Wednesday, February 27, 2008


I met our one of our authors yesterday in New York City. We had an informative and stimulating lunch with her editor. During our conversation I began to get a full appreciation of this author. I understand now how her writer’s journey ended with a contract with a reputable house. After I returned home last night I thought a lot about our meeting and decided that this author’s successes could help other writers. So, here is a list of five of the traits that have helped her to become a published author. I hope they are helpful and I hope other writers will take heed.

1. She treats writing as a business—The editor asked the author how she was doing on book two, due in September. “It will be finished,” said the author. “I’ve put myself on a writing schedule. I write every night.” (After she gets home from work, makes dinner, and helps the kids with their homework. This lady does not let grass grow under her feet.)

2. She is an avid reader—I consider myself a literati. In the company of the author and her editor, I’m a true lightweight. We discussed everything from The Other Boleyn Girl to Emily Bronte and everything in between. The passion the author has for other authors is almost as all-consuming as that she has for her own writing.

3. She is a professional—This also falls under the business category. When she says she’ll have something done, it gets done. The author understands how important it is to follow through.

4. She understands how publishing works—She is not an overnight wonder. She has done her homework, going to writers’ conferences, talking to authors and agents, getting a sense of what it takes to succeed in this business.

5. She is talented—Notice that I put this as number 5. As the author told me, “I know a lot of writers more talented than I am. Trouble is, they just don’t know how to get their work noticed.”


Joya said...

Thank you for the list! I think somewhere deep down, I realize these five items are what makes a successful author, but I suppose hitting each of them hard is what makes the difference between talented-and-published and talented-and-unnoticed.

Laura R said...

Hard work, humility, and hope--my favorite authors seem to have these qualities, too. I really like this blog! Thanks!

Laura R said...

Hard work, humility, and hope--my favorite authors seem to have these three things in common. Thank you for the great blog--I really like it!