June 22, 2021

A Twelve-Step Program for NOT Becoming a Successful Writer

DiAnn Mills 


We fiction writers chase successful and entertaining stories like toddlers on a sugar-high. Im one of them. I can dream and plan and plot all day long. Yet sometimes we can be stopped cold by research, social media, and the reality of all the hard work writing takes.


For writers who live and breathe their writing addiction but have a problem staying on task, Im offering a twelve-step program called Story Chasers (SC). These are writers who want to be called authors but dont want to do the necessary work. That is not us! So, let’s beware.


1. Pacifier Writers

A pacifier is used to keep a baby from crying. In the instance of a writer, its whining about the publishing industry instead of writing better manuscripts.


2. Paint Writers

Dont paint your world with illusions such as, My mom says Im the best writer in the state. I dont need feedback.” If you want realistic feedback, ask someone other than a relative.


3. Passionless Writers

If a writers passion is not for his/her story idea, then a reader wont be enthusiastic about it either. Develop ideas that keep you excited about the project.


4.  Peacock Writers

Ouch. Pride stops us from success. It also brands us as unteachable. A humble writer learns the craft, develops a sense of the market, and is enthusiastic about edits.


5. Peanut Writers

George Washington Carver discovered 325 uses for the peanut. A peanut writer pens everything from T-shirt sayings to theology books. We all have varied interests, and thats commendable, but find your writing niche and stick with it.


6. Perspiration Writers

Some writers dont like to sweat. If youre not dripping over your manuscript, then youre not writing a quality story. Writing is a contact sport: your mind is engaged with your heart and fingers. Sweat. Its good for the soul.


7. Pickle Writers

Weak writers are afraid to write themselves into a pickle. They dont want the challenge of discovery, research, or unpredictable outcomes. They also dont sell their work.


8. Plumber Writers

Plumber writers flush all their work down the toilet and never seek publication. Need I say more? Find your confidence and reach your goals.


9. Plywood Writers

Plywood is flexible, inexpensive, easy to work with and reusable. But its very hard to bend perpendicular to the grain. A plywood writer refuses to accept constructive criticism or change with the industry. In short, a plywood writer insists upon writing his/her way. 


10. Popcorn Writers

Popcorn writers are those who jump from one frying pan to another. They submit, are rejected, and submit again without looking at the manuscript for ways to improve it.


11. Potato Writers

Some writers dont want to write for free. Its beneath them. Small potatoes grow into big ones, and those nonpaying manuscripts build our resume. A writer always learns in the creative process.


12. Piranha writers   

Some writers will do anything to keep from writing. They like to swim through swift

waters with published writers, but they have one excuse after another not to work. They never make deadlines, even self-imposed ones. Piranha writers set themselves up to be devoured by the sharks who are swimming upstream.


If youve discovered a characteristic that slides you into a Story Chaser mode, nows the time to change bad habits and begin the next bestseller. How are you changing your writing habits?

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She weaves memorable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. DiAnn believes every breath of life is someone’s story, so why not capture those moments and create a thrilling adventure? Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She is the director of The Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Mountainside Marketing Conference, and the Mountainside Novelist Retreat with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful.

For more info visit DiAnn Mills at:


  1. This was fantastic DiAnn, thank you so much.

  2. great message! I've known writers who want to have written. :-)

  3. Very innovative post! Thank you, DiAnn!

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