Monday, November 15, 2010

7 Essential Habits to Make it as a Writer

Sorry this post is a day late. My new job and being sick on Sunday threw me off. Excuses, excuses... So what better way to introduce today's topic of the seven essential habits of a working writer. These come from Quit Your Day Job: How to Sleep Late, Do What You Enjoy, and Make a Ton of Money as a Writer by Jim Denney. 

7 Essential Habits to Make it as a Writer | how to sleep late | writer habits | making money as a writer | author advice | writing books | resources for writers

Now, I'm not about to quit a job that I just started, but these ARE some great tips. Kristi Holl at Writer's First Aid, a Medicine Chest of Hope, spends a week delving into each one. They are found in chapter five of Denney's book:
  1. Write Daily
  2. Cultivate the Art of Solitude Amid Distractions
  3. Write Quickly and With Intensity
  4. Set Ambitious But Achievable Goals
  5. Focus!
  6. Finish What You Start and Submit What You Finish
  7. Believe You Can
Now, I'm not about to quit a job that I just started, but Jim Denney's Quick Start Guide to Writing for a Living include 12 simple steps:
  1. Make sure you are ready before you leap.
  2. Focus on writing that builds equity, not just the next paycheck.
  3. Set your price and stick to it. Don't sell yourself short.
  4. Nurture contacts and professional relationships.
  5. Diversify. Never rely on a single publisher or editor for all your work.
  6. Tell everyone that you are a writer. You never know who might know someone important.
  7. Connect with other writers.
  8. Study both the craft and business of writing.
  9. Deliver excellence.
  10. Deliver on time.
  11. Watch out for the "can of worms." Be leery of those who don't know what they want.
  12. Use your website to promote your writing business.
And just in case you're interested in the chapter titles of the book, see below. You can also click on the picture above to go straight to Amazon and read excerpts or even buy the book. It's next on my list of books to buy.
  1. A Holy Calling
  2. Taking the Leap
  3. It's a Living
  4. What Have I Signed?
  5. The Seven Essential Habits of a Working Writer
  6. The Need for Speed: Writing in Overdrive
  7. Professional Relationships
  8. Generate Your Own Success
  9. The Future of Writing
  10. Soul Survival


  1. Great post Christie. Can you explain no. 11 a bit more? What did he mean by it?

  2. He says avoid editors and others that can't articulate what they want. Avoid taking on projects that seem too difficult. Only write pieces that have clear expectations laid out. Otherwise, your creativity and your bank account could be drained.

  3. Luckily if this option sounds too scary many people can and do combine writing with other jobs until the writing 'takes off'. Things seem so much less daunting that way...

    Sounds like he has some very good chapters though.

  4. I agree, Adina, that things do seem much less daunting to not quit your day job. But if someone has the means to do so, it is advisable because you have more time to write. If you're professional about it. Sure wish I had the financial means to not need to work. I read it takes on AVERAGE about 6 years to get published (though that varies widely) and about 8-10 books to become "established." Good luck to us all! : )


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