Tuesday, June 22, 2021
A Twelve-Step Program for NOT Becoming a Successful Writer
We fiction writers chase successful and entertaining stories like toddlers on a sugar-high. I’m 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, I’m offering a twelve-step program called Story Chasers (SC). These are writers who want to be called authors but don’t 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, it’s whining about the publishing industry instead of writing better manuscripts.
2. Paint Writers
Don’t paint your world with illusions such as, “My mom says I’m the best writer in the state. I don’t need feedback.” If you want realistic feedback, ask someone other than a relative.
3. Passionless Writers
If a writer’s passion is not for his/her story idea, then a reader won’t 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 that’s commendable, but find your writing niche and stick with it.
6. Perspiration Writers
Some writers don’t like to sweat. If you’re not dripping over your manuscript, then you’re not writing a quality story. Writing is a contact sport: your mind is engaged with your heart and fingers. Sweat. It’s good for the soul.
7. Pickle Writers
Weak writers are afraid to write themselves into a pickle. They don’t want the challenge of discovery, research, or unpredictable outcomes. They also don’t 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 it’s 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 don’t want to write for free. It’s 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 you’ve discovered a characteristic that slides you into a Story Chaser mode, now’s the time to change bad habits and begin the next bestseller. How are you changing your writing habits?