I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.
— Chinua Achebe
If we found it easy to follow Achebe’s advice, we’d all be smiling and successful writers but from experience we know the opposite is true: ‘keeping at it’ is a struggle for many writers, whether they are emerging or established. So many shiny distractions and so little time. So few rewards and so many sacrifices to be made. So many better and more popular writers and so few in the audience listening. And yet, there are writers who do keep at it. Even when it means getting up at 5am every morning for ten years before someone listens. Even when there is no one listening. They just keep at it.
How do they do it? From the many books written by famous writers on writing, and from anecdotal evidence we can conclude they keep at it because of the following seven key factors:
- They know who they are as writers
- They value their own work
- They create their own writing schedule and religiously stick to it
- They practice resilience
- They keep themselves motivated
- They understand the importance of being accountable
- They know when to ask for help and from whom
Knowing where you stand in relation to these seven factors will give you the tools you need to build and sustain a flourishing writing practice.
I’m running a one day workshop ‘The Happy Writer’ in the Irish Writers Centre on Saturday November 9th, which focuses on these seven key factors. Previous participants have described the workshop as ‘stimulating’, ‘confidence inspiring’ and ‘energising’. I’d love to have you along.
Anne Tannam is an author and creative coach. To learn more about Anne or to book a free 30 minute consultation, visit www.creativecoaching.ie