Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Best Tool for Writers—Tenacity

By DiAnn Mills @DiAnnMills

Be tenacious!
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 publish. 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?

Where is your thick skin?
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 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

You can do it!
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.

Tenacity⎯a professional writer who works hard and weaves determination into every word.

What does it mean to you? Can you grip it firmly and never let go?

The best tool for writers - tenacity - via @DiAnnMills on @EdieMelson (Click to Tweet)

Tenacity - a professional writer who works hard and weaves determination into every word - @DiAnnMills (Click to Tweet)

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. 

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at


  1. DiAnn, I love acronyms and acrostics. I am compelled to write out of obedience to God. He makes me tenacious. Otherwise, I would be lazy. I never wanted to be a writer. I speak and teach. Thank you for all your advice. Y-You "Each writer has been given a gift" I did not look at it that way. Thank you. I want to nurture this gift and make it the best gift. I desire to glorify God. I get impatient with my ability or lack of. I know it takes work to fine tune my writing skills. I will put in the time and effort. Thanks again.

    1. Hi Cherrilynn, Thank you for commenting. We all DO have a gift or gifts. Thank you for using what God has purposed for you.

  2. Thamks, DiAnn. It’s so easy to give up!

  3. Thanks, DiAnn, I need this reminder during the times when the going gets tough, which is almost a daily happening. After three plus years it hasn't gotten much easier. Just as in our spiritual lives, we need reminders all along the way as to not only what our purpose is, but what it means to persevere. You've stated it well.

  4. I love this post. Acronyms can help me remember a lot of things. They sure helped in college.

  5. DiAnn, this is fantastic. Acronyms are a great tool, and this is a great one.