Dramaquill's All Things Writing

January 15, 2010

To be a successful writer – Part 2

Tenacious (taken from http://dictionary.reference.com/)

 1. holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often fol. by of): a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits.

 

2. highly retentive: a tenacious memory.

3.pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate.

 

 4.adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous.

5.holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; tough

Out of all the qualities I’ve thought about in compiling this series, tenacity (being tenacious) is by far what has served me best over the years.  I actually believe that the other qualities, which I reveal in successive parts of this series, stem from being tenacious.

Let’s look at the five different definitions from the dictionary and how I believe they apply to becoming a successful writer…

1.  holding fast; characterized by keeping a firm hold (often fol. by of): a tenacious grip on my arm; tenacious of old habits. If you’re serious about writing you must keep a firm hold on your goals.  If you want to become a published novelist, for example, you must create the habit of writing each and every day, devoid of distractions, if you ever want to complete that first draft.  Life offers many distractions and building good writing habits, and sticking to them, will definitely move you in the right direction.  With discipline toward your craft, you can, and will, accomplish your goals.

 

 2.highly retentive: a tenacious memory.Writers must be able to focus on a multitude of details.  In novel writing there are settings , plot points, character traits and story arcs to deal with.  A tenacious memory will make keeping it all straight a much easier task.  But besides the actual writing, you’ll have to remember contest deadlines, submissions that you’ve got out to publishers/agents and countless other details on the business side of writing.

3.pertinacious, persistent, stubborn, or obstinate. Luckily, as a Taurus, my natural personality contains many of these, but if it didn’t, these traits are definitely necessary to further your career.  Think of those pertinacious salespeople that follow you around the store, not letting up until they have you engaged.  Be persistent about what you want as a writer, stubborn about getting it and obstinate when someone or something tries to stand in your way.

 

 4.adhesive or sticky; viscous or glutinous. Maybe this one’s a bit of a stretch (no pun intended), but I see this definition as sticking to your plans…sticking to your schedule…sticking to your goals.  Like adhesive sticks two objects together, the writer must stick to the task of creating words, finishing manuscripts and seeking a home for each project.

 

 5. holding together; cohesive; not easily pulled asunder; toughTo be a successful writer, you can’t be a softie – a pushover.  Ask yourself, how badly do I want this?  Then formulate your plan, cohesively integrating it into your life and your current schedule.  Be tough – make the sacrifices necessary to find the time to write, if that’s what you really have a passion to do.

And remember that being a successful writer, although my definition of that means writing for paid publication, can mean something entirely different to you.  But however you see that success, you must be tenacious if you want to get there.

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