But Long's volume sums up exactly the notions I've dribbled out in blog posts for the last six years. That is, to become a successful, published writer takes dedication, hard work, and putting the writing first in your life, just to name a few. Daily writing practice is what Long advocates, and she does mean every single day.
Being a successful writer also takes tremendous productivity and an ability to accept and learn from failures. Every over-achiever has a higher number of flops, but also a greater number of successes. As productivity increases, so does success (if you're been paying attention). With increased learning and experience, the rate of failures minimizes. "Basic productivity underlies everything else," Long states in the Introduction.
The exercises, advice and insights are abundantly illustrated with writings by published authors or writers, sourced down to the last jot and tittle in footnotes, epigrams, and an excellent bibliography — oh, joy! I have no doubt that beginning writers who follow Long's plan will achieve success much sooner than those who merely piddle around, playing at being a writer. And those of us with years of successes behind us can find more to learn from this book. I only wish she could have handed it to me fifty years ago.