The Only Way to Succeed at Writing

Manilla folder with words Write, Ideas, Read, Think, and Wonder on it along with stamps of leaves, flowers, birds.  Artwork: Karen Hurd. Photo: Theresa Duncan.

I read a lot of books about writing.  Some books are like old friends; others are like task masters.  Whether I find comfort on the page, a passage I’d marked that once spoke to me and often still does, or whether I find instruction of the do-this-

don’t-do-that variety, books about writing lie everywhere in my home.  Then there are piles of books I read for pleasure that often give me a great line or quote to write in my quote book for inspiration.  There are books I read to study how the writer did such a great job. No matter what, writers read. But reading does not make a successful writer.

Recently, I was trying to figure out what one thread wove through books.  What holds writing together, no matter the genre?  What brings all those words to life or kills them on the page?  What makes a book? 

What Makes Writers Succeed?

I think I’ve settled on this answer:  A writer works at writing.  Anyone can put pen to page or fingers to keyboard, but it takes a writer committed to the craft, committed to the message or story, someone willing to keep at it until the words make the book (or essay, article, screenplay, etc.), that makes it all come together. 

Many of my books give me tips and tools, teach me about voice or syntax, give prompts or exercises. While these are all great, often helpful tools, the fact of the matter is, I must sit down.  I must write. I must edit. I must put it together.  I am a writer.

The One Thing Successful Writers Do

The one thing all successful writers do is write.  Not always at the same time or in the same way.  But writers always write.   Whether you send yourself a text about a story idea that hits you in the grocery aisle or carry around note cards or a tiny notebook, writers are always thinking about what to write next or how to fix something in their writing that doesn’t work.

Writers write.  It’s what we do.

What are you writing today?

Happy writing… ~T

At Stacking Stones Writers, I seek to create a community of writers, a place you can go to find encouragement for your passion – writing.  Please follow the Stacking Stones Writers blog to have easy access to all the tips, tools, and ideas shared here.  Thank you!

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