There was a time when the stereotypical image of a writer was of an intense-looking person hunched over an old-fashioned typewriter with a mug of coffee beside them. But while the mug of coffee might still be just as important, these days many great tools and resources are available to make the process of writing a book much easier than tapping away on a clunky typewriter.

Tools such as Scrivener, Evernote and Google Docs can make the writing process faster and simpler, as well as more cohesive for collaborative projects. However, in this article, our focus won’t be on the actual writing tools. Instead, we’ll explore some writing tips that can help enhance your success as a writer. With experience – as well as input from experts like editors and proofreaders – you can develop a deeper understanding of the writing process, as well as best practice for authors.

Five tips to help you succeed as an author

Below are five useful tips to help you avoid potential problems and succeed in your writing practice.

1. Be kind to yourself

Writers are frequently their own harshest critics and, due to a tendency to perfectionism, can often struggle with their work and/or their overall wellbeing. This unfortunate personality trait means they often focus on the negatives rather than the positives.

If you’re going to succeed as a writer, it’s important for you to be kind to yourself. Ensure you structure your daily and weekly routine so you have plenty of opportunity for relaxation and down time, in addition to factoring in time for your writing work.

2. Read other authors’ books

Good writers tend to be prolific readers. The reality is that most writers are shaped by the work of other authors. Of course, this doesn’t mean that it’s alright to directly copy another writer’s words. Instead, open yourself up to the influence of other writers’ perspectives by reading widely, and be willing to explore new genres beyond those you usually gravitate towards.

3. Art first, money later

If you are writing a book because you are hoping to become a millionaire, you might want to rethink your plans as this is probably not the best endeavour for you. This doesn’t mean that making money from selling your book can’t be one of your publication goals. Or that this is an impossible goal for you to achieve. It simply means that when you put money first, it can have a negative impact on your creativity. This is usually due to the fact that focusing on money is quite likely to constrain your freedom of expression.

4. Have a professional editor on speed dial

Often, the difference between a good writer and a great writer is their editor. An editor is a skilful professional who can help you improve the technical aspects of your writing and, at the same time, support your creative vision. Editing is an essential ingredient in your recipe for creating a high-quality book. If you have decided to self-publish your manuscript and are keen to undertake all the stages yourself, this is an important step that you shouldn’t skimp on.

5. Master the art of juggling

For many people, writing is something they do on the side or in their spare time on top of juggling a full-time job or home or caring responsibilities. But writing can be very demanding and requires both endurance and commitment. So, to ensure one aspect of your life doesn’t suffer at the expense of another, you’ll need to learn to juggle successfully. Set aside time in your weekly schedule for writing and ensure you prioritise these times so you stay on task with your book project.

Writing is a process

As you progess on your writing journey, try to embrace these tips so that you continue to learn and grow in your craft. Remember, writing is a process, and with perseverance and an open mind, you can stay on track and achieve success as an author. So, grab your favorite mug of coffee, sit down at your computer, tap into your creative inspiration and allow your words to flow. Happy writing!