Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Being a successful writer is a subjective ideology. That’s because everyone’s idea of “successful” can greatly differ. But no matter how you describe it, there is one inescapable truth: it will require effort.
You can’t sit around crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. If you want true success, you need to work hard.
I’ve dubbed 2020 the “Year of Effort.” That’s because I want far more out of life than what I’ve acquired so far. This means more effort is needed if I want to become a successful writer.
And one of the things that I view as successful is having my name on the spine of a book.
What the Year of Effort Means to Me
For me, the Year of Effort involves pushing myself to do more today than I did yesterday. It’s how I used to live when I became a freelance writer in 2012. Since then, though, I’ve lost a lot of my umph.
So for 2020, I’ve decided to make it a banner year by going well beyond what I have been doing. Perhaps I can share some ideas and help you along as well.
Follow Through with Goals
It’s one thing to make goals for yourself. It’s something else to actually follow through with them. This is probably one of the biggest key elements of any kind of success.
For example, I can say that I have a goal to write 1 million words this year. But if I spend my time watching YouTube or playing around on Facebook instead of writing, I’ll never hit that goal.
It’s all about committing yourself to become better than you are. And every day, I strive to surpass what I did last year in terms of productivity. So far, I’ve been successful.
Well, aside from the writing part. But that is because I am an editor and spend a lot of time going over other people’s work and researching topics.
But as a subscriber to the YouTube channel pointed out last night, there’s still plenty of 2020 left. 😉
Less Binge-Watching YouTube and Netflix
Things on the Internet are massive time sinks if you’re not paying attention. That “one more video” can turn into 50. And when you’re not writing, you’re not doing anything to improve your station in life.
Every moment you’re not writing for a client should be spent on doing something that improves the chances of your success. Blogging, learning, even writing short stories in Wattpad can all benefit your abilities to write.
Don’t get lured into things that will take away from becoming a successful writer.
Making Things Happen Rather than Wait
You can’t do the bare minimum in anything and then expect greatness to come. The more effort you put into anything in life, the better the chances for success.
Case in point, all three of my blogs are starting to do far better after I’ve actually put in the effort to add content. One or two posts per month, if that, wasn’t doing the job.
It takes more than just crossing fingers and hoping for the best. You need to make it happen if you want to achieve your dreams and aspirations.
Not Letting Mental Hangups Interfere
The worst things I face on a daily basis are mental hangups. It’s either “I’m not good enough” or “No one is going to read this.” The outcome is usually a lackluster performance in writing and delivering content.
For many of us, impostor syndrome is debilitating. But, it’s these thoughts that wind up sapping any chance you have of becoming a successful writer.
You need to find a way to cut through your own crap and become productive. For me, it’s focusing on the comments I get from others on my YouTube channel. The many people who I’ve helped for over a year make it all worthwhile for me.
Instead of being my own worst critic and deleting what I’ve created, I let the audience decide.
Being a Successful Writer Requires Effort
In reality, being successful at anything will require effort. In fact, the tips I am about to share can work in just about any circumstance. Because in the end, it’s all about what you do to get more out of your career or lifestyle.
Don’t merely become content with just existing. There is so much more to life for those willing to put one foot in front of the other and walk the path.
Find Your Motivation as a Successful Writer
What motivates you to write? How do you get the snowball rolling down the proverbial hill? Who do you aspire to become?
Personally, I find motivation in a number of ways:
Exercise first thing in the morning.
The sooner I get the blood pumping, the more energized I feel throughout the day.
Listen to the right kind of music.
My playlist on the computer is nothing but music that gets my foot tapping. Slow and melancholy music doesn’t put me in the right mindset to be productive.
Eating a healthier breakfast.
Like exercising, eating well vastly improves your mood, the ability to process information and physical energy levels. It’s worth the effort to eat a nutritious breakfast.
Setting obtainable goals every day.
Goals are good but don’t make them too difficult to achieve. Start with simply doing more today than you did yesterday and find your baseline. Then, strive to reach higher.
Keep an eye on your statistics.
If you’re a blogger, monitor tools like Google Analytics to see traffic to your site grow. Otherwise, create a chart or spreadsheet to monitor your productivity as a writer. Adding a visual element can help you stay focused.
No matter how you do it, finding ways to keep yourself motivated will impact your chances of being a successful writer. The hardest part is finding something that works for you for longer than five minutes.
Understand What a Rough Draft Is
A rough draft is your work before editing and finalizing. This means it doesn’t need to be perfect. In fact, a rough draft is very rarely perfect in the eyes of its creator.
Just start creating the piece of work. There’s nothing wrong with going back and sprucing it up.
But if you don’t start something, it’s never going to be finished. Remember that old saying, “You’ll miss 100% of the shots you do not take.” This means you’ll never have success without the effort of “taking a shot.”
Don’t worry about spelling or grammar just yet. Get the first draft out and then do your edits.
Manage Your Day Better
One of my biggest weaknesses is time management. Well, that was before 2020 and the Year of Effort. But being able to structure and manage the day is an incredible boon to my success.
Now, I’m sure there are some successful writers out there who have very little time-management skills. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to meet anyone who calls themselves successful without being able to manage their day.
I use tools like Asana to create blocks of my day when I work on specific projects. And using it as a to-do list has vastly improved my productivity this year.
Being a Successful Writer Comes to Those Who Work Hard
The bottom line is that you can’t expect good things to happen if you don’t put in the effort. No matter how you view yourself as a successful writer, nothing will become of it unless you put in the work.
Whether it’s blogging, writing a novel or creating content for clients, push yourself to achieve greatness. Don’t just expect it to come by on its own.