One of the best classes I attended was The Top Ten Habits of a Successful Writer in which Julie Coulter Bellon and Robison Wells debated two complete opposite top ten habits lists. Things like, "write whenever you can" vs. "write in big chunks of time," or "research heavily" vs. "make it up as you go." They each presented why they thought their way was the best, though they did say that perhaps they weren't really as adamant in real life as they were for the debate. I have to say that I was totally inspired by Julie, as she is the mother of seven with another on the way, and has six published novels! Anyway, the point was that we all write differently. We were supposed to come up with our own top ten habits for successful writers, so here's mine (some based on the lists from the conference, some of my own creating):
1. Take yourself seriously. You are a writer. Believe in yourself.
2. Write every day, whenever and wherever you can.
3. Finish what you start.
4. Have at least a light outline to follow.
5. Set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound).
6. Network online and in real life, but not so much that it overwhelms your writing time.
7. Learn all you can about the craft.
8. It's okay to edit as you go. This saves a lot of revision time later. But don't let it stop you from finishing.
9. If you want to get published, you must submit! Don't fear rejection.
10. Write from the heart. Don't let anyone tell you that what you love to write just won't sell. If you don't love it, no one else will.
So, there you go. Take it for what it's worth. What's on your top ten list for success?