Essentials For Success

A WRITER’S AFFIRMATON I am a writer, an artist, an entrepreneur. I am talented, creative and resourceful. My potential is unlimited.


DON’T COMPLAIN  It only proves that there’s a better option and you’re aren’t doing anything about it. Being miserable won’t help you achieve your goals, it will only drive people away from you. It’s a recipe for loneliness.

DON’ T WAIT UNTIL EVERYTHING IS PERFECT  Perfectionism can be a form of procrastination. If you want to be successful writer, you have to be willing to submit your work and accept criticism. You could spend years working on the same novel or screenplay, constantly making small improvements, and never submit it to an editor or producer.

BE GRATEFUL Although it’s important to set goals for what you want to achieve in the future, it’s essential to be grateful for what you have now. If all you do is focus on what is wrong with your life, it’s going to lead to a downward spiral of depression. Having a hard time trying to think of something you’re grateful for? Since you’re a writer, you can be grateful that you have a vivid imagination.

YOU ARE NOT A LOSER Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has disappointments. Everyone makes poor choices. If you feel like a fool sometimes, you are not alone. You’re not a loser, you’re human.

FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS People start their day in a negative mood because they are completely focused on what they hate about their circumstances, and see no hope for change. If you have goals and you’re taking action toward achieving those goals, you aren’t trapped, you’re making progress. Speed isn’t as important as consistency.

BE PATIENT Have faith you will reach your goals, if you are persistent and remain focused. There are so many factors that can influence how long it takes to complete a novel or screenplay;  your shift schedule at work changes, you child joins a new sports team that requires you to drive her to an extra practice each week, you have to start taking care of an elderly parent…. the list is endless. You may have to adjust your expectations regarding how long it will take to finish a project, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up.

I don’t always follow these essential rules, but I try. I hope you find this advice helpful and that you’ll be encouraged.  God bless you, and keep writing, because the world needs to year your voice and feel your passion.

Copyright © 2018 by J. Paul Cooper






Before You Submit….

Many websites will entice you submit your work just for the recognition. Some literary journals will often offer payment in the form of a copy of the issue you’re published in.  If you re going to submit material you’ve poured your heart and should into, without being paid,  make sure you have a good reason to do so. Recently, I submitted a short story to a science fiction anthology and a literary journal; despite the fact no payment was offered by either publication.  I submitted to the anthology because it’s a fund-raiser to support a writer’s organization, and being published in the literary journal may  lead to a public reading.

Before you decide to submit your writing, here are some issues to consider.

Literary Journals often require that the material you submit has not been previously published. The result is that if you have a short story or essay published for free, finding another journal or website to pay for a reprint will be extremely difficult, and you may never be paid for it.

Another issue is whether submitting to a particular website or publication will raise your profile. Does the website have substantial traffic? Where is the print anthology distributed/sold? If you have a short story or essay published in a journal that’s only distributed through one bookstore, how many readers will see it? It’s true that a story published on a website has international exposure, but if no one visits the website…..

Do you want to have your name associated with the website or anthology? Will that association improve or damage your reputation as a writer? Take some time to look over the website operated by the publisher, click on some of the artwork, read a couple of the stories or essays from previous issues. This is an opportunity to learn about the tone of the writing and the type of  artwork they use.  A few minutes of research will reduce the risk of finding your material surrounded by themes and images that you find personally distasteful. You can’t, however, control what the editor chooses to include in an issue you’re published in; there’s always some risk involved.

Finally, before you submit material to a publication, online or print,  do a search with the publication’s title in quotation marks. I suggest you use Google and Bing; there are enough differences to make it worth your effort to use both.  If you find comments by writers who haven’t received a reply concerning their submissions, or haven’t been paid the fee they were promised, perhaps you should submit elsewhere You can also visit, the website of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. On their website, they have a resource called WRITER’S BEWARE, an excellent source of information regarding unethical publishers and literary agents

I don’t want to discourage you from submitting material, but I do want you feel good about your choices.  I hope that you’ll spend some time writing today, because the world needs to hear your voice, your passion.