Have you ever tried to pursue writing but feel something pulling you back? Perhaps the fear of failure or getting exhausted in the middle of your book writing. You need to fight that feeling, but before you get started, I’d recommend you to go through this blog post and learn the secrets to a good author’s success.
7 rituals for success I know the title explains itself, but there’s always room for a catchy phrase. Here are 7 rituals for success that successful authors practice and that you can follow: who knows, you might become the next JK Rowling or George R. R Martin?
- Take a leap of faith
Succssful authors will never hesitate to work on different genres. They don’t stick to their forte but rather polish their skills by working on diverse topics (fiction and non-fiction).
Taking chances is not restricted to writing a different genre. Got an idea? Pen it down, and don’t doubt your ability to turn it into a bestseller. Just think: if every great author, backed out from an idea and gave up before getting started, we would never have had the blissful experience of going into the magical closet that led to Narnia or of discovering what the Da Vinci code was!
“Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”- William Faulkner
How can you take a leap of faith?
Try writing on different topics before you start writing a book. Take out time to write short stories or conduct research on various issues or topics. Write about them and revise your work. Do you like it? Is there room for improvement? Jot down a few ideas you might have and create an outline of the events which can occur in your story that support the big idea.
2. Writing routine
I’m well aware of the “creativity needs no rules” concept but trust me, just spill your creative thoughts into your book and get accustomed to a more organized work-life even in the comfort of your own home.
Successful authors will always be dedicated to their pages. Ironically, you’ll find a lot of rebels and unorganized achievers in their books who work without a care in the world. The real-life struggle to be consistent in your book writing is an entirely different story.
How can you be consistent?
Create a calendar and mark your break days and workdays. Assign the task to a reliable person, if necessary, who keeps a check on whether or not you are adhering to your deadlines. You’ll get that book ready to be published sooner than you expected.
3. Read, read and then write
Every great author is an avid reader. You can not gain perspective or think like an author unless you have admired existing pieces of writing. Never fool yourself into believing that you can be a good writer even if you aren’t a regular reader.
Go around asking authors how often do they read? Heck, they’d probably be holding a book in their home library when you go interview them.
What should you do? Do some research, save some cash, and get yourself a good set of books. Make it habitual to read at least one book a week of multiple genres to broaden your mind and judge your writing skills.
4. Know when to get up
Good authors know when to take breaks. They won’t continuously write to complete their schedule. They acknowledge a creative block and stop when they feel their words are exhausted. It is better to start from where they left the next day rather than write meaningless phrases.
Ernest Hemmingway was known to halt writing as soon as he felt it was now necessary and would leave a sentence in the middle to start later, with a fresh mind.
How can you adopt this habit? You should know when to put your pen down (or when to stop typing). Get yourself a pack of sticky notes, so you don’t forget any ideas or context. Stick them to your workstation and continue the next day with a refreshed mind.
5. Rely on research
Research never stops for a good author regardless of the genre. There is always something to research about, no matter which topic you choose (fiction or non-fiction). For instance, how can you describe a typical evening in Paris if you haven’t traveled there? By reading about the place, the culture: even by watching a movie or two.
You may think non-fiction writers with fantasy worlds don’t need it. Allow me to enlighten you. NO genre can ignore the importance of good research.
How can you incorporate this habit?
Divide your tasks for the day. Assign a particular time duration to research and reading, preferably before you start writing a new page. Get accustomed to researching before you begin a new chapter.
6. Giving up is not an option
A great author always practices perseverance and a positive attitude. Did you know J.K Rowling, the famous Harry Potter sequel author, was rejected from 12 publishing houses before she finally hit a deal and got $1500 as advance? Yes, I am talking about the billionaire Joanne Rowling.
How can you use this? Never think your book isn’t good enough. If you would read what you wrote, there will be others out there who will. You need to keep pitching your book and never give up.
7. Being critical
I know this seems contradictory to the previous statement but being critical is essential. You would seldom find authors brag about their work. They would always find some loopholes and improve upon them, perhaps in their next book.
You need to tell yourself, “I can do better”. Successful book writers or authors will write several drafts before making peace with themselves and finalizing the right one.
How can you adopt this attitude?
To err is human. Once you believe you are human and capable of making mistakes while equally capable of working on your weak points, you are halfway through towards becoming a great author. Read each page once you are finished, not as an admirer but like a critic or a bookworm who enters the store for a good book. Is what you wrote intriguing enough?
“When your story is ready for rewrite, cut it to the bone. Get rid of every ounce of excess fat. This is going to hurt; revising a story down to the bare essentials is always a little like murdering children, but it must be done.” – Stephen King