"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

IWSG: 7 Things Successful Authors Don’t Do

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! founded by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs. You can also join us on twitter using the hashtag #IWSG, or on the Facebook page

Today, I want to share "7 Things Successful Authors Don't Do".

1)      They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves – rejections, failure to receive income, lapse in publication, loss of contests, and watching others achieve success can slow anyone down. Those feelings are normal. However, successful authors don’t allow themselves to wallow in self pity - dwelling on the past, especially when it comes to things they can’t control. They will always keep going.

2)      They don’t put all of their eggs in one basket – changes in publishing needs, transitions to new editors, and even publication closures can leave an author scrambling for their next paycheck if they don’t have multiple projects in the works. Keep trying new venues. Always have more than one project to complete.

3)      They don’t worry about pleasing everyone – there is no such thing as perfect writing that everyone for all time will love. Someone will always hate it, find themselves in the piece, or just have negative comments to share. Successful authors are aware of “internet trolls” and they never let a negative review by strangers, friends, or family keep them from following their pursuit of publication. Never!

4)      They don’t fear taking calculated risks – they don’t feel the world owes them anything, just as they don’t fear success. Attention, whether negative or positive (because the piece is loved or hated) can follow you. Just remember, you’re not writing for others, but for yourself.

5)      They don’t make the same mistakes over and over - they continue learning, improving, and seeking more. They are more focused on improving themselves, and their skills, than they are on what others are doing.

6)      They learn to balance alone time and public forums - Most of us are introverts by nature. Some of us have a happy talent for the public eye, and are skilled at marketing and promotion. Some are just naturally likable people you want to support no matter their skill lever. Successful authors learn to do both - create great material, and share the news without becoming pushy salespeople. They also refuse to get lost in the social media zone, limiting their daily time online.

7)      They don’t give up – they don’t expect immediate results. They continue to learn, practice, and create. They are able to find fulfillment in the sheer joy of creation - not in the labels others provide. NEVER GIVE UP YOUR LOVE OF THE CRAFT!


Susan Kane said...

Such great advice!

Caitlin Lane said...

#7 is perhaps the most true! I have to wonder if other writers have encountered the thought of "I just can't anymore," only to realize that giving up writing is simply impossible.

Diana Wilder said...

Bravissima to you Sylvia! They're all valid!

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Great tips! I especially love #3, since as Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’re damned if you and damned if you don’t.”

Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

AJ Lauer said...

This was wonderful :) Especially number 7. I am learning about that now heh.

Happy IWSG Day!
AJ Lauer
an IWSG co-host

Bish Denham said...

Every single one of these is absolutely true!

Michelle Wallace said...

Great points!
I like nos.#2 and #4... with the emphasis on "calculated".
Writer In Transit

Ava Quinn said...

All great tips! Thanks for sharing them. :)

Elizabeth said...

Excellent advice and so very true! Thank you Sylvia :)

Lindsey Hodder said...

Great advice! Especially about not putting all of your eggs in one basket - that's definitely something that's difficult to remember.

Lindsey Hodder - Adventures in YA Publishing Community Intern

Lindsey Hodder said...

Great advice! Especially about not putting all of your eggs in one basket - that's definitely something that's difficult to remember.

Lindsey Hodder - Adventures in YA Publishing Community Intern