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What is a Successful Writer?
Writing, like life is a self-determining status. You are successful when you reach your goals.
I have known many people in various professions who have dreamed about writing their personal memoirs, professional insights, a self-help book, an adventure novel or a love story. I have not known of any writers who have dreamed of being anything other than a better writer.
What are your goals? Do you want to entertain others through your writing? In this age of Internet marketing for fun and profit, do you want to sell products or optimize search engines. Do you want to convey news, challenge perspectives, write the American novel, or win the Pulitzer Prize for literature?
These goals might or might not be realistic, but you will never know until you put the pen to paper and perfect your abilities to observe, feel, imagine and communicate. You have to learn to understand before ever attempting to cause others to understand. When do you reach your goals? It isn’t over until it’s over. Never stop reaching for higher goals.
Although not exhaustive or all-inclusive, some writing goals to consider are: Finding your voice; Establishing your genre; Publishing your work; Reaching your audience; and, Considering the type of life style you hope to achieve.
Finding Your Voice – What interests you? What do you spend your spare time reading, observing or following? Although writers, in the short term, must often write about topics that are of little of no interest to them personally, they find ways to make the topic interesting to the reader. For the long term, begin keeping files of your interests. Take an inventory of the books your read. What is your passion?
Establishing Your Genre – Ideally, you will begin to find the topics that are interesting to you. You will have already been collecting research notes, articles, books and other information about these topics. Write articles, papers, essays or books about these topics.
Publishing Your Work – The pessimists would say, “There is already a flood of information out there. There is no way to have your voice heard.”
Realistically, there are more opportunities to publish your work than there ever has been. On the Internet, you can write an article this morning and see it in print this afternoon. It is easy to find a plethora of article submission directories in every genre and interest. There are still trade journals, newspapers, letters to the editor, publications for local, state, national and international organizations. If people were not reading this information, there would not be so much effort for the publishers to get it out there.
Reaching Your Audience - Listen to people. This will not only offer you writing material. It will give you clues about peoples’ interests. You will get verbal feedback on your writing. Check your writing statistics on your published Internet articles. Do you receive comments about your writing?
Considering the Type of Lifestyle you Hope to Achieve – Obviously, if you want to be a writer, you should imagine and investigate the type of life style writing affords. Maybe you never want to go beyond the hobby phase in which you dabble with writing every now and then. Perhaps you would like to make a living from your marketing skills. The demand for Internet marketers grows exponentially each year.
If you desire to be a full-time writer, first make sure you can support yourself by writing or other means until you are established. If you support yourself by other means, make sure those means allow time and energy for you to perfect your writing craft. If you plan to market an historical novel, make sure you understand the time and effort involved in marketing your work.
To grow as a writer, start small and work your way up to more complex ideas. The great thing about writing is that you continue to improve in style and technique while you continue to grow in knowledge of about any topic or field that interests you.
You also continually discover and reinvent yourself. You attempt projects you never thought you would. You find that your former limits were only in your imagination. You are a successful writer at whatever stage you find yourself if you are putting ideas on paper and discover that people understand what you are expressing.
Enter into it with your eyes open and be aware of the risks. But go into it. Follow your dreams and doubt your fears.
Jerry is a retired school teacher who has always had a passion for writing. He is releasing his first book, the Woodcutter’s Revival, an historical novel in mid to late August. The book is about adventure, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption, politics and leadership. It includes a love story. You can preview the detailed and intricate illustrations for the book at: http://wileystudio.smugmug.com/. Jerry also owns: http://www.jerrysworldsavings.com which has Amazon books and Kindle Readers.