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    The 8 'Writitudes' - A Writer's Right Attitudes

    Aside from passion, it's a writer's attitude that gets him going in the world of freelance writing.

    Ask any editor, publisher or senior writer and you'll get the same answers -- the same attitudes that make a writer succeed. Here are eight of these "Writitudes":

    1. Fortunate are those who keep a healthy attitude towards competition for they shall strive to prove their worth. They shall welcome other writers, exchange ideas, and information for they know that on their own, they won't be able to do as much. They are aware that without competition, a writer may be tempted to submit half-baked works.

      How to develop that attitude: Keep in mind that "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder." To some people, your work may be G-R-E-A-T. But you can't please everybody. Others will find that same work as ho-hum. There is always a better writer than you are, just as you are always better than another writer! If you get negative feedback, don't sulk. Don't be discouraged. Rather, assess the criticism. Accept competition as a challenge and not as a threat.


    2. Fortunate are those who have a professional attitude towards deadlines and submission guidelines for they shall be favored by the editors. Their works shall be read first, increasing their chances of publication.

      How to develop that attitude: Have a background of the production and printing process as well as the marketing aspect of publishing. If you think that a March deadline for a Mother's Day article is too soon, well, it's not. Before that article sees the light of day in a magazine, it has to pass through so many stages: editing, typesetting, layouting, etc. And don't forget that the magazine has to come out at least a week *before* the second Sunday of May or it will be obsolete! Understand that no editor in his right mind will wait for your article if it means delaying the whole production/printing cycle. Once you know your deadlines, device a system that will enable you to cope with those target dates. (Check my past article, The Timetable Technique: It Could Work for You. It may help.)


    3. Fortunate are those who have an ethical attitude towards people, policies and confidential matters and who maintain proper decorum at all times for they shall be respected. They are aware that resorting to character assassination, backbiting, or sabotaging does not pay. They maintain a decent relationship with their superiors, peers and even competitors.

      How to develop that attitude: The Golden Rule is your best guide here. Before you criticize another writer, editor, publisher (or any other person for that matter) just for the sake of criticizing, ask yourself how you would feel if you were the one being criticized. Character assassination, backbiting, and the likes are kid stuff. You're a professional so act like one. Each publication's trade secret and every person's privacy should be respected. Separate business from personal matters.


    4. Fortunate are those who keep a positive attitude towards assignments and opportunities for they shall go far. They do not disregard assignments that do not pay much because they are aware that they can learn from every assignment; they can meet new people and prove themselves all over again.

      How to develop that attitude: Keep in mind that remuneration may come in different forms. The valuable information you discover, the new contacts and networks you establish, the added credential you "earn" with every assignment are sometimes worth more than the money you get paid with in the long run. Before you turn down an assignment, compute all the benefits you will get from it, not just the big bucks!


    5. Fortunate are those who have an honest attitude towards money and remuneration for they shall not be banned from any publication. They shall not be tempted to plagiarize, to steal other writers' ideas, or resort to illegal or unethical acts for they know that they will destroy their reputation by doing so. They know that hard-earned money comes with respect and increased credibility.

      How to develop that attitude: There are intelligent shortcuts and there are self-destructive shortcuts. Keep that in mind. Of the two, the latter is tempting to try, especially if you are a relatively inexperienced and insecure writer who wants to earn the fast way. But your reputation is fragile. Destroy it once and you'll be sorry for the rest of your life that you did.


    6. Fortunate are those who have an eager attitude towards learning for they shall not remain stagnant. They are willing to tread new paths. They are willing to learn on their own and to diversify. They shall be open to criticisms and corrections; therefore, they shall be better able to improve their writing.

      How to develop that attitude: Just as a writer can think of anything to write, so can he learn anything that interests him. Be humble enough to ask for help if you need it. Ask questions if you're not sure of something. Do not wait to be taught, but rather, go out and learn!


    7. Fortunate are those who maintain an honest attitude towards themselves for they shall know their potentials and limitations, their strengths and weaknesses. Every writer should have a sense of pride but at the same time humility, for each without the other is self-destructive.

      How to develop that attitude: One way of knowing your strengths and weaknesses is by asking other people -- both writers and readers, to comment on your articles. You can also join contests to find out if you can match the high standards set by organizers and judges. Submit to different publications so you'll know if you pass their criteria. Try different genres and fields so you will know what you write best.


    8. Fortunate are those who have a sublime attitude towards the writing profession for they shall be accorded the same love, gratitude, and respect that they give this profession.

      How to develop that attitude: If you write only for the money, you will not enjoy. Write because you love to. Be proud of your profession. Be a good example. Treat the writing profession like a fragile relationship so that you will devote time and effort to nurture it. If you do, you shall enjoy it forever!

    Copyright © 2003 Lizzie R. Santos

    Lizzie Santos writes features, literary pieces, scripts and other writing projects both in English and Pilipino. She also lectures at creative writing workshops. Her first book, The Laughter of the Leaves and Other Musings, was published by Giraffe Books. She is working on her second book. Contact her at liz_pages@yahoo.com.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



    WEEKLY WRITES: 52 Weeks of Writing Bliss! Kick start your imagination, ignite your creativity, and begin your journey towards becoming an outstanding writer.

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    For excerpts, reviews and what you need to do to receive the 2 free e-books, Write Memories and sign up for free e-mail courses, just head on to the Weekly Writes Book Official Site. (Clicking on the link will open a new window.)

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