Ten Things Every Successful Writer Needs

You CAN be a successful writer! It just takes a little practice and a little help from your friends (and this list). . .

1. A one-sentence description of your latest project

Have it ready when well-meaning friends and strangers ask what you’re working on.

2. A cheerleader

It’s great to have someone who believes in you 100 percent.

3. An honest reader

Yes, the truth can sting, but you need someone who will tell you if you are just a little too fond of the word “just.”

4. An outlet for nervous energy

Running, meditation, making balloon animals—see what works for you when staring at that blinking cursor makes you edgy.

5. A partner in crime

Find at least one person in your contact list who will drop everything to check out a book signing or join you in de-stressing (see above).

6. A writing mantra

Maybe it’s “criticism is subjective,” or “run your own race,” or “I am a writer.”

7. A strategy for avoiding distraction

Whatever your favorite time-suck is—is watching cute cat videos really “research”?—own up to it and use it as a reward for hitting your word count.

8. Willingness to show up and write

You have to put in some hard yards if you want to get better—practice makes perfect!

9. The courage to put your work out into the world

Scary—we know! Make sure you’ve got numbers 2, 4, and 6 all lined up.

10. A community of writers

Where are you going to find advice and commiseration on ALL of the above? People who understand the joys and challenges of the writing life! Hint: The Underlined Writing Community is a great place to start.

What is your writing mantra? Tell us in the comments below!

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  1. CLWilliams

    My Mantra is more of a short poem I made that only makes sense to me that I use for all sorts of motivations. It just came to me one day. I haven’t used it in a while though/ Maybe I should brush off the dust.
    Which should I do?
    Which should I be?
    Which shall I conquer?
    Which is more me?

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  2. CollisionOfFates

    Yep, I used to do that a lot.???? Now I make myself sit down and write at least a paragraph, because the only way I’ll get to 500 pages is if I actually write it.. lol.

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    1. luvbooks4evr

      But if you force the writing, doesn’t it end up being, like, not as good as it could be when you’re actually ready to write?

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      1. CollisionOfFates

        That’s the thing, though. I had my mindset as: I’m not ready to write this because it’s not going to be good enough. I’ve actually been coming up with ideas for my book since I was twelve, and I’d been procrastinating because I was so afraid that it wouldn’t turn out right. Once I finally decided to actually start, it was a lot better than I had thought it would be. 😀

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        1. luvbooks4evr

          Do your story ideas just grow from something small, like me, or do you actually take time to think about it and make it up? Also, how old are you? I promise I’m not some creepy 49 year old man stalking you or anything, and I hope you aren’t either( me mentally right now: please please don’t be some messed up eerie follower). I’m just kinda surprised that you’ve been coming up with ideas since you were twelve cause I’m only eleven.

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  3. luvbooks4evr

    Although this isn’t my mantra, lately, it’s just what I’ve been doing and saying: Me: okay, let’s get started.(Sits down, looks at paper) Nevermind, maybe later.

    Yeah, that sounds about right.

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  4. emma0120

    Excellent work

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    Reply 0 Replies Feb 2, 2019
  5. Krystalyn_Fountain

    Amazing, thank you.

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    Reply 0 Replies Oct 10, 2018
  6. pooopy123

    Great, thanks.

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    Reply 0 Replies Aug 8, 2018
  7. Copper1906

    Great article

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