G & B
The Elements of Success
by William T. Delamar

If you are going to make it as a writer, there are three very basic requirements. You have to know how to write, have something to say, and give it the time it requires. 

These three elements aren't developed in one-two-three order. Writers spend their lives learning. They get better by doing. You don't have to take formal courses, but it helps. Many great writers never took a course, but they all read a lot. Having something to say frequently comes from one scene in your head. It germinates into something more definitive. Sticking with it can be the hard part. This includes editing, rewriting, and searching for markets. This is not always the fun part. 

Not many writers sell their first piece. Not many start out with a bang. They edit, rewrite, and search. The annals of literature are full of names of writers who wrote for years before getting recognition. And even before recognition, many paid their dues by getting published in obscure journals or local newspapers. They eventually succeeded because there was one thing they had in common; they all stuck with it. 

They mastered their craft, and all of them spent countless hours at the sheet of paper practicing-practicing-practicing, giving up other opportunities. They developed skill to match the inspiration, and joined them with persistence. That marriage paid off, for some later than others, but that doesn't matter. The skill is developed and becomes automatic, like hands moving across a keyboard, the composer blind to all but a vision. Craft, vision, and persistence, these are the elements of success. 

How many greats didn't make it because they didn't stick with it? Are you going to be one of the greats who makes it? 

-  © William T. Delamar 

Applicable Quotes

"We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master."
- Ernest Hemingway 

"I love being a writer. What I can't stand is the paperwork." 
- Peter De Vries 

"Writing is the hardest work in the world not involving heavy lifting."
- Pete Hamill 

"I deemed it expedient to bind myself to certain self- imposed laws. It was also my practice to allow myself no mercy." 
- Anthony Trollope 

"I can't turn out slews of stuff each day. I wish I could. I seem to have some neurotic need to perfect each paragraph--each sentence, even--as I go along." 
- William Styron 

"Looking back, I imagine I was always writing. Twaddle it was too. But better far write twaddle or anything, anything, than nothing at all." 
- Katherine Mansfield 

"If you do not write for publication, there is little point in writing at all."
- George Bernard Shaw 

"Tailors and writers must mind the fashion." 
- Thomas Fuller 

"Learn to trust your own judgment, learn inner independence, learn to trust that time will sort good from bad--including your own bad. Do not pay attention to current literary modes, for they can be observed changing, sometimes overnight." 
- Doris Lessing 

"There is no rule on how to write. Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly. Sometimes it's like drilling rock and blasting it out with charges."
- Ernest Hemingway