Magic Secrets to Writing Success

When I complete a book, I force myself to let let it rest long enough for me to look at it and not be blinded by what I know it's supposed to say, rather than what it actually says.

I've learned to do this. Now, if I could just learn to let go of the book, I'd be happy. I really, really hate being a perfectionist. It's a curse. Anyway, I'm not here to talk about my shortcomings. Instead, I want to talk about my end-of-book rite of passage.

When I finish a book, I start cleaning. I begin with files because clutter in my small office is always a problem. I guess I clean because it's a relief to do something that doesn't require pulling brilliant words from my depleted brain.

Clean Away Clutter

This past week, I've been cleaning out my promotion files –- tossing outdated information, reviewing what I've done in the past world of print books, and adding some new things to try to my To Do list.

I keep one example of each thing I create like old bookmark designs. I think one that I created as a giveaway to writers when I deliver presentations has content worth repeating here. It contains what I called Magic Secrets to Writing Success.

Actually, none of what I'm about to impart is magical nor secretive, but calling this post "Hard Work Equals Success" won't motivate you to continue reading. All of these so-called magic secrets can apply to any creative or artistic endeavor. Just substitute the word or words that describe what you're trying to achieve in place of my words that pertain to writing.

10 Magic Secrets

1. You must write. Not talk about it, not think about it, not dream about it, but do it.

2. You must write consistently. Not when the Muse inspires you, not when your house is clean, not when everything in life is running smoothly, but every day consistently.

3. You must strive to improve. Practice indeed makes perfect, or at least better.

4. You must put your work out there in the marketplace. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

5. You must persist when rejected. Rejection comes from agents and publishers and readers. Not everything you write excites agents or sells to publishers or gets embraced by readers.

6. You must believe in yourself. Even when no one else believes in you–especially when no one else believes in you.

7. You must remember why you began writing in the first place. You write because you love putting words together to express the "pictures in your head." The love of writing carries you through. The love of selling something to create cash flow won't. Producing income is nice, but in the end, writers write because of the love of writing.

8. You must accept that you may never get a lucky break. Attracting attention from the masses, selling thousands a day, getting a movie option, or having an agent take your book to auction or any of the other career leaps cannot be made to happen. Luck, serendipity, whatever you call it, plays a big part in that kind of success. This is a business where luck plays a part. But, if you write consistently, always improving, you can probably generate a livable wage and find an audience of loyal readers.

9. You must write anyway -– regardless of luck –- because it is what you do, who you are.

10. Plan to control only what is directly within your power. What do writers control? Writing the book. If you're an indie author, you also control the production process so do it as well as the big boys in New York. You can't control reviewers, sales, what others say on social networks and blogs, or anything else like that. So focus on the book.

Takeaway Truth

The true reward, in and of itself, is always the writing.

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