For Aspiring Writers

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Discipline – It’s all about production. A quote of words, six days a week.
  3. 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.’
  4. Patience – It takes time. But you can cut down the time if you have 1, 2 and 3.
  5. Honesty – Be willing to confront your weaknesses as a writer.
  6. Willingness to learn – No chip on your shoulder. Check your ego at the door, or wherever else is convenient.
  7. Business-like attitude – develop business savvy and professionalism
  8. Rhino skin – learn from every rejection and never let any rejection hold you back.
  9. Long-term view – Don’t think “Do I have a book inside me?” Think: “Do I have a writer inside me?” And answer: “Yes!”
  10. 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.


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7 thoughts on “Do you have what it takes?

  1. I’ve go to work on that Rhino skin!

  2. There are days that I can say… all of them apply to me… today not one of those though. Have to work a lot, but the difference is on how it feels to do this work, a lot better than only working in a office or as a waiter.

    • I hadn’t thought about having certain qualities somedays and not on others, but now that you’ve brought it into light, I can definitely see that’s true. Well some days are always going to be better/worse than others, but you can always look on the bright side 🙂 Thanks for your comment

      ~ JLT

  3. Rhino skin…need to work on that uncomfortable layer! I love how talent is described as the least important, because, quite simply, it is! Talent won’t take you far without #1-9. Thanks for another great post!

  4. Awesome list. Thanks for sharing JLT. 🙂

  5. I’ve got a work on a few of these. Good list. Thanks for sharing.

  6. klpindc14 on said:

    This is a great list! Thanks for sharing this(:

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