Friday, July 18, 2008

5 Traits of Successful Authors

Do you have a publishing dream? Have you written it down? Articulated and visualized what publishing success means to you? Good! (I'm envisioning you all nodding your heads, "yes.")

So, how's it going? Are you closer than you were a year ago, or do you feel you're spinning your wheels? (My guess is that my reading audience just split into two groups: one group is smiling, the other group is frowning.)

My "guess" is not a random supposition. After 30+ years of working with writers as an editor, consultant and publisher, I've seen many writers succeed while others fail. The difference between the groups is rarely due to talent alone. Successful authors share five traits that separate them from the wannabes. And, here they are:

The 5 Traits of All Successful Authors
1. Successful authors have a personal mission. Their writing stems from a deep need to share their personal passion with the world.

2. Successful authors are persistent. They do not let setbacks or rejection stop them. They develop an attitude of persistence rather than resistance.

3. Successful authors make educating themselves about their craft and the publishing industry part of their plan for success. They subscribe to trade magazines and ezines, attend writers' conferences and workshops, and take writing classes or join writers' critique groups.

4. Successful authors invest in coaching and other programs to get professional feedback on their work. They understand that critique is not criticism and are open to the feedback they receive.

5. Successful authors have an upbeat attitude. They don't have a laundry list of excuses (circumstances) to explain why they are not successful. They understand they have to figure out a way around the obstacles and turn them into opportunities.

No one is born with these traits, but anyone can develop the characteristics of a successful author. It's up to you to decide if you want to do the work. Choosing to put your efforts into other endeavors and enjoy your writing just for the pleasure of it is a perfectly acceptable decision. But, if you are driven to see your name in print or on a book cover, then start developing these traits and you will see your dreams come true.

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