The One Thing You Need to Do to be a Successful Writer

Okay, are you ready?  I'm about to reveal it all.  The one and only thing you need to do to be a writer, that will guarantee you success on some level.

And that is… Mlab-gary-hamel-1921221-h

Drum roll, please….

The one thing you need to do to be a successful writer is to write.

You need to write regularly, every day if you can.

You need to throw words at the page without worrying about the end result, or how the words sound, or anything else except putting one word after another on the page. 

And that is all you need to do.

That one thing is the simplest thing there is.  And the hardest.

But its all you need to do.

And, honestly?  All my advice, all seven years of it contained in 1078 posts, boils down in one way or another to that.

So quit reading the blog already and go write.

(But come back on Thursday, when I'll have a wonderful guest post about ways to overcome writer's block.)

Do you write every day regularly?  Is it easy or hard for you to do this?

Photo by jurvetson.  I'm not sure what it depicts, but I loved it.  All those words and diagrams!

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12 Responses to The One Thing You Need to Do to be a Successful Writer

  1. Patty 05/13/2014 at 15:14 #

    Love the idea of putting one word after another on the page. Kind of like putting one foot after another. You’re awesome, Charlotte!

  2. Charlotte Dixon 05/13/2014 at 16:04 #

    You bring up an excellent point.  When I was deep into revision, I always struggled with how to count it toward my daily total.  And, even though it is the most necessary part of writing, it doesn't have quite the same feeling of accomplishment as the actual writing.  So I feel your pain!  Thanks for commenting.

  3. Charlotte Dixon 05/13/2014 at 16:05 #

    Thanks, Patty.  And you know the feeling is totally mutual!

  4. Madeline Jane 05/13/2014 at 14:37 #

    I feel like I’ve been drowning in revisions lately, and I realized that it’s because I’m not revising every day, so it feels like I’m going nowhere. Putting in the effort every day is so important, except sometimes it’s good to take a break. The muse deserves it. 😉

  5. J.D. 05/13/2014 at 20:09 #

    There’s a problem here. Once you succeed, even–no, especially if it’s not the way you imagined–you yearn to do it again.

  6. Charlotte Dixon 05/14/2014 at 06:07 #

    Yeah, well, I think most of us have a love-hate relationship with writing.  I know I do.  I love it when I'm doing it but sometimes it can take me so damn long to get to the doing it part.  Not sure what that's about.

  7. Zan Marie 05/14/2014 at 06:32 #

    And why is this *one* thing so hard for us to accept?

  8. Charlotte Dixon 05/14/2014 at 06:33 #

    If we knew that, we'd be millionaires. 

  9. Leigh Lauck 05/14/2014 at 13:35 #

    I simply can’t hear this advice often enough. Thank you, Charlotte. When I am feeling anxious or stuck, it’s almost always because I’m not writing. It’s those moments preceding getting words on the page that are the scariest, the heaviest, when I feel like I just can’t do it. The act of writing itself almost always solves the problem. And even when I think it’s garbage as I’m writing, it seems that in the end, with revision, it ends up being something I’m happy with.

  10. D young 05/16/2014 at 05:01 #

    Sometimes we fear success. Sometimes we fear failure. That’s what stops me with things, even outside of writing. Break the shackles of fear…don’t let it hinder or keep you from doing what you want and are supposed to do….

  11. Charlotte Dixon 05/16/2014 at 18:30 #

    Fear is the enemy of every single freaking thing I want to do in life.  You wrote such inspiring words about not letting it get to you, D, thank you.

  12. Charlotte Dixon 05/16/2014 at 18:32 #

    Oh God, I'm the same way.  If I'm cranky or out of sorts, its because I'm not writing.  And you know, even though it is difficult to get ourselves to do it regularly, we are so lucky that we have such a wonderful creative pastime.  I know so many people who have nothing of the kind in their lives and wish they did.

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