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What are the Ten Must Haves For Writers?

Updated on October 26, 2015

A Writer's Needs.. From Editing to Blogging to Publishing

The top ten things a writer needs to have in their writing life to be successful:

This is a list of the ten must haves you'll need to do, or improve on, to publish a book. It's not so much a how to publish a book, but how to write a good book which in turn, will allow you to become a published author. It also will in some cases allow you to get more money for your work. These are all important and for some not having one can mean the difference between a successfully published book and something which sells alright-- or not at all.

Some you've already done, if you've written a hub, you've already published. It that sort of thing that makes a difference. So without anymore delay, here are the ten things you'll need.

A Good Editor

This is a must, I don't believe anyone can edit anything by themselves. The editor, if chosen correctly can show you how to improve your writing. This being said, I understand that writers do get better over time, without help, but still it is advised to work with an editor-- this improves the learning curve. In fact, it is a must. There are many people who can edit. I am not one of them, as many of you can plainly tell. Yes it may cost you some money, but in the long run a better edited manuscript will get more money. A Paradox I know but still.

A Great Literary Agent

They know contracts, they know what can and can not be negotiated, we as novices don't. For myself, it is important to get someone else to read any contract is have to read. A person who knows the ins and outs of the writing and publishing industry are a must. However, as with anything in writing, choose your agent with care. They spend time in the publishing industry and you need to understand that these people will have other clients. They run a business as well.

Money Blogs and Other Choices

A Blog Which They Write On

This I would argue is a basic need, but there are so many authors and would-be authors who don't have a blog. Bad move, in this time frame, not having a blog is akin to missing an important plot line at the end of a novel. Write your own blog, write a hub, get your online presence going.

A Personal Library

Go to amazon.This is simple and important. This is valuable. Build this library. For my own library there is grammar books and history books. Can you guess how often i refer to them? I also recommend taking an online creative writing course, or a writing course in general, as they normally recommend a lot of books that can come in handy while writing. I like both Gotham writing classes, and writers online workshops.

A Name In The Online World Such as Hub Pages

Again, go to hubpages. Get an account and begin to write and publish hubs, as often as you can is best, with an eye to improving your writing all the time. There are tons of others, make good use of them. There are other social networking sites to go to as well, but they take a bit of online marketing knowledge to work with.

A Good Sense Of Humor

I can't say how often I can make fun of my own shortcoming in writing, it helps especially when the going is at its hardest.

A Great Sense of Networking

Write comments on people's hubs, tell people about other good hubbers, write on blogs, respond to emails in a timely manner. Write and write and write some more. Yes you need to write on others hubs, but also on your own. This provides a link to your profile and to some of your hubs.

A Strong Writing Ethic

This is a job, especially if this is something you want to make a career out of. You need to make it a job. I know sound hard, but it is true. Are you a writer? Do you want to be a writer? Prove it.

I Know this sound harsh, but it is true at some point you either write and work on your work or you don't. If you find other things to do (such as video games) you aren't writing now are you?

Good Friends Who'll Tell The Truth

A Must. If my friends won't read my work and can't find the time to read it, well there is a problem right? They need to tell me that my writing is horrible from time to time.

Confidence In Themselves... But Not EGO!

It's your writing and you need to be proud of it. At the same time you need to be honest, it can use some work and some one else might know better than you.

Publish That Book!

Publish a book?? Doing this isn't that hard, as long as you remember that you can make money writing, but that takes a bit of time and an online creative writing course or three! They can teach you how to improve your writing.

So from literary agents, to a personal library to online writing courses, you've got a good start to becoming a great writer. this hold true on hubpages, and many other online writing sites. The more you publish quality, well written pieces the more chances you will see success.

You do have to think of the 10 must haves as well after you are published, since publishing anything requires a lot of patience.

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    • profile image

      Michelle 2 years ago

      Networking and blogs are two of the most important. end.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 5 years ago from Canada

      Carlon-- I enjoyed writing this one a lot and it's true having a library makes a huge difference. You learn a lot reading.

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 5 years ago from USA

      MissOlive recommended this article in one of her articles and I can see why. My favorite tip is the Amazon one. I have a lot of work to do. Smile!

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      Jay-- thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • profile image

      Jay 6 years ago

      Nice hub. Good job here

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      Rick-- I debated long and hard about that, but I liked the picture-- maybe a few more. We will see they can be a part of the te-- you have to write somewhere?

    • profile image

      Rick Rudd 6 years ago

      I'd have thought a fountain pen and idea book would've been in there somewhere, haha. Nice hub, though. Voted up!

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      JOhn-- I would say that the personal library is most important if you are starting out, however there are many other things which change over time, so it also dpends on where you are at with your writing

    • profile image

      John 6 years ago

      great information, it is all true, and which would you say is the most important for your writing business? Will you write more about your writing business?

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      harrison-- my pleasure in helping.

    • harrison8bal profile image

      harrison8bal 6 years ago from Shanghai

      Hey great information thank you again:D

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      Reprieve-- I will never say I am perfect, but I hope I can be taught!

    • Reprieve26 profile image

      Reprieve26 6 years ago from Oregon Coast

      Good article, but you might want to proofread it again. I caught a few typos! I hope this helps! :)

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      joe-- you are welcome, happy to help

    • profile image

      Joe 6 years ago

      I like the list many thanks for it.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 6 years ago from Canada

      original-- I try to keep it simple because I also know that I make it complex I'd get confused as well.

    • original010 profile image

      original010 6 years ago from Egypt

      I like your style, you give information in such an easy way that makes people able to understand and follow.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Dave-- you've got allt eh time int eh world, take it, and I am happy to help out in anyway I can!

    • Dave Sibole profile image

      Dave Sibole 7 years ago from Leesburg, Oh

      I wish I had more time to read all of your how to articles as well as others you recommend but I try to budget my time so that I do get some writing done. Another great Hub. Thanks Rebecca E.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Petra-- in this case, I looked at the "what" any writer needed, beyond simply talent and hard work, as a lot of talented writers do not want to edit or rewrite, and yes it is also a very touchy subject the talent thing, I suspect the talent of people will always show them the way... but yes your comment is true-- I write therefore i am a writer does not make it so.

    • Petra Vlah profile image

      Petra Vlah 7 years ago from Los Angeles

      I am totally surprised to see that you did not mention Talent as being the first requirement at the very top of the “10 must have” list.

      I agree with some of the must have you listed, but without Talent, nothing will work; editing can only do that much, friends may have good intentions but little experience as literary critics, taking writing courses or reading books to learn techniques is helpful Only if a person already have what it takes to be a writer – we going back to the sensitive subject of Talent.

      As I said many times before, “cogito ergo sum” does not parallel “I write, therefore I am a writer”

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Hi Al-- I am soo gald to see you here, it means soo much to me on this hub of mine. Of course this is by far my most favorite hub so there you go!

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 7 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela

      My moonshine...

      It is wonderful, it is great to see how much you devote to helping people! You are an angel, honey! Having you on Hubpages IS a blessing! I am so happy I stopped by!

      Warmest hugs, kisses, love, light and a zillion blessings,

      Al

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Great Diadem-- I am certain you'll gett hat book out, and yes I know you'll succeed, of course I'll look at your work.

    • Great Diadem profile image

      Great Diadem 7 years ago from Nigeria

      A good hub you've got here, somehow i have this feeling in me that i am going to write a remarkable book someday but each time i start I hardly finish chapter one. Can you encourage and advise me, I know i have writing capabilities because i have written things that moved people. You can glance thru my few hubs and evaluate me okay. Thanks

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      parster--- love it love it loveit... of course this means i've got to look at your writing!

    • parrster profile image

      Richard Parr 7 years ago from Oz

      OK. Check list.

      1. A Good Editor - you mean I gotta spend money as well as time *sigh*

      2. A Great Literary Agent - I'm Tryin, I'm tryin' already! Somebody, anybody...

      3. A Blog Which They Write On - Yippee, I'm on the board.

      4. A Personal Library - Umm, do my children's books count.

      5. A Name In The Online World Such as Hub Pages - read it and weep - https://hubpages.com/literature/Terrors-Child-part

      6. A Good Sense Of Humor - if you've smiled so far, yes!

      7. A Great Sense of Networking - OK, so now I've gotta communicate... shesh.

      8. A Strong Writing Ethic - definitely, I've been writing this comment for two hours already, with only six breaks too.

      9. Good Friends Who'll Tell The Truth - I have a choleric spouse, (they're brutal)

      10. Confidence In Themselves... But Not EGO! - I have no confidence in EGO whatsoever.

      Thanks for the hub :)

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      yellowstonegirl-- you are welcome.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Adam-- there is always more where that came from when I write!

    • yellowstonegirl profile image

      yellowstonegirl 7 years ago from Bozeman MT

      Excellent points!

    • profile image

      Adam 7 years ago

      I love this site. I get so much from coming here. I am always learning something new and I don't get that from every site that I look at. thanks

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      shabarigirish--- why thank you for that kind comment, meanss a lot! yes an editor is a must. I don't think anyone argues that one!

    • shabarigirish profile image

      shabarigirish 7 years ago

      Great tips Rebeca.

      Lots of things to learn from all your hubs. This hubs is a must read hub for all who wants to build their writing career. New writer should definitely consider a good editor.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      free ubuntu now-- work ethic is one that I believe people forget, even now. You are correct about JD Salinger, very much so.

    • free ubuntu now profile image

      free ubuntu now 7 years ago from http://freeubuntunow.com

      All great advice, but my favorite is work ethic, or Sweat Equity. We can't succeed without it. Many writer's write a great work, then become a recluse. Look at J.D. Salinger, who wrote Catcher In The Rye. He put in the time or sweat equity to write a bestseller and removed himself from society. We appreciate him regardless.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      L Andrew Marr-- these go without saying... I also have seen those suggested in other hubs, so didn't want to state what has already been stated (dohn 121 for example did a great hub on pens journals and notebooks for writers.)

    • profile image

      L. Andrew Marr 7 years ago

      A pen?

      A journal?

      A notebook?

      ^^^Any of the above...

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      junv-- many thanks, glad it's cool =)

    • profile image

      junv 7 years ago

      i say this is cool ;)

      keep up writing, have a nice day.^^

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      AuthorLMS-- I am certain you will, keep up the good writign and you will.

    • profile image

      AuthorLMS 7 years ago

      This is good to know as I plan on publishing a book. Thanks for sharing. Good information.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      donna-- good luck in your work. I am certain to see you published soon.

    • donna bamford profile image

      donna bamford 7 years ago from Canada

      Again an excellent hub and I see I have a lot to learn. Thanks for the information and advice. A bit daunting but

      I'll follow your advice Merry Christmas!

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Beauty babe, I certainly will.

    • BEAUTYBABE profile image

      BEAUTYBABE 7 years ago from QUEENSLAND AUSTRALIA.

      Hi Rebecca

      What a beautiful name. I have a niece called Rebecca and she is beautiful also. She was my flower girl when she was three. I see you have so many comments you may not even notice me. I have been in about eight or so weeks. I am not a writer, in fact, I am a professional singer, but because I have picked up a terminal illness along the path of life, sorry that is my warped sense of humour, I needed to find something else to do when I couldn't stand without a walking stick and my tremors were so noticeable that I wasn't able to do solo work. I stumbled on hubpages, and like I said I am not a writer, but some people have indicated that I might be a bit talented in that regard. I loved your hubs, I have read several, particularly the one about how to become a writer.I started a course at the Aust. College of Education in Copy Editing and Proofreading. However, I had to stop because I wasn't well enough to keep up. I learned about all these different types of signs you draw to indicate to the writer when they have to change various things, such as if they have left a letter out, or if you want to put in an extra word, it was quite fascinating. sorry, I am going on a bit. Anyway, I have fanned you as well as writing this comment. I would love it if you could tell me what you think of some of my hubs. I just published my 25th, I have four poems as well as some stories, some fiction and some non fiction. Glad to have met you. God Bless BB

    • s0126phoenix profile image

      s0126phoenix 7 years ago

      A lot of help, thank you!

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      It is the very thng the is the prime paradox, do we go to a literary agent to get a larger traditional publsiher to look when most agents... well don't have time to get out of the slush pile...

      then there is self-publishing... and J Rosewater you are right.

    • J  Rosewater profile image

      J Rosewater 7 years ago from Australia

      I would have put the section about getting a literary agent last. They are almost as impossible to get as publishers. They rarely let newbie writers in the door. As we speak, there are 800,000 writers trying to show their manuscripts to any one who will look at them. No one will. Self-publishing on Lulu is dead easy - anyone can do it... and they do! But nobody reads them. The bulk of self-published books sell less than a 100 copies. About 3 out of 10,000 self published books sell over 1000 copies, and most of those are non-fiction.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      luck luck and a good title.

    • profile image

      John 7 years ago

      I'll also add a bit of luck is involved in the whole process. This is great

    • profile image

      John 7 years ago

      I think a basic knowledge of writing is a good thing to have as well. If you don't have it why bother writing?

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      IS there anything else that should be in this top ten?

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      this works for both you and the person you are commenting on, also hit the share it button and tell people with your network.

      These are great ways to get your name around.

    • profile image

      Dawn Curio Psyche 7 years ago

      Advising one to post comments on what they read is quite a good idea! I would have absolutely not thought of it if you hadn't said that. With all I've already read as a new Hub-er, and no Hubs yet, it would help my name get around if I comment on everything I've read so far.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      I actually have three of them, and boy dot hey tell it like it is, a bit more than I'd like sometimes, but helpful none the less.

    • drkankles profile image

      drkankles 7 years ago

      My favorite is a friend who tells the truth. If your lucky you have one friend who will tell you when you have written well or more importantly when you have written poorly.

    • profile image

      samsungbeholdt919 7 years ago

      great hub, thx

    • Rebecca E. profile image
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      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Thanks to the many emails who suggested I add a few of my favortie amazon books here they are.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      good luck, little wing !

    • LittleWing<3 profile image

      LittleWing<3 7 years ago from Northern Virginia

      Thank you for the advice!!

      I'm about to click on the 'A to Z Guide...'

      right now, because I just joined Hub a few minutes ago.

      God Bless

    • Elusen profile image

      Elusen 7 years ago from Indianapolis, IN

      Love it, nice list!

    • profile image

      the rope 7 years ago

      Just do it! Great advice, thanks...

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      writing is great but for me an editor is better.

    • uliveulearn profile image

      uliveulearn 7 years ago from Canada

      I am a newbie and have lots to learn. Thanks for the tips.

    • cashmere profile image

      cashmere 7 years ago from India

      phenomenal advice...i am working on becoming a writer :)

    • profile image

      exellentte 7 years ago

      Good tips thanks. Guys visit www.hubpages/author/exellentte.

      I am a young writer and need ur encouragement

    • Vizey profile image

      Vizey 7 years ago

      Its true that no matter how good we are as a writer but we always need an editor besides us to point out the mistake..sometimes we don't find mistakes in our writeups.. nice tip...thanks :)

    • Maraiya Storm profile image

      Maraiya Storm 7 years ago from Prescott, Arizona

      I'm a professional editor and proofreader. Yes, writers do need editors. I don't understand why a writer would want to publish an article that is full of misspellings and grammatical errors. This makes an article unclear and hard to read. I think that most writers feel they cannot afford to hire someone to edit all of their articles, or they don't know where to find an editor. I'm more focused on writing now. I love writing articles. I've written 27 articles for ehow so far and 5 for Hub Pages. I am trying to write faster and more often. I struggle to find time to network. I wonder how much money I will end up making, too. If anyone out there is making decent supplemental income from Hub Pages, I'd like to hear about it. Interesting what you said about lulu. I was thinking that maybe it was a good place to publish a book. Is Amazon still a good place to publish a book? I have a friend on ehow who is trying to figure out how to get her book published. What you said about needing an agent is important, also. People have no idea about agents or where to find them, me included. How much does an agent charge, anyway? Regarding commenting on a friend's writing, this is tough. You don't want to hurt their feelings or get them angry with you if you give them any constructive criticism. Personally, I'd feel very uncomfortable with it; unless, from what they said to me, I was sure that I could be honest. I would certainly be tactful if I did help a friend with writing advice. Thanks for the interesting hub.

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 7 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Excellent piece. Short, informative, to the point. Very helpful. I especially liked he stress on "writer's ethic". Just do it! Thanks!

    • loveislam profile image

      loveislam 7 years ago

      very good

    • heydave profile image

      heydave 7 years ago

      I think a trait that good writes have is showing their own personality and for me, the more unique the better.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Don't worry I am sure you will both of you, Richard Amen and Mary Elena!

    • MaryElena profile image

      MaryElena 7 years ago

      I'm with you Richard...someday. Thanks for all the tips.

    • Richard Armen profile image

      Richard Armen 7 years ago

      At some point in my life I would love to publish a book.

    • profile image

      scheng1 7 years ago

      Love this short and sweet hub

    • Real Estate Lady profile image

      Real Estate Lady 7 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      Great hub, rebecca. Thanks for the info.

    • Chris Crow profile image

      Chris Crow 7 years ago

      It sure would be nice to have a literary agent. :) But first I have to get a manuscript finished!

    • reymund profile image

      reymund 7 years ago

      hi rebecca, you are really an inspiration. i am starting to like you. i have book marked 2 of your inspiring articles.

      you are absolutely great

    • MorganEllis profile image

      MorganEllis 7 years ago

      Verry good read and pleasure reading your hubs.

      Thanks

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      beep beep beep goes my video games some days as well=) I'm adictted to soundtracks on my computer as well.

    • atm3336 profile image

      Ali T. Muhammad 7 years ago from Beacon, NY

      I'm bookmarking this as soon as I'm finished sending you my comments..Thanks for the next step and as I hear my video games in the backround I'm writing to the soundtrack now..=) please check out my hubs from time to time so I could receive some wanted constructive critism..Ali

    • women in business profile image

      women in business 7 years ago from Jeddah, KSA

      Nice article.

      Web has opened a new avenue for writers. On web everything need to be conveyed through words.

    • iqbal88 profile image

      iqbal88 7 years ago

      Nice

    • Artemus Gordon profile image

      Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

      Thanks for these tips. I wrote a lot back in school but had got out of the habit over the years. I have been trying to get it going again and have some ideas I would like to make into books.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      hi Laura 101, keep up the good work and thanks for the compliment!

    • Laura_101 profile image

      Laura_101 7 years ago

      The first and probably the most essential thing I will read right this moment.

    • profile image

      babylon69 7 years ago

      thank you , this makes sense, I will try it.

      awesome hub ...........keep it up

    • profile image

      James 7 years ago

      Getting blogger is a good thing, and I like the other points on this list, but I must say it does go well with your book list, another excellent hub, rebecca

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      okay babylon69: Easy, because surf the net if you're out "there" somebody will go back and find your writing and then your hubs, and by default, you, and you book which is listed on amazon.

      You can get a blog easily by going to google and writing blog, there is for free blogger, and wordpress and for a small fee tyepad, which will be a starting platform. just google it!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 7 years ago from Texas

      Very good advice for writers. I occasionally have to remind myself that writers WRITE! Thanks for the advice.

    • profile image

      babylon69 7 years ago

      why would a writer need a blog or hubs??

      .......and how would one GET a blog site?

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 7 years ago from Washington MI

      I loved the photo by the way!

    • crazybeanrider profile image

      Boo McCourt 7 years ago from Washington MI

      Good advice, especially the writing work ethic. That is most important. You can sit at the computer all day, but if you aren't actually writing your getting nowhere.

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 7 years ago

      I am writing a book and think I better work on acquiring these ten.

      Thank you for writing this. :)

    • simply_jeyd profile image

      simply_jeyd 7 years ago

      thanks for the great info!

    • profile image

      poetlorraine 7 years ago

      very helpful hub thanks

    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 7 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      All great advice, thanks :)

    • tinarathore84 profile image

      tinarathore84 7 years ago from India

      thanks for the tips. well, you keep reminding some lazy writers like me...we must keep writing. thanks.

    • Rebecca E. profile image
      Author

      Rebecca E. 7 years ago from Canada

      Patrick-- it's reallt trial and error. I've learnt that over the many years I've been writing

      Emievil-- blgo are fun but the same holds true as in hubs, many and good quality and time.

    • emievil profile image

      emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

      Great advices Rebecca. Just started on my blog (still building it up) but I have to agree with you there, wasn't really comfortable being a writer and not having one. Thanks for the hub!