Be a Well-Equipped Writer by Cultivating These 10 Traits
By Edie Melson
When each of us chooses to label ourselves as a writer, we are embarking on a journey that’s not for the faint of heart. To find joy—and yes, even a little success—we need to make sure we’re well-equipped for what lies before us.
I know many writers, and I have to confess I’m thinking of them specifically as I write this. Yes, these are things I’ve tried to cultivate in my writing life—but they’re also things I SEE in their lives.
You are an inspiration to me, to each other, and to those around you.
So today I’m sharing what I’ve learned—and what I know will make your journey easier. Developing these characteristics will help you find more joy as you climb to the places God has for you.
10 Traits of Well-equipped Writers
1. You know who’s really in charge. Those of us who are believers who write must remind ourselves that while we can make plans, it is God who directs our paths. So often through the years, what I’ve thought was a setback was actually a shortcut to the place I needed to be.
2. You learn to adapt to change. I’ve heard it said more times than I can count that the only constant in the publishing world is change. The ability to adapt when life throws a curveball is what sets well-equipped writers apart from the rest.
3. You focus on solutions instead of problems. Writers are creatives. We concoct stories out of thin air and offer commentary on the world that others haven’t considered before. But oftentimes when challenges arise, we forget to look for answers. Instead, we focus on what’s gone wrong.
4. You are aware of your own strengths and weaknesses. A well-equipped writer knows what she’s good at and what she needs to work on. You know what you need to get where you want to be.
5. You put rejection in its place quickly. Rejection is part of this business. It hurts, and oftentimes—because publishing is subjective—it’s unfair. To keep going, you’ve learned how to take a little bit of time to rant and then move beyond the hurt.
6. You learn from mistakes. Not just your own mistakes, but you’re wise enough to learn from those that others make. Truthfully, I’ve learned way more from what I’ve done wrong than what I’ve done right.
7. You create a community of people to encourage, support, and
help you. Putting
words on paper—or on a screen—can be a lonely process. The well-equipped writer
has surrounded himself with others who are on the same path, and together they
8. You know how to stay focused when the pressure is on. Instead of throwing
in the towel, you double down and do what has to be done. I’ve watched many of
you finish books through illness, family issues, and loss. You’ve lost
contracts, had publishers go out of business, and yet you persevere.
9. You remain connected to the ultimate Creator. You make the time to meet regularly with God. Because of that, your words reflect His light. They illuminate a world that is dark and in desperate need of hope.
10. You know there is no competition. The Christian writing world is the most generous community I’ve ever imagined being part of. To the rest of the world, it looks like we’re training our competition. But the truth is, there’s more than enough work to go around. We are stronger when we help each other along the path.
These are the things I’ve discovered that make the writing journey joyful and a path I want to explore for the rest of my life. I’d love to know what you’d add to the list!
Don’t forget to join the conversation!
(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Stuart Miles.)
Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the
lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs,
or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an
author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across
the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to
help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to
their lives. Connect with her on her WEBSITE, through FACEBOOK, TWITTER and on INSTAGRAM.