6 Skills Define Successful Authors

I've read enough unpublished manuscripts and talked to enough wannabe authors over the years that I can draw certain conclusions about what separates a successful author from those not so successful.

Hardly any writer is an overnight success. Rarely does a writer sell a first manuscript. Unfortunately, in the indie writing world, one often sees what can only be considered first manuscripts being published every day of the week. Some writers are so desperate to make the leap to publication that they don't take a considered approach to publishing.

In my humble opinion, a writer must possess...

6 Skills That Define Successful Authors

1. Basic grammar skills.

Your English teachers were right. Good grammar and spelling are necessary even in this world of Grammatick, SpellCheck, and other apps that do the same.

2. A learned set of narrative skills.

That's plotting, characterization, viewpoint, scene and sequel, stimulus/response transactions, etc. If you don't know the full extent of narrative skills necessary, do yourself a favor and study so you can learn what you need to know.

3. The desire to tell stories.

Every successful author is at heart a storyteller.

4. Talent.

I think if you have the desire to do something, you already possess the talent to follow through. I don't think God gives you the desire to do something without giving you an innate talent for that, but you may need to add the other skills to that innate desire.

5. Business sense.

You need to have business savvy in order to know when you need professional assistance (proofreader, formatter, content editor, agent, etc.). You also need business sense to know -- or learn -- how to network, market, promote, take care of the money aspects of your career, and balance everything so you keep writing.

6. Persistence.

You need to know how to stay the course - to keep plugging away when sales are slow or submissions get rejected.

All successful authors have these characteristics.

Takeaway Truth

Analyze yourself in relation to these characteristics. Is there room for improvement? If so, target the skills you lack and begin work on them immediately.

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