Success at writing or editing (or life) is mostly about how clear your intention or purpose is, and how effectively you remain focused on it.
Hobbyist writers tend to lose sight of three important questions–“Why am I writing this, what specifically do I want to accomplish and how will I know when I’ve achieved my purpose?”
It’s easy for any of us to put off answering the first two because it’s so much easier and pleasant to day dream about the last one. Before even finishing the first rough draft we begin counting our avid fans and sales results.
But resist this temptation; force yourself to identify your intention and goal/goals. Writing, like any complex and meaningful project, is about reaching your goals without taking shortcuts. And there’s no more self-defeating shortcut than mentally celebrating the rewards of writing something good without actually writing it.
If you can’t be bothered to carefully think through your intent, then build the entire writing process around that “engine” you should do something else; you’re little more than a daydreamer.
This is another benefit of working with a good editor who can help you develop a muscular statement of intent.
He or she will help make writing your book an evolutionary activity as you grow into the kind of successful writer you’ve always wanted to be.