25 Valuable Lessons from Seriously Successful Writers

25 Valuable Lessons from Seriously Successful Writers

25 Valuable Lessons from Seriously Successful Writers

Stop it.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself.

You may suppose your problems are special, unique, or not possible for all of us else to understand. But you understand what?

As writers, we’re all struggling with the same primary problems.

You’re no longer the only person who doesn’t understand what sort of creator to end up.

You’re no longer the only person who spends hours tinkering with sentences – and nevertheless hates them.

And you’re now not the simplest person who’ll do anything – easy the bathroom, service the car, even run a marathon – to avoid sitting your butt in that chair and doing the work.

Almost each author faces issues like procrastination, perfectionism, and self-doubt at one time or another. Even the a success ones swimming in writing jobs.

But the feeling of being definitely alone to your writer’s journey is insidious.

It gnaws at your confidence and weakens your solve.

It reasons proficient writers to give up when all they need to do is keep going.

And that needs to forestall right now …

Why Being a Writer Is Like Driving within the Dark Without a Map

Imagine the scene.

You’re driving alongside a abandoned street.

You haven’t visible another vehicle, any other man or woman, or even a road register hours.

The automobile’s old engine has been making a unusual damn sound because you left home, and every time you hit every other pothole, you believe you studied it’d drop right out.

Regardless, you push your fears aside, sit up straight on your seat, and preserve driving.

Because while your destination is not on any map, others have instructed you it’s worth the adventure.

But it’ll be darkish soon, and the gas gauge is straying dangerously close to empty …

The these days departed American historic creator E.L. Doctorow as soon as stated:

“Writing is like riding at night in the fog. You can handiest see as some distance as your headlights, however you may make the entire trip that way.”

It’s a powerful metaphor, but in case you’re something like me, you hate feeling lost.

You can’t stand the experience which you might be on the incorrect tune, leaving a trail of misspent effort and time.

Like most writers, I longed for road markings, or helpful directions from someone who’d made the same journey before me.

That’s why I requested 25 top authors, bloggers, and entrepreneurs one easy question:

What turned into your finest writing or innovative challenge, and the way did you conquer it?

This is what they said.

On… Getting the Words Down

1. Ryan Holiday – American creator, writer, and marketer

Every author’s venture is to parent out exactly what it’s far that they have got to say, especially what only they can say.

For me, that become a question that needed to be replied greater with residing than with writing.

Going out and doing unusual matters changed into how I in the long run replied it.

That’s what placed me on my writing route these days.

2. Joel Friedlander – Blogger, author, publisher, clothier, and writing train

The biggest undertaking I’ve ever faced as a author became writer’s block.

Although I wrote lots of “company” or commercial enterprise-orientated portions, I felt I had no get entry to to my own creative capability, I turned into only a journeyman, a wordsmith, someone who wrote to other people’s agendas.

The way I solved it become via signing up for a loose-writing organization.

In this setting, the instructor diagnosed me as a “crushed innovative” and showed me many unfastened-writing techniques that would give me get admission to to the never-ending flow of creativity that’s jogging all of the time in my creativeness.

Since that point I’ve in no way had a difficulty writing, and I built my weblog in this ability to write down quickly and efficaciously, in accordance with my own innovative impulse.

3. Shawn Coyne – Editor, publisher, literary agent, and author

The biggest writing assignment for me is absolutely placing my backside within the chair and beginning.

How I overcome it is to do not forget that each author I’ve ever known has faced the equal trouble.

The book that really made me recognize this fashionable Resistance to doing the work necessary to create a bit of prose is one I received and edited years ago… Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.

That book, to at the present time, we could me know I’m not by myself while at the equal time, it kicks me tough sufficient to get me in that chair and begin typing.

Four. Joanna Penn – New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Thriller Author, speaker, and entrepreneur.

The biggest writing venture remains really sitting all the way down to write.

Resistance, as Steven Pressfield calls it, will constantly discover a siren track to name you away.

The most effective manner to overcome it is through ordinary and dependancy. Sit your butt within the chair and reach whatever purpose you’ve got set – that could be a time period or a phrase count number.

I positioned headphones on and pay attention to rain and thunderstorms on repeat – this repetition of sound enables me write in one of a kind bodily locations and drowns out the distractions.

Five. Len Markidan – Blogger, marketer, and Fortune 500 productivity consultant

The largest project I’ve constantly faced has been simply getting words on the web page.

I’m a born procrastinator (I even devote an entire site to how I’ve triumph over this) and can nearly constantly find some thing greater appealing to do than something I’ve described as “paintings.”

Over the years, I’ve realised that rather than addressing this trouble through brute force, I ought to make my lifestyles much less complicated with the aid of constructing behavior and structures round my very own shortcomings.

One element I do now, as quickly as I sit down at my table, is write a single sentence.

A simple, conceivable goal that’s so smooth, I’m not willing to position it off for later.

That’s regularly the toughest element, and once I actually have one sentence at the web page, the relaxation frequently flows freely.

6. Nick Loper– Blogger, entrepreneur, and train

For me, the largest writing project is gazing the clean display screen and feeling the stress to create something awesome from nothing.

It sucks!

So what I’ve began doing to combat this is keeping a couple of “concept” documents on hand in which I store any capacity blog post or future e book idea.

I simply use Google Docs on my computer and the integrated Notes app on my phone.

When I’m in need of notion, I’ll simply browse via those documents and pick out the subject that sounds interesting.

On the writing facet itself, I’ve found a few success currently in outlining my work first, which I by no means used to do.

I find it helps organize my mind in place of simply brain-dumping at the page, and in fact makes the writing quicker because it’s like filling-in-the-blanks in place of starting absolutely from scratch.

On … Being Productive

7. Sue Anne Dunlevie – Coach and mentor for bloggers

As my blog have become more famous over the past 12 months, my largest mission became to maintain to my writing schedule.

Sure, it was smooth to write down for my weblog when I didn’t have a hundred emails a day and didn’t have 1-1 customers to instruct.

Once I brought on clients and had to take care of so many emails, I started neglecting my writing. Which is so ironic – I got into running a blog because I love to jot down.

In the beyond 3+ years, that become the first-class a part of my commercial enterprise.

I relish getting a clean yellow pad and my preferred red pen and sitting all the way down to write.

That changed into my glide time – my relaxation time.

Then writing my blog put up just have become any other to-do on my listing. I wasn’t getting pleasure from it. It was a chore. I knew something had to change – and exchange quickly.

So I located a extremely good running a blog strategist, a weblog writing coach, who were given me back on the right track. Daniela Uslan has helped me discover pleasure in writing yet again.

She gently asks me the right questions on what I revel in when writing and has even helped maintain my feet to the fire with the intention to get me on a writing schedule that labored for me.

I’m so glad I discovered her.

Sometimes all of us need a little assist so that it will face our demanding situations.

8. Adam Connell – Blogger, on line entrepreneur, and marketer

Staying effective at the same time as writing has been a big mission for me.

While I’m nonetheless no longer as productive as I will be, sure changes I’ve made to how I begin my day have had a massive effect.

I start every day with a few meditation, organise my tasks then start writing a blog publish that I’ve researched the afternoon earlier than.

Then in the afternoon I do a little studies for my subsequent submit which I write the subsequent morning.

That’s accompanied by any e mail, social or remark management for my weblog.

I’ve determined that I’m extra innovative within the mornings and I’m better at enhancing/gaining knowledge of afterward within the day.

Leaving tasks like email until in a while help me hold attention on the project to hand.

9. Danny Iny – Founder of Firepole Marketing, and excellent-selling creator

The biggest writing task for me (and for a whole lot of writers, who possibly don’t realise it!), is attempting to do things right now – due to the fact writing in reality has steps to it: identifying what thoughts you need to proportion, in what order, and (2) selecting the words to specific them.

Doing both right now makes the writing manner *a good deal* more difficult, and the answer is to put in writing a detailed define first, so that you can separate the two steps out. That’s done wonders for me, and for numerous my college students, too!

10. Jon Morrow – founding father of Smart Blogger, and previous editor of Copyblogger and KISSMetrics

My biggest venture was relearning the way to write after dropping the use of my fingers.

For me, writing become continually exceptionally tactile. I changed into capable of get right into a rhythm that I never actually preferred till my circumstance (muscular dystrophy) were given so intense that I couldn’t clearly kind anymore.

Thankfully, speech popularity software was starting off, so I turned into capable of transfer to Dragon Naturally Speaking and keep writing.

But it become lots harder than I idea it’d be. Writing by voice changed into a wholly special revel in for me, and it took me some months to get used to the rhythm and get my writing voice again.

Needless to mention, I’m pretty cushty writing through voice now.

In the longer term, I assume it might’ve even made me a better author than I become earlier than.

It’s truly faster.

Eleven. David Allen – Author of Getting Things Done, and founder of the David Allen Company

The biggest venture I actually have approximately writing is creating a popular context, which I continually get right of entry to, to write down, regardless of what.

I nevertheless need to coach myself to create the time, area, and environment, and trust that the proper writing will display up.

On … Self-Belief and Overcoming Perfectionism

12. Kevan Lee – Content Crafter, Buffer

I like things to be best once I post them.

Personally, I experience this stems from my placing a positive quantity of self esteem or ego within the content that I put up, which is something I’m usually keen to enhance on. My project may be to really hit Publish, to ship things, once I’d opt to keep them tight till they’re ideal.

“Perfect is the enemy of accurate” is some thing I consider frequently, and even as I genuinely experience there’s an area for perfection (and the pursuit of perfection), what’s been beneficial for me is embracing this idea of delivery early, putting your paintings obtainable and receiving comments, and having the courage to create.

Doing it frequently has helped me conquer my fears, operating with a deadline helps too. And the extra I do things this way, the greater I comprehend that the small imperfections that I’ve observed regularly pass overlooked via others. All this actually enables reinforce the remarkable advantages of sharing your work, early and frequently.

13. Pat Flynn – Blogger, entrepreneur, podcaster, and creator

The writing of the primary draft of my new e-book changed into a struggle for me because I desired it to be perfect.

That first draft is truly vital I’ve found out through reading books like Bird by way of Bird by way of Anne Lamott and simply listening to and getting recommendation from numerous different authors obtainable which you simply have to write.

Some human beings sincerely take their delete key off their keyboard to pressure themselves no longer as a way to really delete and get into edit mode.

You must be in only innovative mode, that’s clearly the other of edit mode.

Then I determined, ok, I’ve been large on podcasting. I use my voice a lot.

I’m just doing a brain unload in this first draft, why don’t I just communicate it out and have it recorded and then have any individual transcribe that and feature that come to be the first draft.

That’s what I did. I turned into capable of, in approximately and a 1/2 weeks, end my first draft of my book which is simply cool.

14. Steve Scott – Blogger, nonfiction writer, Kindle publishing, and addiction trade expert

One of the most important writing demanding situations I actually have faced in the beyond, and nevertheless face these days, is perfectionism.

First there’s a desire to continually do better. The feeling that whilst what you write can be desirable, there should be a few way to make it higher.

Second there may be the self-doubt that creeps in over time. More than as soon as I actually have study something I wrote months before and just assume it’s far awful.

Perfectionism is some thing that maximum authors face and need to learn how to combat.

There are some techniques I use to fight perfectionism.

Good is ideal enough. Nothing you write will in all likelihood be perfect. Once you sense that what you write is right enough, deliver it!

Write regularly. Writing is a habit that ought to be achieved every day. You do now not want to write down 8 hours daily, writing that a great deal might also truely be counterproductive, but an hour or two each day is critical. When you write this lots, your work will seem better, as it can be better.

Don’t be too “wordy”. I suppose the quality writing is direct and to the point. You do now not need a number of flowery accoutrements on your writing. While modifying, simplify your writing. With simple writing it’s far less difficult to determine if the factor you’ve got made is apparent.

Write first, revise later. Write a terrible draft, deliver it a while and pass again and edit as a separate manner. Genius isn’t always inside the writing, but in appropriate solid modifying. When you do accurate edits, you may allow pass of the want to make it “even better” as it must be honestly desirable.

Send it to a expert editor. I define. I write. I edit. THEN I send my work off to be edited once more with the aid of a professional I admire. With strong edits you may sense secure some thing you write is “precise sufficient”.

Don’t take your self too significantly. I don’t suppose I am writing Shakespeare or that I am the subsequent Ernest Hemingway. I desire my books make an awesome effect on human beings’s lives, but I do now not try to suppose that they want to be “revolutionary” or “life converting”. All I hope for is to lead them to enjoyable and something that humans will perhaps study something from. Keep your ego in test while writing. The writing isn’t always approximately you, it’s miles approximately what you may do for others.

15. Bryan Hutchinson – Author, blogger and founder of Positive Writer

The biggest writing project I ever confronted was myself.

The perception that I wasn’t top enough and the extreme skepticism that I should write paintings that others could want to study.

In quick, I doubted myself. It turned into debilitating and for years I didn’t write due to it.

Overcoming doubt wasn’t smooth.

It took years.

I wrote in a non-public magazine and I began blogs that I shared with only a few human beings in my circle of accept as true with.

Over the years as I continued to put in writing, and slowly, however honestly, shared my paintings with more and more humans, my self assurance commenced to boom.

Of route, there’s a great deal more to the tale than that, however in the long run, the key to overcoming doubt for me changed into definitely writing for myself and sooner or later sharing my work with folks who I knew cared approximately me and what I was writing approximately.

As my confidence expanded I shared my work with more and more humans.

16. Henneke – Copywriter, Author, Marketer, and Writing Coach

The biggest writing project I’ve faced is beginning my blog. I didn’t see myself as a writer. I didn’t assume I ought to weblog. I had no self belief.

But I desperately desired to go away my corporate job, so I wished a manner out.

How did I triumph over my self-doubt?

I took Jon Morrow’s guest blogging direction, and the main aspect I learned become that writing isn’t magic. You can discover ways to follow writing strategies to make your content engaging, persuasive, and inspirational. I study a pile of copywriting books.

I started out to have a look at weblog posts and analyzed what stored me studying on and whilst my thoughts began wandering off. With tough paintings and determination, most human beings can discover ways to write nicely.

Now, I educate others to end up better writers, and I’m not even a native English speaker. If you’d told me that two or 3 years in the past, I could have stated you’re loopy.

On … The Craft of Writing

17. Johnny B. Truant– Indie creator, blogger, and podcaster

Back whilst we commenced the Self Publishing Podcast, I became meant to join Sean and Dave at the display because the “everyman” writer because I’d handiest written one book and couldn’t manipulate to complete a 2d – no matter years of trying.

The problem on the time became that my characters in no way truly did something. They simply sort of stood around and talked.

Even when I brought movement, the action in no way went anywhere. Working with Sean and Dave helped me see that although I thought I became a “natural pantser” (making matters up as I went along), I without a doubt worked tons higher as some thing between a “pantser” and a “plotter.”

Today, Sean and I work using “story beats,” in which we more or less map out the primary points of what is going to take place and I determine out the information among them as I cross.

That hybrid technique has changed me from a creator who couldn’t finish a second ebook to one that now publishes 1.5 million words (about 1 1/2 instances the full Harry Potter collection) according to year.

18. Gregory Ciotti  – Lead Content Strategist and Writer for Help Scout

The greatest project I’ve confronted is the temptation to impress. Writers are traffickers of wit and wisdom, and we need so badly to depart lasting impressions. But in looking to prove ourselves we can end up being selfish. I’ve usually been keen on this quote from Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker: “Bad writers don’t point to something inside the international but are self-conscious about not seeming naïve approximately the pitfalls in their personal employer.”

To conquer this anxiety, write for an target market of 1. A single person. Not a “persona,” through the way, a real person. I’ve discovered having someone in mind creates a preference to serve. You’ll care less about impressing a faceless audience and care more approximately fixing the troubles of someone in want.

19. Mary Jaksch – Author and Editor of Write To Done

My biggest writing undertaking turned into starting to write for a web audience. When I started out running a blog, I turned into already a posted creator and my book, Learn to Love, was published in 7 exclusive languages.

Just earlier than starting my first weblog, I had come back from a ride to Brazil. My ebook had just been translated into Portuguese and I felt proud to look a huge pile of my ebook displayed in bookstore at Rio de Janeiro airport.

As you could consider, I felt pretty confident about my writing once I began to blog. I thought, ‘ Well, this blogging factor is technically difficult, however at least I recognize how to write!”

How wrong can you be…

When I subsequently published my first posts, I became in for a shock. First of all, no person read my posts. In reality, for three months I best had subscribers, my son Sebastian and my high-quality pal Birgit. I was so desperate that I subscribed my cat, Sweetie – simply to arise to a few subscribers!

And when readers ultimately discovered me, they didn’t like my manner of writing.  It become demoralizing…

Really, the fashion of writing I had developed whilst writing my e-book didn’t paintings in any respect on-line. I used lengthy, complicated paragraphs and had a preachy undertone that get rid of potential subscribers.

When I finally admitted that I needed to change the manner I wrote, I started reading all of the research I ought to locate approximately the manner people examine on-line. And then I adapted my fashion therefore.

It took me an entire year to recalibrate my fashion of writing. These days, my assignment is to help human beings become influencers and superb on line writers. As an instance, here’s a post approximately how to evoke emotions for your writing.

20. Tim Brownson – Life educate, and blogger

My largest challenge changed into dashing to post. I in no way write a weblog submit earlier than I need it and on occasion I’d be so excited I’d put up with out editing well.

I suppose after the 20th criticism that a blind monkey on acid might make fewer typos I found out I had to take modifying a tad extra seriously or lose readers.

One of the satisfactory bits of advice I changed into given was to study every put up out loud after modifying because it will often highlight errors that the mind has not noted whilst analyzing. I still make mistakes, but likely approximately 5% of what I used to do.

21. Carol Tice – Freelance creator, writer, and blogger at Make A Living Writing

One massive one got here early in my profession, after I were given my first shot at writing a long function.

It become an reveal on a right-wing group that had currently come to Los Angeles, and a woman who infiltrated their agency. I had a ton of brilliant statistics, and my first draft for this 3000-phrase venture was about two times as long!

I had no concept how I might cut it down. I changed into drowning. So the handiest issue to do become — get assist.

I began with a author pal who wrote for TV and had written a nonfiction e book. I’ll in no way forget about the recommendation she gave me approximately the usage of energetic, gift-traumatic verbs in place of passive ones — as soon as I turned “have been going to the shop” into “went to the store” all through, that by myself reduce a few critical phrase depend!

I assume it become 5,000 phrases after I added it to my editor and essentially stated, “Help!” He read it, and gave me a road-map of how to decrease it down, what will be reduce absolutely, what might be stated greater succinctly and how. I’ll constantly be thankful. The very last tale changed into optioned for a film — twice — and I ended up making over $20,000 from it.

Even better, I found out to ask questions of editors, and ask for assist if you want it, an technique that’s served me properly with all sorts of writing customers. It’s also the method I used working with Jon to write my first visitor publish for Copyblogger — on his advice, we genuinely tossed out the first draft completely and I wrote a completely new concept for the first publish with his steering. It ended up in Best of Copyblogger for that year.

On … The Business of Writing

22. James Chartrand – Blogger, copywriter, and founding father of Men with Pens and Damn Fine Words

One might surely propose that writing itself is the most important undertaking – and the only way to overcome it’s far by using writing.

But that’s getting philosophical, and I digress.

I’ve possibly touched on each writing challenge that exists, at a while or some other.

Writer’s block, apathy, disillusionment, assessment bias… however I don’t grasp onto the ones for long.

They’re all luxuries which can’t coexist in a business surroundings.

If you want to be triumphant, in case you need to make cash, you need to get over your self and get on with the writing paintings.

My maximum current “luxury” became apathy toward my weblog – I hadn’t written for it in a long term due to the fact I changed into tired of the subject, disengaged with my target market and feeling like I’d said it all.

So I determined to move back thru older posts and remodel them absolutely, applying what I realize nowadays to cause them to so much higher.

The exercise helped me get again to my roots, revisit the leisure I used to feel about running a blog and sparked my interest in writing about new and associated topics.

It worked so properly that I suggest this to every body, really, and you may examine greater approximately it here.

23. Demian Farnworth – Chief copywriter for Copyblogger Media

Finding my way out of ghostwriting.

When I got my start as a freelancer I discovered that ghostwriting paintings became abundant.

I took it in with the aid of the masses. But I additionally found I hated doing it. Though I made decent cash from it, I couldn’t stand the reality that someone else become getting credit for it.

I found out that aspect of the business wasn’t for me, in order the paintings dried up, I didn’t take any new ghostwriting work on.

Instead, I began marketing myself as a expert author for lease — someone who could help elevate the visibility of a agency even as still maintaining his byline. I’m fortunate so one can do this at Copyblogger.

24. Tom Evans – Writer, creator’s mentor, and teacher of mindfulness

My largest writing assignment has constantly been advertising of a book once it’s been written.

Writers may be quite self-effacing, shy and retiring sort of creatures and I fall into that class.

To date, my approach to advertising and marketing a e-book has been to put in writing some other one and every other one, inside the useless desire the ultra-modern e book will someway magically up sell the ones before. With my today’s books, I even have taken a new method.

I love writing, and innovative endeavours in wellknown, and that is why I’ve got stuck into writing any other e book as opposed to selling and selling the only I had just finished.

So what I’ve executed with my modern day books is to channel my creativity at their advertising.

This then doesn’t make it both as frightening or uninteresting.

So what does my new global appear like?

Well, I have my own podcast show, referred to as The Zone Show, based at the closing e book but one, referred to as The Zone. This has been the exceptional networking device ever.

I get to reach the tribes of my guests and many visitors have their personal indicates and interview me in return.

My brand new ebook, New Magic for a New Era, is the progenitor of a huge spin off enterprise. I am 1/2 way thru creation of a self-take a look at product to enhance every chapter.

Each product I launch creates extra buzz for the e book as well as more revenue. The whole result has been a spiral of creativity and income.

This in flip has created a pleasant glide of passive profits which through summer season will provide me sufficient income so I can get again to writing once more with out stressful approximately wherein the money is coming from.

25. Hugh C. Howey – Best-promoting author of the “Molly Fyde” and “Wool” sagas

My biggest writing undertaking become learning to write down with an expectant target audience.

It become a lot less difficult to write my first 5 novels, returned while the most effective humans waiting with bated breath have been my companion and my mother.

When I had tens of heaps and then millions of readers waiting on the following release, I became lots extra self-crucial and loads less self-assured.

The exceptional of my writing went down as I started attempting too hard.

There were some weeks in which I deleted the whole lot I wrote.

This triggered me to panic, and I needed to remind myself that I was just writing the tales I desired to write, that I didn’t ought to please every body but myself, that nobody could read any of this aside from my mom.

And my mom would constantly be proud.

Most of the challenges of writing have come with fulfillment, which is to mention that they may be great troubles to have.

How to balance writing time with other demands. How to have a balanced own family life with tour.

How to manipulate finances when profits fluctuates. How to keep expectations sensible, enjoy the instant, however understand that it’s miles in no way supposed to ultimate.

It can be a rollercoaster, looking an amusement career take off. But I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Just a Little Further, You’re Almost There …

As a writer, figuring out you’ve handiest got a vague idea of in which you’re going or wondering in case you’re going to attain your destination any time soon is never quality.

This roundup publish has exposed the challenges skilled writers faced on their character creative journeys and discovered the solutions they found.

All of the interviewees have dealt with failures and successes of every kind over time, and that they’re nonetheless going. They’ve overcome problems we are able to all empathize with.

If you’re suffering with your craft, and an answer isn’t in sight, don’t take this as a signal that you need to put down your pen, flip round, and move home.

Instead, the subsequent time you come upon a trouble, use the 25 answers on this post as instructions on your innovative adventure.

You just must be brave enough to keep going.

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