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7 Surefire Ways to Become a Successful Writer

7 Surefire Ways to Become a Successful Writer
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Whether you’re a blogger, a book author, an editor or an aspiring writer, you’d want your writings to be understood and recognized. It’s not really about the recognition but how much your writing can deliver your intended message and how it really can influence other people.

In this article you’ll discover 7 unquestionable ways on how to become a successful writer. These are the ones that get the best results, so don’t take them lightly.

1. Be willing to evolve

You’re not a model just because a friend took some photos of you on the beach that one time. And you’re not a writer just because you published an eBook, a few articles, or some blog fodder. The flat-out truth is that getting from A to Z in terms of professional writing includes a lot of hard work and personal transformation.

Every book you write is like a journey, whether fiction or not.

Every writing assignment, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is an opportunity to learn something new.

Every brainstorming session and every headache endured adds to your overall wordsmithing quality.

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2. Define successful in your own terms

How do you define a successful writer?

For some people, it means being able to write coherent sentences to get a point across, or perhaps sell a product. For others, it means being able to pay the rent and survive on writing skills alone.

You cannot be successful at anything you do not define. There are many different kinds of writers and many shades of success. Come to terms with what it means to you, and be as specific as a detective novel writer:

  • Money – If being successful involves getting paid for your writing, then define how much. Is successful making $30,000 a year or $100,000? Selling 300 copies or 3 million? The only limits are those you impose on yourself.
  • Recognition – We all crave recognition throughout our lives. If writing is something you want to become known for, then study the writing of those who have already earned their place in history.
  • Community – If you measure success by the amount of lives your writing touches, then define that as well. How many fans? How many likes on the fan page? How many “readers” will it take to reach your version of success?

3. Write until your imagination bleeds

Basically, in order to be a successful writer, you’re going to have to settle into the idea that a rather hefty word count is required.

How many words do you think most aspiring writers pump out before they reach success?

If writing itself is laborious to you, something you must force or strong-arm yourself through, you may want to choose something else. How often does a successful swimmer swim, or drummer drum?

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4. When you’re not writing, read successful writers

Writing is the yin and reading is the yang. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. You get the idea.

You can’t have one without the other. And in order to have balance, both must be equally present.

For every sentence that you write, you should be reading one. Continuously expose your mind to the writing that you consider to be worthy of success. Find “successful” writers to follow and model in your niche. Speaking of which…

5. Personalized replication

You’ve got to have a writing model. It’s as important as defining success.

Regardless of your niche or writing style, pick a master from within that category and attempt to recreate one single page of their best work.

If you’re into blogging, go find one of the best blogs of all-time and then re-purpose it. Go buy a big circulation print magazine and re-purpose the articles in your own way and words.

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Every success coach worth their salt will tell you that you can study and then replicate what the masters are doing. Just make sure that when you do, you personalize it so that it’s original content.

6. Have a second or third pair of eyes

Every successful writer out there has a proofreader or editor in their lives. It’s important because writers write. Proofreaders proof. Editors edit. That’s how it goes.

We may be great when it comes to proofreading other people’s writing, but not our own.

Writers can bring a piece only so far and then it should be handed off to another pair of eyes that can see it from an outside perspective.

7. Establish an online presence

These days, being a successful writer involves an online presence in one way or another. No matter what kind of writer you are, set up a website and publish content for the online realm to consume.

If making money as a writer is important, then be sure to set up a “freelance writer” profile. There are countless people online willing to pay you to do the research and typing for them.

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Furthermore, building communities of readers in the online world is incredibly wise.

Summing it up

So, let’s recap the 7 ways to be a successful writer:

  1. Realize that you must evolve into success. This provides powerful insight.
  2. Clearly define your version of success so you can claim it.
  3. Write more than unsuccessful writers do.
  4. Balance your writing life with your reading life for optimum results.
  5. Replicate the masters and personalize it.
  6. Make friends with a proofreader or editor.
  7. Set up a website or freelance contractor profile online.

Of course, you will experience some challenges on the road to success, but they are just a stepping stone to your writing success!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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