Another new week is here, and I hope you had a pleasant weekend?
We have been discussing Seven Habits of Highly Successful Writers – looking at the essential habits common to all of them.
Now, I like us to consider the last four habits in this second part.
#4 HABIT – DETERMINATION
The ability to keep going and stay with what they are doing in spite of challenges and difficulties is what makes determined writers to be great and successful. Nothing is unrealistic if you believe you can do it, determined enough and willing to pay the price. And you can always get it done.
A great Leader and builder in the Bible, Nehemiah said, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?”
Don’t ever start a writing project if you can’t be determined to see it accomplished – no matter what is going to cost you. It’s been said that, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost anyhow.” In other words, the understanding of your assignment as a writer makes you develop an internal toughness, self-confident attitude and determination that will sustain you through every adversity and temporary discouragement.
What are the challenges and distractions making you to cease from the writing you are doing presently? Look at them and say, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down – I cannot stop it. I am too determined to be distracted.” Writing is a great work. It demands strong determination if you will succeed at it. Now, think about what is stopping you from achieving your dream to become a published author.
#5 HABIT – PERSEVERANCE
Charles Spurgeon said, “By perseverance the snail reached the ark. Think about it. If you truly want to fulfill your dreams, you cannot give up.” You must learn to keep writing until you accomplish your goal.
Perseverance is not an option for a writer. It is either you have it and succeed, or you don’t have it and fail. Even if you will be paid upfront to write a book, article or newsletter, you need perseverance to do everything it takes to accomplish it. Without giving your all to accomplishing your writing target, every effort will be in futility.
Perseverance keeps you going when everything and everyone around you suggest that you quit what you are doing. It makes you hold unto your determination that until I get to the end of this work, I will not stop. Those who persevere don’t say yes to initial defeat. They don’t accept defeat. They don’t turn back at closed doors; rather, they keep knocking until the door is opened. They believe if they don’t give up, they can always get up.
#6 HABIT – SELF- ORGANIZATION
You must make sure your life is well organized. Distribute your time properly among everything that needs your attention. You need wisdom to know when to write and when to attend to some other important and urgent issues.
For instance, before I started writing this chapter, I allotted time for everything I have to do. I pleaded to my Treasure – that’s my darling wife. I negotiated for time to concentrate on this book, and I even promised her a unique acknowledgement.
Great writers are organized people. They organize their life, family, work, keep proper record, arrange their libraries neatly and maintain order in everything they do. If you are not a person who values order, it may be difficult to become effective in writing.
Because she knows how precious my writing time is, we were able to strike a deal of non-disturbance. But do you agree with me that it won’t work out – if I give all my time to writing and ignore my wife, or I refuse to write because I need time with my wife. The two are both extremes. The best thing I could do was to organize myself in order not to fail any of the two major needs.
#7 HABIT – INQUISITIVENESS
It is important as a writer that you know how to ask right questions about what you don’t know. Somebody said, “No man really becomes a fool until he stops asking questions.” Great writers are inquisitive. They seek to ask “Why” at all times. They have the key to an investigation once they come to a difficult point. They open themselves up to new possibilities by asking the right questions.
Lea Schizas said, “Asking questions helps you in the long run. Shying away from questions stagnate your process.” That’s true for every writer. The better you are in asking questions, the more you develop the capacity for effective writing.
What other habits do you think are essential to becoming a highly successful writer?