I don’t know if I can sum up a few steps to success. Every writer has his or her own journey and what uniquely works for them. However, some things that I think are important for anyone considering a writing career are –
(a) Big ideas that matter to you. Ultimately any book works if it is the result of an idea that resonates with readers, that makes a difference. And what I’ve seen is that when that idea is close to your heart, something you passionately believe in, it shows in the writing, as compared to writing something because ‘it sells’ or because other writers are having success in a particular genre.
(b) The discipline and patience to keep going. Writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint, and making a career of writing several novels requires the same discipline and constant practice that a professional marathoner has. You need to keep at it, practice your craft, read up on authors you admire so you can stretch your own horizons and ultimately, commit to writing on a regular basis.
(c) Enjoying the journey As a writer, the kind of commitment and discipline I mentioned earlier is possible only if you truly find joy in it. If it is a chore or job to be done, you’ll never keep at it. For me, that joy comes not just from the creative process, but from getting to know and interact with my readers. In a very real way, they are the wind beneath my wings- offering me encouragement, feedback and ideas.
Keep writing – writing one book is hard work; but once you have your first book out, don’t sit back if you’re serious about becoming a writer. Keep that curiosity and hunger alive that leads to new ideas and books. And the best way to do that is to keep writing a little bit every day – even if you’re not working on a novel, write a blog, or articles or a diary – but keep writing.