3 Things Successful Writers Have in Common

Don’t Clip Your Wings

bpwAs the host of Back Porch Writer: The show for writers, about writers, and writing, I have the pleasure of learning from an amazing variety of writers, editors, publishers, marketing, and publicity experts. After over a year of interviews, I can tell you that they all have this advice in common:

1) Go after what you want. No one can do it for you.

Is it easy? No.

Is it necessary? That depends how hungry you are.

The one thing that distinguishes a published writer (self/indie or traditionally) from an unpublished one, is a burning desire to make something happen. That burning desire is the same thing that drives successful entrepreneurs, the street hustler, and, if you have young children, their insatiable need to find answers to everything, or focus intently on creating something, from the cardboard box that cool toy you bought them, came in. It’s not luck. Sure, luck has something to do with it, but it’s not the key ingredient.

2) Raise your expectations. For yourself.

If you’ve never watched Stand and Deliver, do it. Now. Well, not now, now. Finish reading this post first. Jaime Escalante said it best. Check out this clip.

Your desire to write and to publish must be stronger than your fear of rejection/failure. Rejection is nothing more than one editor, or agent’s, subjective opinion about the salability of your work. It’s not necessarily a reflection of the quality of your work.  A quick Google search yields a great list of literary giants who received numerous rejections from agents and publishers.

Let’s not forget one very important detail: Publishing no longer belongs in the hands of The Big Publishers. The publishing landscape is changing daily. Check out Author Earnings. You and your potential readers are in the driver’s seat.

Fifty Shades of Grey started as fan fiction. Whether you like the book or not, the author’s desire sent the series soaring.

No successful entrepreneur or street hustler puts all his eggs in one basket.

3) Sculpt Your Future

Now, more than ever, you have the unique opportunity to take control of your writing life — if, you have the desire. You are the sculptor.

Do you wake up ready to go after it? If you answered no, then you’ve clipped your wings.

How can you increase your desire?

  • Make and post a list of rewards for accomplishing your goals.
  • Observe other successful people (in and out of your field.)
  • Clip pictures that remind you of your goals. Post them where you can see them.
  • Visualize yourself being interviewed about your books. Is Oprah interviewing you? Are you on The Today show?
  • Use affirmations.

I’m sure there are other ideas. Post your suggestions in the comments. And, if you’d like to be a guest on Back Porch Writer, or write a post for the site, shoot me a message. I’d love to hear your ideas!


Kori Miller is an author, entrepreneur, and podcaster. She welcomes guest bloggers via two of her websites: Kori Miller Writes and Back Porch Writer.
Her book, Deadly Sins: A Dezeray Jackson Mini-Series, was released in 2014.