The writing profession comes with many perks. As a successful writer, you have the power to express yourself, to shape the way others see the world and to make things happen. Long after your footprints vanish from the sands of time, the words you write will be read, shared and remembered. But are you more than a writer? Because, in order to succeed, you certainly need to do more than just write. Indeed, this article shares with you, 3 reasons why versatility is crucial to writing success.
1. It makes you more convincing – Don’t we all love writing that reaches out and pulls us right into the page? Many successful writers are intelligent, passionate and detailed in their craft but most of all they are convincing. When Michael Crichton wrote the sci-fi classic, Jurassic Park, he tapped into another part of himself- used his extensive medical experience to advantage. The result is a fictional work that reeks with authenticity and of course one that has made Crichton financially successful. These days, readers demand that writers ‘show and not tell’. But how can you show what you do not know? When you discover, develop and harness a wider range of talents, your writing will sparkle and your readers will be hooked for life.
2. It makes you more productive – Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? Often the best solution is to take a short break from the project and return to it with renewed zest. If you have been working hard at your writing for weeks, now is the perfect time to find a new challenge, to try something different. Rediscover your passion for song writing or dance, learn to knit a sweater, style hair or paint a water colour portrait. Make time to see life with new eyes and allow your fingers to show you what they can do. There’s more to life than paper and pen. Take a break. Decorate or cook, reclaim your love for fashion or art, find another side to you. You are a multi-dimensional being: daughter and mother, father and son, friend and sibling, spirit and soul. To succeed as a writer, you must be willing to become everything else you were born to be. Oprah Winfrey is an award winning talk show hostess, actress, producer, publisher, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
3. It opens the door to financial success – In today’s publishing world; a writer must wear many hats in order to succeed. In addition to endless proofreading for instance, he or she must be willing to craft proposals, negotiate an advance, organise robust marketing campaigns, budget, administrate, network at functions, speak in public and flesh out ideas for yet many more books. Have you got what it takes to succeed? You better do. Financial gurus have taught for years that the key to wealth and uncommon success is having multiple income streams. But how can one have multiple income streams without multiple talents and interests? Before best selling author, Amy Tan, became a novelist she worked as a commercial copywriter. Since the Joy Luck Club, she has added screenwriter, essayist, public speaker, journal editor and amateur musician to her resume. After all creativity is not all about producing; it is also about leveraging what you know. Many writers today are also athletes, politicians, photographers, entrepreneurs and scientists. With the invasion of mass media technology, the younger generation is reading less and so the onus lies on the modern scribe to communicate beyond the book. If you aspire for writing success, don’t get ahead of yourself, just plan ahead. For instance, you could craft your writing so that it appeals to a wider audience. Or maybe learn to write songs or screenplays, publish your own blog or newsletter… step outside the box. Dr Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, makes much of his income, not from book sales but, from high profile speaking engagements.
I will never forget the fictional character, Oliver Twist. He was young, scrawny, homeless, unschooled and yet he wasn’t afraid to ask for what he wanted. Even after he got a beating for his trouble, Oliver continued to yearn for a better life. Likewise in all of us there is a desire to become successful. If you want to grow as a person you must sustain a healthy sense of curiosity. And if you are still hungry for writing success, then take the time to discover, develop and harness your many talents.