Like so many professionals within the publishing industry, Writer’s Relief loves to work with writers who have certain key attributes that point to success.
There are a few widely recognized characteristics that make for stardom in the publishing industry. Find a list below. Editors and agents love to see these personality attributes in creative writers (and we do too!).
How Many Of These Traits Do You Have?
Refined talent. We love to work with writers who adore words for their beauty and for their practicality. Like so many agents and editors, we want stories that move us. Books that surprise. Poems that make a person feel like the “top of (his/her) head were taken off” (to quote Emily Dickinson). Essays that make us see the world in a new way. Raw talent is great. But refined talent—talent that has been honed by hard work and study—is even better. Talent is first on our wish list for the perfect writer/client.
Focus. Successful writers are committed to their craft and to their careers. They face the same distractions that all writers face—but they don’t get hung up on them. These writers keep their eye on the prize—because they know they’re going to win it someday!
Patient determination. When the going gets tough, successful writers keep going! There are many pitfalls of the writing life. Determination is key. And patience is like the gasoline for determination; without patience, determination has no fuel to keep it going.
Stewardship. A writer may know how to get words on a page, but sometimes he/she doesn’t know how to be an educated caretaker of his/her own writings. Believe it or not, some writers submit their work to us here at Writer’s Relief without knowing who we are or what we do (and, inevitably, they are unhappy when they discover that we are not publishers or agents)! We’re looking for writers who care for their projects like they might care for a child. Would you abandon a child to the care of a total stranger? Would you send him/her into the world with no direction at all and then hope for something good to happen (never mind that bad things might come to pass)? Some writers treat their projects carelessly. Successful writers treat their work with care, professionalism, and respect.
Education. We’re not talking about college degrees. We’re talking about writers who have been around the block in the publishing industry and have some fundamental knowledge of how things work. Our favorite clients know how the submission process works because they’ve been through it—but they want us to take care of it for them. That said, we’ve also worked successfully with writers who had no idea where to start, but we much prefer those who have experience and realistic expectations about the submission process.
Optimism. We tend to be optimists. We were optimistic in the months after 9/11/2001, when so many people in the industry were afraid to open envelopes for fear of anthrax. We were optimistic when the markets slumped in 2008, even though we saw many literary journals close as people began to lose their jobs. We’re realistic about changes in the industry, and we’re optimistic. Optimism comes from a deep love of what we do. If you’re a writer, it’s important to become an optimist. Without hope, there’s no reason to go on. Optimistic writers don’t let themselves become bitter; instead, they become shining stars. Sometimes, becoming an optimist may take some refocusing or adjusting. But the payoff is worth it when you’re focusing on what works (as opposed to what doesn’t).
QUESTION: What is your best personality attribute as a writer?
Ready to see if you have what it takes to become a Writer’s Relief client? Submit to our Review Board for consideration.