Saturday, September 30, 2023

10 Attitudes and Practices Every Writer Must Search and Destroy to Succeed

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

We read a lot about what it takes to become a writer. We talk about craft, practice, networking. But one thing we often neglect is girding our minds for the journey to publication. 

Today I’m sharing some of the things we need to guard against in our minds and hearts if we’re truly serious about achieving our dreams.

Attitudes of an Ineffective Writer
1. Waiting too long to get started. I talk to writers—and wanna-be-writers—every day who are drowning in the reasons they’re not writing. They are postponing until everything in life is just right. Unfortunately, they don’t see the delay as the excuse it is. We all have “reasons” not to write. But the bottom line doesn’t change. Writers write. 

2. Refusing to be patient. Yes, it’s bad to put off beginning, but we shouldn’t go into this expecting instant results. There’s a lot to learn to become a writer. There’s no timetable. It takes as long as it takes. As long as we’re learning and growing, we’re doing well.

3. Comparing ourselves to others. There will always be people who appear to have it easier. But none of us knows what’s gone before. I need to focus on my own journey. Comparisons lead to dissatisfaction and unrealistic expectations. 

4. Trying to do too much at once. Multitasking is a lie. Yes, we can have several projects going in the same timeframe, but we cannot work on them simultaneously. Part of learning to become a writer involves learning the art of setting priorities. 

5. Refusing to change. Instead of growing and adapting, this mindset expects the publishing world to adapt to them. 

6. Always expecting to be the exception. There are two ways things happen in the writing world—the normal way and the exception. It’s called an exception because it doesn’t happen often. Common sense needs to remind us that we cannot expect to live our publishing life as the exception. 

7. Forgetting the reason we started writing. The reason why can get us through almost any obstacle. When we forget why, the resilience we had slips through our fingers.

8. Focusing on the negative. Just like anywhere else, in publishing disappointments will come. We can choose to live in the negative, complaining and whining, or we can learn from the struggle and move forward. 

9. Waiting for perfection. Being patient is good. Expecting to someday be perfect is a pipedream. I write better today than yesterday, and I’ll write even better tomorrow. We do the best we’re capable of and keep moving. Perfection is a sinkhole that leads to nothing but defeat and failure.

10. Ignoring the spiritual component of the journey. God is part of this writing journey. The words He has for us to share have more purpose than to just bring us fame and fortune. Sometimes that purpose seems small and insignificant, but it’s not. When God moves us, miracles happen, even if we never see them. 

I believe these are the top ten mind battles we must face to find joy and fulfillment as a writer. What would you add to the list?

Don’t forget to join the conversation!


Edie Melson is a woman of faith with ink-stained fingers observing life through the lens of her camera. No matter whether she’s talking to writers, entrepreneurs, or readers, her first advice is always “Find your voice, live your story.” As an author, blogger, and speaker she’s encouraged and challenged audiences across the country and around the world. Her numerous books reflect her passion to help others develop the strength of their God-given gifts and apply them to their lives.Connect with her on her website, through Facebook, Twitter and on Instagram.


  1. I would add "Having Confidence" to the list. Without confidence, it may be an uphill battle on your freelance journey.

  2. We do need to remember to keep these attitudes in check and learn to live our lives in balance. Thanks for sharing this list, Edie.

  3. Thank you for the reminders to keep all things in perspective and always rely on God for guidance.

  4. An excellent article and a timely reminder for me. Thanks for writing and sharing it!

  5. #2. Be patient, there's no timetable -- that was the biggest surprise to me.
    "As long as we’re learning and growing, we’re doing well." Thank you Edie for that encouragement. : )

    Publishing is kind of like living through an epic detective novel with twists and turns all along the way! lol