I got an email from a reader who wanted to know what advice I'd give to aspiring writers. I emailed her a response and decided maybe there were others who were wondering what it takes to be successful. Here are my suggestions:
Be committed -Finish what you start. I've mentored a lot of people who write a chapter or two of a manuscript, decide the story isn't working and move on to something else. A book never works out the first time we write it. Write it anyway. Then fix it.
Be persistent. One rejection (or two or three or four or five....)doesn't make you a failure, and it certainly doesn't mean that God doesn't want you to write. All it means is that you're not where you want to be at the moment. Which doesn't mean you're not going to eventually get there!
Be a good student. Your writing will be judged and critiqued, its value weighed by every editor and agent who looks at it. Think of them as your professors and your writing as a final thesis. You pass or fail based on their opinion of your work. Make it great.
Be ready for success. Set goals and meet them, so that when the time comes and you get THE CALL, you'll be ready to meet deadlines and produce manuscripts over and over again.
Be faithful. God does not call us to give up when the going gets tough. Be faithful to the call He's given you whether that call is to write books or edit your church newsletter.
Be grateful. For your gift. For your calling. For the creativity that God has given you. And because you are grateful for the gift, use it. Don't sit around talking about writing. Write. Trusting always that God is in control of your words, your story and your career. Write like it matters. Like you will succeed. Like what God has already done is enough. Because it is. And then write some more because, rejection or not, you must.