10 Keys to Becoming a Successful Writer: An Agent Spills Secrets

Now is the best time to be a writer, but technology is forcing writers to reinvent themselves. They need a new model for becoming successful. The goal of these ten keys is to provide the model.

1. Passion—your love for creating and communicating about your work

2. Purpose—personal, literary, publishing, and community goals that inspire you to achieve them


Micheal-PicColumn by Michael Larsen of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents.
He has represented hundreds of books, and authored the guide
San Francisco Writers Conference, which takes place every
President’s Day weekend.



3. Prose—devoting yourself to the holy trinity of content: reading, writing, and sharing

The holy trinity of communication is people, platform, and pre-promotion.

4. People—crowdsourcing your success by building win-win relationships with engaged, committed communities of people you serve who want to help you, because they know, like, and trust you. Using your passion to serve others is the ultimate key to success and happiness.

5. Platform–continuing visibility with your communities and buyers for your kind of book

6. Pre-promotion–test-marketing your work in as many ways as you can

7. Promotion— serving your communities by sharing your passion for the value of your work

8. Professionalism

  • a positive perspective about publishing
  • being a contentpreneur running a business that creates, promotes, and re-purposes a steady stream of scalable content in as many forms, media, and countries as you can
  • building a brand
  • maximizing your ability to innovate and be creative, and your use of technology
  • being a life-long learner

9. People, Planet, and Profit—making the effects of your efforts on the holy trinity of sustainability—in this order–the criteria for determining what you do

10. Perseverance—the holy trinity uniting the ten keys: content, communication, and commitment. Having courage, a plan, patience, discipline, faith in yourself, a long-term perspective; failing your way to success; simplifying your life; and celebrating your victories

These keys challenge you to balance yin and yang—creating content and communicating about it. Integrating them will create synergy and a literary ecosystem that will flourish as long as you sustain it. You can adapt the keys to other fields and your personal life.


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6 thoughts on “10 Keys to Becoming a Successful Writer: An Agent Spills Secrets

  1. KathyRausch

    Thanks for this blog post. I just finished my first book “Activate Divine Creativity: The Life-Changing Magic of the Mandala” and would love to find a publisher. Right now it’s on Amazon (self published). I’m just now researching how to find a publisher and it’s daunting!

  2. newsuperhuman

    Since when did becoming a successful writer morph into reducing your work to a commodity and becoming a master social media marketer, salesman and shill for yourself? Why not skip the writing part and become a marketing genius? It’s much easier. The greatest writers put everything into their work. “Success” is secondary, and if you elevate it to the same level as your work, as seems to be the fashion today, then mediocrity will reign, as seems to be the fashion today.


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