Do you have what it takes?
James Scott Bell, author of The Art of War for Writers outlines 10 things you need to be a writer.
- Desire – It’s got to be a hunger inside you. You’re going to have to sacrifice time and money and endure frustrations galore. If you don’t have the desire, you won’t last out there on the battlefield.
- Discipline – It’s all about production. A quote of words, six days a week.
- Commitment to craft – You can’t just dash off a book. Leonard Bishop wrote, ‘Dramatic characters, inventive plotlines, exciting and intense situations are not achieved through accident or ‘good luck.’ The writers of great books zealously learn the craft of their profession so they can release the power and depth of their imagination and experience.’
- Patience – It takes time. But you can cut down the time if you have 1, 2 and 3.
- Honesty – Be willing to confront your weaknesses as a writer.
- Willingness to learn – No chip on your shoulder. Check your ego at the door, or wherever else is convenient.
- Business-like attitude – develop business savvy and professionalism
- Rhino skin – learn from every rejection and never let any rejection hold you back.
- Long-term view – Don’t think “Do I have a book inside me?” Think: “Do I have a writer inside me?” And answer: “Yes!”
- Talent – The least important. Everyone has some talent. It’s what you do with it that counts.
Okay now, be honest, how many of these do you possess? I firmly believe that identifying your strengths and weaknesses is one step closer to improving a skill, because you now know what to concentrate on.
Number 2 and 4 are things I’m working on, my biggest weaknesses, but keeping a track of the number of word I’ve done, and keeping realistic targets help.