Today for the Blogger Book Fair, I’m happy to host J.C. Martin! Be sure to enter the giveaway she’s running during the fair to win a copy of her new novel, Oracle!
5 Common Qualities between Successful Writers & Martial Artists
By J.C. Martin
After eight years practising a martial art and even longer working on my writing, I have noticed some interesting commonalities between the two disciplines, particularly how successful practitioners of either field tend to share the same qualities.
If you want to succeed as a writer, or a martial artist, here are five key qualities to foster:
In martial arts, you don’t skip a day’s training just because you don’t feel up to it. The same is true with writing. Many writers make themselves write a certain number of words a day, without fail. It doesn’t matter if these words end up getting trashed the next day. The point is fostering a healthy writing routine and sticking to it.
Think about this: write a thousand words a day, and in three months’ time, you’ll have written a novel!
My sifu (the kung fu equivalent to sensei) has a saying: “A black belt is only a white belt that never gave up.” As you progress in both writing and martial arts, you will encounter obstacles and knockbacks. When you’re querying, hearing the word “No” over and over again can be disheartening, but remember: all it takes is just one person to say “Yes”.
A thick skin is vital in martial arts, and possibly more so in writing. Don’t let your ego get in the way of accepting constructive criticism. You’ve got to condition yourself to take some verbal beating. Valuable lessons could be learned from having your behind handed to you.
Works of art take time. No one can get a black belt overnight. Don’t be tempted to go all trigger-happy with the “Send” or “Publish” button as soon as you’ve written “The End” on your manuscript. Let it sit before running through it again a few times. Take time refining your work until it is the best it can be, and people will sit up and take notice.
5. Always go back to basics
In martial arts, no matter how advanced you are, training always begins with the basics: footwork, punches, stances. Without a solid foundation, any fancy technique will never be fully effective. Likewise, no matter where you are in your writing journey, it is important never to forget the basic rules of writing.
Finally, like any writer or martial artist can tell you, practice is key. Keep at it, and you’ll get your black belt in kung fu writing in no time!
What do YOU think is the most important quality of a successful writer?
Good luck, and a big thank you to Brandon for having me on his lovely blog!
About the Author:
J.C. Martin is a butt-kicking bookworm: when she isn’t reading or writing, she teaches martial arts and self-defence to adults and children. A 2nd degree black belt in Wing Chun kung fu, she writes dark mysteries, psychological thrillers, and the occasional horror story.
Her short stories have won various prizes and have been published in several anthologies. Oracle is her first novel.
Born and raised in Malaysia, J.C. now lives in south London with her husband, son, and dog.