Monday, February 28, 2011

How To Be A Happy Writer

1. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. They have their own path to publication and you have yours. So what if they sold something to a big publisher. How long have they been working toward that goal? If you’ve only been writing for a short time, don’t be impatient. You must pay your dues. If you learn all you can about writing, work hard enough, and want it bad enough, publication may come when the time is right. And that might not be NOW. It could be a few years away or twelve . . . Plus, comparison can lead you down a path to jealousy. Don't go there. You'll save yourself some grief and keep your self-confidence in check.

2. Be patient. See number one.

3. Exercise. Taking care of your body will help take care of your mind. You’ll have more energy to crank out those words like a writin’ fool on a caffeine high without the side effects.

4. Give sadness the boot. Writers have the tendency to get down. When you are feeling blue, take a walk, have lunch with a friend, go shopping, eat chocolate (highly recommended), listen to your favorite music.

5. Find the right fit for a critique group or partner. Nothing will karate-kick your writing into gear more that finding other writers who support your passion and like you and your writing. You can find them online, at writing conferences, or in a local writing group. You may have to try a few to ensure the best fit. The right people make all the difference. They are your fellow word ninjas.

6. Write. Many people who say they are writers only talk about it. Tie yourself to the computer and put in your writing hours, Mister.

7. Don't let anything stop you. Hang a “do not disturb” sign on your door or shoot the stink eye when anyone walks into the room--even your needy cat. And do it . . . NOW. You are not getting any younger. Don't wait until your kids grow up, you move to a bigger place with an office, or you have some sort of degree to deem yourself a writer. If you write, guess what? You are a writer. Be self-motivated. Be courageous. Be FEARLESS. Just DO it.

8. Enjoy the world. Yes, you need to write, but you also must enjoy life. Not only does this make you an interesting writer, it makes you a fun person, too. Volunteer. Take a class. Go to a museum. Take a trip. Have a romantic date night with your significant other. Do a friends' night out. Hang out with your human kids and/or furry ones. They will forgive you for the stink eye.

Want more tips? Check out Nathan Bransford's Ten Commandments of a Happy Writer.

Keep writing!


  1. Thanks, Kim. I needed those reminders. I read Nathan Bransford's post, too. Now . . . I just have to get back to writing that neverending YA!

  2. I especially agree with your tips about not comparing yourself to others and being patient. They're things I already know I should be doing, but it's always nice to hear it from someone else.

  3. Jeannie, good luck on your YA! Thanks, Cynthia. This writing biz is a seriously slow process. Isn't it?