by DiAnn Mills

How vested are you in your writing goals?

Some writers view their work as a hobby. If it works and they sell, great. If the market rejects their writing, no problem. Nothing’s vested for them. They can always try something new.

Some writers are afraid to grasp onto their dreams. They are commonly referred to as closet-writers. If they fail, they haven’t lost anything. Or have they?

Other writers are doggedly determined to make it. Doesn’t matter how long it takes to learn the craft. Doesn’t matter how many rejections. Doesn’t matter how many rewrites. Doesn’t matter the intricate nuances of marketing and promotion. They are persistent. Just try to tell them they don’t have what it takes to succeed, and their tenacity raises another notch. Those are my kind of writers. Because I’m one of them.

I believe the cost of doing everything to reach writing goals far outweighs the cost of doing nothing. Failure is not an option.

Below is a acronym for tenacity. Take a look. Can you incorporate these tips into your writing life?

T is for Thick Skin. A writer needs Rhino Skin to survive the publishing world. We must learn the craft, a continuing process. We toughen up to accept constructive criticism and move forward to write

Do you have Rhino Skin when you receive a critique?

a quality story that honors God and entertains the reader.  

E is for Entertain. Whether plot driven or character driven, story’s foremost purpose is to entertain the reader with unforgettable characters and a unique plot. Stretch yourself to create a memorable experience.

N is for Never Give Up. When a critique points out flaws and weaknesses in our manuscript; or when a friend or family member believes you’re wasting your time; or when an agent or editor rejects a manuscript; it’s easy to walk away. But a successful writer never gives up. I treasure Winston Churchill’s statement, “Never, never, never give up.” I also value his quote, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” In fact, that is how we writers often feel when we’re struggling with our stories.

A is for Active. An active writer understands her career is not spent behind a desk. She  becomes involved in a writer’s group and attends writer conferences. Networking within the industry is necessary for professional contacts and friendships. An active writer keeps her body in shape. An unhealthy body means an unhealthy mind, and that means creativity crashes.

C is for Characters. Characters are the lifeblood of a novel. Their roles live in the hearts of our readers. We have a responsibility to fully develop our characters physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Characters reveal themselves in every aspect of our novels, so the reader never forgets them. 

I is for Inspire. One of our goals is to inspire readers to grow and change, and become better people. We accomplish this by showing a character who walked through fire and survived. We want readers to be inspired by our stories and discover ways for them to live triumphantly

T is for Truth. Story is a vehicle to show truth. It’s revealed in our premise and theme, surfacing in our protagonists attitudes and motivation. God may not be mentioned in our novels, but His truth reigns in characterization and plot.

Y is for You. Each writer has been given a gift. The writer can choose to ignore it, play with it, give it back, or develop the gift into a beautiful story. I can’t do it for you. It’s your seed to nurture and grow.

Success starts with you!

Tenacity. What does it mean to you? Can you grip it firmly and never let go? I believe you can. A professional writer works hard and weaves determination into every word.

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.

Her titles have appared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, Faith, Hope & Love, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

Website: www.diannmills.com