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What Are Ten Must Haves for Writers?

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 things you should have, to successfully 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 will also allow you to get more money for your works. These things are all important and for some writers not having one can mean the difference between a successfully published book and one which sells alright-- or not at all.

Some you've already done, if you've written a hub, you've already published (self-published). It that sort of thing that makes a difference, you can receive reviews from your peers. So without anymore delay, here are the ten things:

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 Great Literary Agent

They understand contracts, they know what can and can not be negotiated, we as novices in the publishing industry don't. For myself, it is important to get someone else to read any contract before I sign it. A person who knows the ins and outs of the traditional publishing industry are a must, although it's not as needed in the self-publishing industry. 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 To 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? A lot, and one of the books I highly recommend is: On writing by Stephen King. He has a lot of experience in the writing field, and has put in the book a more of a story format with his advice on... writing. Some of it works for me, such as deciding to make a spot for writing, or how his ideas come from unlikely sources.

Not only that but, as I've learned through the constant highlighting on On Writing is that a writer will have hard times, and will also have high times. I think because King is so open about his life, and what writing has done for him, not in terms of money but in the terms of mental health. I found hope in the pages of his book, because to me, I can see that even if I am not the best writer, I can still work towards a goal. It's small steps, and King speaks to me the most.

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

Again, go online to hubpages, or to blogger. Create 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 writers and other reviewers, so please 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

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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.


Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on December 13, 2017:

The name in the online world is important still. You are correct Nora, it doesn't mean as much if you aren't committed to it.

Nora on December 13, 2017:

A name in the online world doesn't seem to help as much anymore. Sucks, but it's true. Because everyone and their publishing house has some type of "social media" and that doesn't help the little guy. It's a death sentence because you'll never win.

Michelle on June 11, 2015:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 21, 2011:

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 from USA on November 21, 2011:

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. (author) from Canada on September 14, 2011:

Jay-- thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Jay on September 13, 2011:

Nice hub. Good job here

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on August 26, 2011:

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?

Rick Rudd on August 26, 2011:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on March 07, 2011:

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

John on March 07, 2011:

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. (author) from Canada on January 28, 2011:

harrison-- my pleasure in helping.

harrison8bal from Shanghai on January 27, 2011:

Hey great information thank you again:D

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on January 19, 2011:

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

HS Contino from Oregon Coast on January 18, 2011:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on January 10, 2011:

joe-- you are welcome, happy to help

Joe on January 10, 2011:

I like the list many thanks for it.

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 10, 2010:

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

original010 from Egypt on November 09, 2010:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on August 30, 2010:

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 from Leesburg, Oh on August 30, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on May 26, 2010:

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 from Los Angeles on May 20, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on March 13, 2010:

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 from Caracas-Venezuela on March 13, 2010:

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,


Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on March 13, 2010:

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 from Nigeria on March 12, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on March 05, 2010:

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

Richard Parr from Australia on March 05, 2010:

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 -

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. (author) from Canada on February 25, 2010:

yellowstonegirl-- you are welcome.

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on February 25, 2010:

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

yellowstonegirl from Bozeman MT on February 25, 2010:

Excellent points!

Adam on February 24, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on February 13, 2010:

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 on February 12, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on February 11, 2010:

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 from on February 11, 2010:

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. (author) from Canada on January 10, 2010:

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.)

L. Andrew Marr on January 10, 2010:

A pen?

A journal?

A notebook?

^^^Any of the above...

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on December 30, 2009:

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

junv on December 30, 2009:

i say this is cool ;)

keep up writing, have a nice day.^^

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on December 24, 2009:

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

AuthorLMS on December 24, 2009:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on December 12, 2009:

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

donna bamford from Canada on December 12, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on December 05, 2009:

Beauty babe, I certainly will.


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 on December 04, 2009:

A lot of help, thank you!

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 26, 2009:

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 from Australia on November 26, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on November 17, 2009:

luck luck and a good title.

John on November 17, 2009:

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

John on November 17, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on November 15, 2009:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 11, 2009:

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.

Dawn Curio Psyche on November 11, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on November 11, 2009:

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 on November 11, 2009:

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.

samsungbeholdt919 on November 10, 2009:

great hub, thx

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 10, 2009:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 10, 2009:

good luck, little wing !

LittleWing<3 from Northern Virginia on November 10, 2009:

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 from Indianapolis, IN on November 10, 2009:

Love it, nice list!

the rope on November 09, 2009:

Just do it! Great advice, thanks...

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 09, 2009:

writing is great but for me an editor is better.

uliveulearn from Canada on November 09, 2009:

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

cashmere from India on November 09, 2009:

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

exellentte on November 09, 2009:

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

I am a young writer and need ur encouragement

Vizey on November 08, 2009:

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 from Prescott, Arizona on November 07, 2009:

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 from Victoria, BC Canada on November 07, 2009:

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

loveislam on November 07, 2009:

very good

heydave on November 06, 2009:

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

Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 06, 2009:

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

MaryElena on November 06, 2009:

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

Richard Armen on November 06, 2009:

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

scheng1 on November 06, 2009:

Love this short and sweet hub

Real Estate Lady from Las Vegas, Nevada on November 06, 2009:

Great hub, rebecca. Thanks for the info.

Chris Crow on November 06, 2009:

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

reymund on November 05, 2009:

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 on November 05, 2009:

Verry good read and pleasure reading your hubs.


Rebecca E. (author) from Canada on November 04, 2009:

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

Ali T Muhammad from Beacon, NY on November 04, 2009:

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 from Jeddah, KSA on November 04, 2009:

Nice article.

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

iqbal88 on November 04, 2009:


Artemus Gordon on November 03, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on November 03, 2009:

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

Laura_101 on November 03, 2009:

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

babylon69 on November 02, 2009:

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

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

James on November 02, 2009:

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. (author) from Canada on November 02, 2009:

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!

Sandra Mireles from Texas on November 02, 2009:

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

babylon69 on November 02, 2009:

why would a writer need a blog or hubs??

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

Boo McCourt from Washington MI on November 01, 2009:

I loved the photo by the way!

Boo McCourt from Washington MI on November 01, 2009:

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 on November 01, 2009:

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

Thank you for writing this. :)

simply_jeyd on November 01, 2009:

thanks for the great info!

poetlorraine on October 31, 2009:

very helpful hub thanks

Susan Keeping from Kitchener, Ontario on October 31, 2009:

All great advice, thanks :)

tinarathore84 from India on October 31, 2009:

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

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