Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Habits of Successful Writers

by Julie Coulter Bellon

I have no wonderful news to share except a link I got from Robison Wells this morning. A lady named Angie Lofthouse attended our class at the conference and blogged about it. You can read the entire blog here

But some of the highlights included: “One of the best classes I attended was The Top Ten Habits of a Successful Writer in which Julie Coulter Bellon and Robison Wells debated two complete opposite top ten habits lists.”

She thought our class was one of the best she attended! Woohoo!

“Anyway, the point was that we all write differently.”

She totally got the point that the writing process and journey is different for everyone. Some may only write when they have large chunks of time, others may write when they have fifteen minutes during carpool. Some do tight outlines, some don’t outline at all. Some have critique groups, some get by with readers. Some research, some make it up as they go. Writing is really an individual thing and you have to find out what works for you.

Angie also put down her own top ten list and I loved the things that she chose. I think I might print it out and use it myself, especially number five. If you haven’t already, go read it!

And that is one of the things I like about our writing community. We all support each other and we all share freely what works for us so that other writers can also try new ideas. It's like a big family with quirks and foibles who all reach back to help those around us.

Another thing came to mind as I was thinking about that class. One of the comments stuck out to me because it was something I hadn’t really thought about before. The commenter said that every book requires a different success list. For one book you may research heavily and have a tight outline. For another book you may make it up as you go and have a light outline. So not only is every writer different, so is every book, and it’s up to us as the author to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Not that we needed more to think about, but I think it is true and something to be aware of.

I was glad to hear so many positive comments from our class and from the conference. It's very motivating to me to be surrounded by writers and ideas. I must admit since I’ve come home from the conference I’ve been writing like a madwoman. I’ve revised the first half of my current work-in-progress and am about to finish it off and submit it. It’s always a little scary to be near the end, but exhilarating, too. And since one of the habits of a successful writer is to submit and then start on something new, that’s my plan.

So if you were asked for your list, what would you say are habits of a successful writer?


At 5/06/2010 3:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A successful writer is humble enough to accept constructive criticism, to know that there is always room for improvement. Your mother and your best friend may have told you that your manuscript is flawless, but that doesn't mean that it is. A successful writer doesn't ignore legitimate feedback to maintain the status quo. A successful writer pushes past his/her own boundaries (not to mention ego) to become better.

At 5/06/2010 5:12 PM, Blogger Th. said...


They get stuff written. The prioritized stuff.

At 5/07/2010 5:37 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

I was going to say:

#1 Be someone other than me. =)

But, hey, my fortune cookie yesterday said that TODAY, my creative side would shine forth with exceptional ideas. So far, not so much, but I guess the day ain't over yet!

At 5/08/2010 5:49 AM, Blogger Anna Maria Junus said...

Write, submit, write submit, write submit, eat chocolate when you get rejected, write, submit, write submit, eat more chocolate, write, submit, write submit....

At 5/08/2010 1:11 PM, Blogger Angie said...

Thanks so much for the link, Julie! And thanks for the great class too. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire conference. I'm glad you liked my top ten list. :)


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