember, success like writing is a habit’
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