What defines a successful writer?
Everyone is a writer, and anyone can be a writer. However, we can’t regard everyone as a truly successful writer. Success in writing is a phenomenon.
Becoming a successful writer entirely depends on so many factors, including your definition of success as a writer. We’ve seen famous and successful acclaimed writers flash the word “success” in our faces.
This further complicates the definition of a successful writer, as you start to imagine what differentiates you from these writers.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, a successful writer isn’t a title bestowed on anyone. You act and earn it.
I’ve also seen individuals misinterpret success in writing as money, fame, good reviews, good sales, and a lot more. However, you may be surprised to know that the definition of a successful writer is way deeper than you imagined.
As my definition of success in writing could be entirely different from yours, this makes it seem like every writer is successful, which isn’t true.
I often tell my colleagues who are also writers that you should never claim to be a successful writer until you’re able to pass at least one of the three tiers of a writer’s success.
All the dreams and desires of writers, either to be famous, to get high reviews for your books, to publish an award-winning novel, to have fantastic writing skill, etc., still falls under any one of the three tiers of a writer’s success.
Although you may be clung to the desire of becoming a successful writer, did you ever stop to check if you’re doing it right? Or if you’ve got what it takes.
I assure you that at the end of this article, you’d realize where you stand as a writer; are you successful? Are you close to success? Or is it all a waste of time?
This is the first attainable success for any writer. How good is your skill as a writer? How much knowledge have you got? How well can you brainstorm, convince and satisfy a reader with your content?
These are questions you should ask yourself before you can regard yourself as a potentially successful writer. You know the answers to all these. So, don’t lie to yourself.
Can you stand among other writers and boast of your writing skill without getting embarrassed by failing a simple writer’s test?
Many writers will never attain this success. Why? It’s merely because of their ideology of becoming writers and not to write.
Most of these aspiring writers are too lazy to dedicate their time to writing. Probably they think becoming a potentially successful writer is all about being able to write a few words that look impressive to them.
Becoming a potentially successful writer doesn’t happen in a day. It could even take years of dedication, hard work, and consistency to develop your skill as a writer to a stage where you’d be confident enough.
Without being potentially successful in writing, it’s almost impossible to be successful in the other two tiers, as this is the very first success every writer must attain before they can move further.
Potential success in writing has to be defined by individual writers. This will determine how far you’re going, and if all those dreams and hopes are closer to reality.
Personality success as a writer entails fame and popularity. Yeah, you may be a potentially successful writer, you may be pretty confident of your skill, etc.
Still, how much are people appreciating and responding to your work? What’s the essence of dedicating years to acquire a particular skill that people don’t appreciate? It’s like a waste of time!
However, so many writers seem to be the reason for their failure in this type of success. Let me explain.
You dedicating all those time to carve your writing skill means you’re taking up a writing career (even if you don’t know).
Do you have any idea how many other writers are out there creating and publishing excellent content? The world of writers isn’t a marketplace where you simply create your product and wait for buyers to come to you.
How do you hope to get awarded for a piece no one has read? How will people know your content is fascinating without reading it?
Although readers will always appreciate a useful and interesting piece, don’t expect anyone to read your article because you authored it. It doesn’t work that way.
You’d be wasting your time if after creating a perfect piece, then you sit around and wait for readers to come to you.
No one is entitled to read your piece because you authored it unless you take it up to them.
This is the most wanted kind of success for writers. Next to personality success, this is one of the most common ways writers determine if they are successful or not.
Although, not so many writers fall totally under this category. Yet, some are earning a reasonable amount from their works. After so many days and effort dedicated to creating valuable content, you would want to profit from your hard work, won’t you?
As this seems to be the highest attainable type of success in writing, it’s troubling to know that not many aspiring writers will attain this success.
Like I mentioned earlier, the wrong ideology about writing is the reason most writers fail. They often skip the stress of acquiring the first two successes listed above. They just want to start writing and bagging the cash.
If that is how it works, writing would have been as tasty as Jam, and almost every writer (including me) would have been billionaires. As hilarious as this might sound, it’s impossible.
The Secrets of Successful Writers
I’m glad to let you know that the secret to being successful as a writer isn’t a secret. Only that it isn’t visible to everyone, as many failing writers tend to blur their vision only with the golden cloud of positivity.
Let me break it down for better understanding.
Success doesn’t come without sacrifice. You have to give something to get something. That is the rule of success. Many great philosophers even believe that the best things in life don’t come easy.
Now, what you give will depend on what you get. You can’t invest $1 in business and expect to get $10,000 the following week. It’s ridiculous.
With all the preaching, now what do you have to give or do to become a successful writer?
Strive To Be Better By Reading
You must harness the craft of writing by reading. As detailed in the first tier of a writer’s success, you can’t further your success in writing if you’re not good at what you do (writing).
Successful writers dedicated so much time to improve themselves. It’s very similar to the way millionaires, multi-millionaires, and billionaires make efforts to acquire more money.
Successful writers also don’t get satisfied by their attained success. They strive to be better by improving their skill. How?
Successful writers are addictive readers. To them, reading is more of an obligation than a hobby. They read to broaden their knowledge of specific subjects and topics. Reading also helps to get familiar with more words, especially unusual ones.
This is no surprise as to how celebrated writers could brainstorm, convince, and impress people with their piece. They’ve been developing themselves by acquiring valuable knowledge from different sources (mostly books).
It is simple! If you want to be a successful writer, start reading. Don’t spend all your time only reading status updates, tweets, and other non-profitable posts that add nothing valuable to your knowledge.
I’ve seen many writers aspiring to be successful, complaining of how uneasy it is to read. Really? Then why don’t you go sign up for some other job?
Sincerely writing is a time-consuming career, and it isn’t for everyone. Because if you can’t read, then you can’t be a successful writer.
Yet, if you can cultivate the habit of reading, you’d be surprised to know how much success in writing you’re entitled to.
Quotes by JK Rowling
Read a lot. Reading helps. Read anything you can get your hands on.
If it’s a good book, anyone will read it. I’m unashamed about still reading things I loved in my childhood.
If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.
Strive To Be Better By Writing
Reading isn’t the only way to be better. You also need a lot of practice. Write as much as possible about anything and everything that comes to your mind.
It could be your emotion or an idea inspired by something or someone. It’s an excellent way to start.
After writing your piece, go through it again and again. Find your faults and correct them before showing them to a professional writer for extra correction.
Don’t fall in love with any useless word; remove or replace it if necessary.
There is no limit to the number of words you can write every day. So, try to create as much valuable content as possible (stack up against your portfolio).
Quote by Stephen King
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration; the rest of us just get up and go to work.
Don’t be Afraid to Connect and Learn.
Successful writers are never afraid to connect. Why? It’s because they are confident and they can boast of their skill as writers.
Before you can be a successful writer, you need to overcome your fear or pride in connecting. Be confident in your work and don’t hide them. Show them to people who’ll love it and commend your hard work.
Meet with other writers, discuss topics related to writing and ask questions. Connecting with other writers will expose you to excellent writing opportunities. I can relate.
The best way of getting to know more about writing is to learn from others who know better. You won’t always find everything online. So, flush your pride down the toilet and meet with other writers from who you can learn.
Learning is one of the real secrets of successful writers. So, take in what people say about your writing and work hard on becoming better in your next piece.
Finish What You Started
This is a big problem for many writers. They often start a piece with so much enthusiasm and inspiration but end up publishing it in the garbage can.
It happens when writers experience writer’s block. Why should you throw away or abandon a piece because you ran out of ideas or got fed up?
You can’t be a successful writer if you can’t finish the writing you started.
No matter how tired you’re of the work, no matter how difficult it seems to continue, no matter how useless the piece is starting to appear, you should always finish it.
Do you want to be a successful writer? Then start acting like one. Be confident enough to show yourself as a successful writer, instead of aspiring.
Without making an effort to be successful in writing and showing yourself as a successful writer, no one will regard you as one. It is a fate that lies in your hand.
Hemingway once said
Those who say they want to be writers, and aren’t, don’t.