I’ve recently read Nine Winning Habits of Successful Authors, by Rachel McAlpine. She outlines these habits as this:
1. Develop the strong will to write, 2. Write the sort of book you love to read, 3. Live life intensely, 4. Approach writing in a thoroughly professional way, 5. Construct a long term career as a writer, 6. Accept the rewards and punishments that come with success, 7. Value all of your senses and enjoy using them, 8. Keep your sense of humour and 9. Write popular novels.
Reading this book actually prompted me to think about these things a lot. And it raised a couple of questions.
Do I have a strong will to write? What books do I love to read? Do I live my life intensely? Do I want to write popular novels, and what exactly does that mean? Can I accept the rewards and punishments that come with success? What might they be? And the biggie – do I actually want to be a successful novelist?
These might seem very strange questions for someone who claims to love writing, and purports to want to do just that. But I think they are important questions. I’m not going anywhere until I answer them.
I confess I still hesitate to reveal my soul to the internet; much of these thought processes remain hidden away; but I thought it might be important to note that the questions occur, in case anyone else out there is digging around in their psyche wondering if asking one’s self these sorts of questions is an appropriate way to spend time as a ‘writer’.