7 Leadership Traits for Every Writer
By DiAnn Mills
Every writer longs to see his/her work published, but not every writer is a leader. The position takes a unique skill set.
What are the 7 traits every Christian writer needs for leadership?
1. Make positive choices.
- Choose joy. This is not about expecting every day to be filled with happiness. Choosing joy is a state of mind, a test for strength when life tosses us unexpected challenges. It’s not viewing the glass of life as half empty but half full.
- Choose awareness. Too many times it’s easier to bury our head under the pillow than make a conscious decision to find out what’s going on around us. A wise person is informed about personal events, community, country, and the world.
- Choose to grow. Those who stagnate, cease to live. Age has nothing to do with purpose. The older we become, the more experiences and knowledge we can pass on to others. As Christians we never quit until the moment God calls us home.
- Choose good health. Your body is the temple of God. If you doubt it, check out If you have doubts about good healthy habits, consult your doctor. Eat nutritionally sound. Exercise daily. Receive regular medical and dental checkups. We can’t lead if we aren’t healthy.
- Choose strategic business practices for strong leadership skills. We writers are involved in a ministry and a business. Be informed of the publishing world. To reach others for the kingdom, we must be successful in both ventures.
2. Foster Professionalism
- Learn the craft. That means attending conferences, retreats, workshops, read and reread how-to books, and seeking out online opportunities to better our writing.
- Learn social media, marketing, and branding so you can speak about it with confidence.
- Use a scheduling tool for social media updates like Hootsuite or Buffer.
- Keep up to date with technology. Obsolete equipment means poor performance.
- Learn proper grammar. Sites like and are an asset to every writer.
- Learn the art of simplicity. Good writing thrives when communication is easy to understand. No matter how many letters are after our names, reaching others through understandable language tops any ten-dollar word.
- Learn how to write with transparency. Be real. Memorable writing is raw, forged in the fires of experience. That includes fiction and nonfiction.
- Organize the writing life with goals, task lists, and spreadsheets.
- Find balance with work and personal life. Are your priorities in the right place?
- Remember Social media marches ahead with platforms that bring followers to our brands. Research the advantages and disadvantages of each one for your genre and readers and those you lead.
3. Commit to Reading
- Read and study a marketing book per month.
- Read and study a craft/technique book per month. We can always learn or be reminded of a concept.
- Read and study bestsellers.
- Read in our genre. We can’t write quality books unless we know what other writers are publishing.
blogs teach us craft, social media, marketing, branding, and professionalism.
4. Cultivate a servant’s heart.
- Establish and implement programs that nurture every aspect of a writer’s needs.
- Remember every writer was once a beginner.
- Reach out for assistance in areas where we require guidance.
- Never stop growing.
5. Begin each day with God.
- My pastor once said: Every failed leader points us to a Leader who never fails.
- Corporate prayer is an opportunity to thank God and seek His will. Prayer changes things, a cliché that is a biblical truth.
- Publication is not our first priority. God is number one.
6. Choose to eliminate worry from your personal and professional life.
- I’ve heard, ”View life from Gods point of view. See life through His lenses and practice heartfelt prayer.”
- Worry has no place in Christian leadership. An emphasis on worry is a reliance on self instead of God. Work is second-guessed. Decisions are made with a world-view instead of a Christian view.
- Think WDW – worry doesn’t work.
7. Evaluate progress and make necessary changes.
- Initiate quarterly reviews of your personal writing, your leadership skills, and your organization.
- Look at past performances.
- Look to professionals to understand successes and challenges.
- Document progress.
- What doesn’t work is as valuable as what does work.
- Include spiritual progress.
Writers who are leaders or strive for leadership have a responsibility to those who look up to them for guidance and wisdom. For us to help others, we must show them how to sharpen their publishing tools by modeling the same practices as we want them to embrace.
Are you ready to accept the challenge of leadership? Now is the time to begin.
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Vladi, and everydayplus.)
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a storyteller and creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests.
DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. DiAnn continues her passion for helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.
with DiAnn on her various social media platforms here: www.diannmills.com