There's really only one way to achieve success in writing and it's very simple to learn: to keep writing!
I know this is my call sign - but it exists for a reason. It's based on my experience of watching thousands of writers over the years. The truth of it is very basic. That is, the Universe favors those who do not give up.
It's obvious really. If you set out on a path and commit to it, many things in the world need to change for you to accomplish your goals.
People around you need to think of you as a writer. Publishers, agents and editors need to know that you are a writer. They need to see you working and taking your craft seriously.
You need to be building a catalogue of work - articles, short stories, novels, non-fiction work, ebooks, websites, blogs, anything that proves that you live your life through writing.
The Universe needs to see you improving - and wanting to improve - so that it can then do its bit: creating unseen connections for you, working behind the scenes on your behalf, setting up relationships between people you may not meet for years.
Every writer needs to believe that their time will come - whether sooner or later. It's an act of faith, to be sure, especially when it seems as though you're not getting anywhere, are ignored or unappreciated, or constantly rejected.
But hey, as my first coach used to say, no-one ever said that following your heart was going to be easy. Quite the opposite. We know from history that every great battle, every movement forward was preceded by persistence and tenacity and the self belief of those who would be taken seriously.
Why should our careers be any different?
Yes, some people seem to get there quickly - but mostly, if you study these things - this is an illusion. Even if you have famous parents, are rich enough to kick butt, or get a few lucky breaks, you still have to deliver the goods once you get there.
You still need talent and staying power to reach the top of your game.
Just because it may appear that some people hit the big time out of the blue, doesn't mean that's what has actually happened.
People with talent - especially writers - are noticed, then nurtured, then thrust upon the scene largely by their own volition - and then the public must decide whether they are worthy.
In the modern world nothing much happens by accident.
Instant fame is, more often than not, planned carefully by many people behind the scenes - and usually based on endless positive feedback - and, of course, sales.
It takes a lot of faith from artists to keep to their path and not give up. But I would argue it takes a lot more faith from a lot more people to support an artist.
If you want to be a successful writer, you need to be a rock of dependability - an inspiration in your own right. You need to show others that you are focussed on your writing, committed to your writing, and convinced of your own worth as a writer.
A tall order?
Perhaps - given that most artists are tough on themselves - and not always convinced of their own talent!
But that's the first hurdle - something I've dedicated my career to overcoming. The Easy Way to Write was set up to help writers get over their self-doubt - to fill them with confidence.
Writing, like nail biting or overeating, is habit based.
Writing needs time - your time, no-one else's!
As much as we might like things to be easy, there are dues to pay. There are hours to spend doing the actual work at the coal-face.
No-one and nothing can write for you.
All the software, the gizmos and the will in the world won't eradicate the blank page that needs your words to fill them.
As I've always said, it starts with your mind. Your mindset is the beginning - and you need to get that clear first, before anything else.
Your must be clear on what being a writer means to you, you must have good reasons why you want to be a writer, and you must have the confidence - even if you need to fake it at first - to continue, knowing that things may not always be easy along the way.
The most successful writers just stick with it.
They take rejection - sometimes years of it - in their stride. They just keep going, gently pushing, improving all the time, until finally the gates of opportunity open up and the Universe's gatekeeper is there saying, "Okay, now it's your turn."
I hope by then you will have learned your craft well - because you're going to need every ounce of talent and tenacity to hold on to that opportunity.
But there's hope - because writing really can be easy, once you get your mindset in the right place. And the best part about that is you can do it right now.
You've always had the power, inside, just waiting for you to tap into it. Trust me, it's there.
But if you don't believe me, dear writer, go here:
Your Success is My Concern
The Easy Way to Write