What are the qualities of a good writer?
History knows many great writers who publishers spurned, but eventually ended up as celebrated authors, sometimes posthumously.
This fact shows us that there can eventually be the right time and place for a great piece of writing.
In other words, an element of chance is always involved in getting your writing work to bestseller status or even having it published at all. Sometimes you have little influence on this outcome.
Focus on what you can do
A lot of young writers might have the temptation to brag about being unlucky and or misunderstood.
Bragging is easy, but it is by far not the most constructive thing to do, for better or worse.
Instead, it is a much better idea to focus on the things that you can influence.
Think about what you can do to ensure the quality of your writing and your productivity as a writer.
Let us take a look at the qualities of a good writer on which one can work to ensure a successful career in writing.
1. Discipline Yourself
Once you have made up your mind on being a writer, you need to treat writing as a job, which it is, and not a hobby.
Apart from the exciting and creative aspects, there are (or, at least, have to be) the boring and scrupulous ones.
Because the best way to get any given job done is to plan your steps.
If we speak about writing, there can be two approaches: to write a certain amount of words or pages per day or week or to spend a set amount of time per day writing.
You are welcome to combine the two in any way that you deem effective and suitable for you personally.
Just stick to your schedule and keep reminding yourself of its importance.
2. Be Attentive to Details
When you are in the middle of your creative process, such as writing a book, it is easy to get carried away.
Once you have finished a piece, you should, by all means, avoid the temptation of treating it as an end product.
Such a stream of consciousness might turn out to be great, but most likely, it will not. Chances are, it will be a pain to read and a shame to publish.
However, it does not necessarily mean that such a piece is worthless and needs to end up in your rubbish bin.
All it needs is a few touches here and there, and all you need to do is give it a thorough read-through.
Obviously, you should spot and correct all the grammatical mistakes, but it does not end with being grammatically correct. A good piece of writing is also about the style, the tone, and even the subject itself.
The more details you give, the more vivid your writing will become. Don’t be scarce on epithets to make the picture as full as it gets.
3. Learn to Plunge Yourself into Writing
Most prolific writers are introverted people. They are not only able to completely ignore external distractions, but they find joy in them.
They have little – if any – interest in chatting with colleagues about trivial topics, online or offline.
Speaking of online, they often don’t even have profiles on social media, and when they do – they check rarely.
Such introversion proves to be extremely efficient as a writer, as it allows for a heavy focus on getting the job done and done well.
It can always be tempting to slide-to-unlock with no particular purpose in mind, lean back on the couch, and watch some TV “for research purposes,” or go clean up the house when it obviously does not need cleaning at the moment.
But when we need to start writing, these are all but distractions. One of the qualities of a good writer is to integrate this understanding into his or her mindset.
4. Be Clear About What You Have to Say
People often have very complex thoughts and ideas on various aspects of life, and they want to share them.
This mindset often leads to letting one’s thoughts flow over the tree, making the writing next to impossible to comprehend.
Clearly, nobody will want to read something like that, leave alone publishing.
As discussed before, such a writer is tempted to go bragging about what a poor misunderstood soul he or she is and how his or her ideas are too deep and complicated for the average reading public.
The truth is that one of the qualities of good writing is that a complex idea must not be a complex read.
Having great ideas is only part of the job.
The ideas need to be conveyed in a comprehensive manner. It is the only way to get your reader interested and engaged, and your writing – worth publishing for a general audience.
A true master should be able to break complex subjects into small and clear matters in a way that a reader can understand the topic and relate to it.
5. Don’t Be Shy to Boast
Writers often expect readers to discover their brilliant works themselves, without ever having to do so much as raising a finger for promotion.
This is a paradox: how can readers know how great a book or an article is unless someone informs them? They cannot.
And who can explain it better than the genius author of that brilliant piece? Nobody.
We are always our own fiercest critic, and it is not a bad thing. But you cannot expect even the greatest of books to sell itself or an article to gain attention itself.
It is up to you to bring it to the attention of publishers and readers.
Treat your writing as a parent treats a child: be willing to perfect it and yet stay boastful about it before others.
Becoming a full-time writer is an attractive opportunity indeed.
But just like any job, writing has a lot of catches and is not suitable for everybody.
Be sure to develop your writing skills as well as the personal traits and qualities of a good writer listed above.
They will help you on your long and rocky path of making your writing worth reading and publishing, and yourself – a good writer and respected author.
Kevin Nelson started his career as a research analyst and has changed the sphere of activity to writing services and content marketing. Currently, Kevin works as a part-time writer. Except for writing, he spends a lot of time reading psychology and management literature searching for the keystones of motivation ideas. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter.