We all admire good books that can be read without effort.
We see great writers and something tickles our heart that we can also achieve the same result or even better. Such thinking is not bad. Great writers are ordinary people with extra-ordinary qualities. And these qualities, values and attitudes are simply what give them edge to succeed.
To be honest, writing is hard work. It is not meant for mediocre, unwilling, lazy, lethargic and irresolute people. Whenever a great book is written, great effort has gone into its writing.
But you must not fail to ask yourself these questions: what makes the difference between you and the writers you admire? What are they doing that helps them achieve meaningful results? What qualities do they have that you also need to become a successful writer? And that’s the reason I like to share with you the seven chronic habits of highly successful writers.
#1 HABIT – DISCIPLINE
Discipline in writing demands that, you don’t wait for a perfect whether before you sow, just get to work. You have an idea to write about, then sit down and write now. There may not be a perfect time for writing. Stop saying that you desire to publish a book, but start doing what it takes to get the book published. Discipline is a quality all successful writers have in common.
Discipline is being able to bring your emotions, words, thoughts, and actions under control. It is simply not doing, carrying out, what you want or feel like doing, but to do what you have to do even when it is not convenient for you.
This is non-negotiable price for becoming an effective and successful writer. Harry Emerson writes that, “No steam or gas ever drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunneled. No life ever grows until it is focused, dedicated, disciplined.”
Whenever people consult me, I tell them having a dream, desire, resources or knowing what to write is not the essential requirement. It is the discipline to write. Without discipline, you are more of a talker than a writer.
You will only continue to admire a processed work achieved by a disciplined author; but you may never get a bulletin done in your own life time.
#2 HABIT – FOCUS
The truth is that you must define your priorities. If the book you want to write worth your focus, then you have to deny yourself of other pleasures and focus on the work. The quality and success of your writing is determined by the quality and level of focus given to it.
So to keep your focus intact in writing, first, decide the object of your focus. What are you trying to achieve? What is the time frame, and how much do you have to get done in the space of time that you have?
Second, clarify your motivation. Why are you so excited to write this book? What is the consequence of not getting to the end and eventually abandoning this work?
Great writers are focused. They give proper concentration, attention and conscious commitment to their writing. Staying focused all the time is the key to keeping track of your progress, advancement and improvement in writing. And what level of fulfillment and satisfaction will the accomplishment of this work bring to me?
Third, decide what to let go. The price you must pay to keep your focus intact. Those who don’t want to be at the mercy of confusion must not drift in focus. Don’t let anything take you away from focusing on whatever you are writing.
Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, senior pastor of KICC in London and bestselling author said, focus is the key in making the best out of your writing. He said whenever he was to minister in other countries, he spends most of his time to pray and focus on a new book that would be published soon. He doesn’t go around town like other preachers, browsing different supermarkets, enjoying fantasies of the city. But he stays in his hotel, giving all attention to writing.
One major disease in writing is loss of focus. It is easy to be focused at the early stage of writing a book. The reason is because you start with high sky-scrapping passion. But you reach a certain stage when that passion and burning desire begin to drop. Sometimes other activities you do may affect your passion and you are already distracted before you realize what you are doing.
#3 HABIT – CONFIDENCE
You need confidence to be an effective writer. It may not be possible to write something great if you aren’t sure, certain, and confident of your capability. You must believe you can do it if you will ever get it done.
You must believe you can grow the capacity to write books that will impact our society and the lives of people around the world.
Sinclair Lewis once said, “It is impossible to discourage the real writers – they don’t give a damn what you say, they are going to write.”
Once you recognize a book is birthed in you, don’t even wait to discuss the idea with a friend in order to get approval or permission. Be bold, courageous and confident enough to commit yourself to making it a reality.
Many people have wasted, died and have been buried with great revelations, discoveries, ideas and insights that would have contributed, add value and bring transformation in history, simply because they lack confidence to express what they carried within.
I have made up my mind that I will never die without maximizing my gifts to impact other people’s lives. It doesn’t matter whether someone believe in me or not.
And please understand this: it is not possible for everyone to believe you have something to offer them. In fact, you cannot offer everyone what you have. So there’s no point listening to those who run your self – esteem down. So I challenge you to be confident. You can write that book. Go ahead and make it happen.
I have confidence in my calling and purpose in life. And I know it is not inferior to others. I believe there’s something I have inside me that someone, somewhere needs to fulfill, achieve, and accomplish their dreams in life. For this reason, I am too confident to be discouraged by those who think I have nothing to offer in life.
What about you?