I don't know of many people who wake up in the morning, step out of bed and say to themselves, "Okay, I'm gonna climb that ladder to FAILURE today!" In fact, I doubt there is anyone out there that thinks like that. Humans are naturally competitive. It's in our DNA.
I don't mean competitive like I'm suddenly going to join the Olympics. Despite my years of training in the martial arts and attending numerous tournaments, I have no desire to race for the gold. I'm talking about a different type of competition. Even as babies, we are driven to succeed. To walk, to talk, to set ourselves on a certain path as we strive to accomplish the goals we have set for ourselves.
So what if I am a writer and I want to make sure I am on the right path? What do I have to keep in mind so I have a better chance of reaching the top? I think there are a couple of things that every writer needs to pay attention to if their goal is to become a published author some day.
The first thing a writer needs to know is a complete sense of themselves. I'm not Dorothy on the way to Oz so the great and powerful wizard can give me the gift of style. A writer needs to know their own writing voice.
I personally don't write like Stephen King, nor do I write like Shakespeare. I need to remember my own unique way of creating magic on paper. When I'm trying to climb that ladder to SUCCESS it's hard enough without that bard on my back.
Once a writer discovers their own distinctive voice, they need to make sure that their writing skills are the best they can be. They need to stay informed about industry standards as well as work to learn the actual craft of strong writing. This learning process could be through workshops, conferences, critique groups, reading books on the topic of writing...anything and everything to add to the rungs of that success ladder.
No one said the ladder to SUCCESS would be a short one. There's no gold medal waiting at the top. No guarantee that you won't slip off a rung every now and again along the way. But look at it another way. I would rather take it one rung at a time, knowing I'm on the right path, than contemplate the alternative.