1. They Focus on What Matters
Distractions are everywhere, but successful writers have trained themselves to focus on what really matters to them. For many writers, the focus is on family and writing. They write so that they can spend more time at home with their children and spouse.
2. They Don’t Try and Make Everyone Happy
You will never write a book that pleases everyone.
Mark Twain once wrote about Jane Austen, writer of Sense and Sensibility and other classics, “I haven't any right to criticise books, and I don't do it except when I hate them. I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can't conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop every time I begin. Everytime I read 'Pride and Prejudice' I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.”
Lord Byron had this to say about John Keats: “Here are Johnny Keats’ piss-a-bed poetry, and three novels by God knows whom… No more Keats, I entreat: flay him alive; if some of you don’t I must skin him myself: there is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the Mankin.”
3. They Don’t Worry About What You Think of Them
Harold Bloom, literary critic, had this to say about J. K. Rowling: “How to read ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’? Why, very quickly, to begin with, and perhaps also to make an end. Why read it? Presumably, if you cannot be persuaded to read anything better, Rowling will have to do.”
Thank goodness J. K. Rowling hasn’t stopped writing.
4. They Focus on One Project at a Time
There are writers who will only work on one book project at a time and there are some writers who will have 2 or more active book projects, but they block their time to only focus on one of the books at a time. For example, they might only do 1,000 words on book #1 in the morning and later in the afternoon they devote 2,000 words on book #2. Nothing is done all at once, all together, in a multi-tasking heap of mess.
5. They Don’t Take Shortcuts
There are no shortcuts to writing a great book. As author Colin Wilson said, “Criminals interest me, because they're driven by the same desires as we are, but they take these disastrous shortcuts and end up in a real mess.”
6. They Have Learned Ways to Enjoy Their Work
As author Nora Roberts simply said, “I loved the process of writing.”
Writers, while infamously known as procrastinators, love their work. They obsess over writing and can also be addicted to writing.
Author Christine Feehan says, “I write for the love of writing. If I never published another book, I would still be writing stories.”
7. They are Constantly Learning
Successful writers are constantly learning and reading. They don’t go stagnant.
Benjamin Franklin says it perfectly: “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”