Remaining sane as a writer-- Wow, I am considered sane? Ummm…okay let me think about this. First you must have a sense of humor in regards to yourself and others. You cannot take yourself too seriously or you will crack before you even start to get any momentum. Writing is as much about heartache and pain as it is about fulfillment and joy. You need to roll with the punches to get from one to the other, or you will burn out quickly.
You must have confidence in yourself and what you are doing. If you do not have confidence in what you are writing, why would expect anyone else? Now there is a difference between confidence and arrogance. It is imperative that you know the difference. Confidence is pride in your work. You have done your best and want to share it with others because it is your heart and your love. Arrogance is sharing something because you believe it to be the best, and you are of the opinion that people will want to read it simply because it is superior in some regard.
Resilience is an absolute necessity. An artist’s life, whether you are a musician, writer, or painter, is a life filled with self doubt and rejection. It is the reality of a choice each of us makes. Due to this you must be able to bounce back, rebound from disappointment, and start again. Not because you can, but because you must.
Another important attribute is the ability to be flexible, in your work, your choices and in your life in general. Life is not a straight line from beginning to end, and neither is writing. Things, ideas, and routes change, and you need to be able to change with them. This is imperative. Being rigid has its rewards. However, rigid walls quickly turn into a box, closing off your muse and muting a plethora of possibilities. Flexibility is an asset, and should be used as such. The more flexible you are, the broader your horizons.
The Boy Scout motto is always be prepared. The muse will strike when least expected, and if you are not prepared brilliance can pass you by. Don’t think you can remember it all because you can’t. So plan, prepare, and always be ready to hit the ground running.