There are as many different attributes of great writing as there are great writers.
Many writers have a knack for dialogue. Others have a gifting for character development.
Some are expert researchers. While other creatives have a penchant for captivating storytelling and conveying novel ideas.
And then there are those that just seem born with an innate ease and unexplainable talent for connecting with readers – this type of writer galls me!
That doesn’t even address the obvious hallmarks of good writing such as proper grammar usage; solid sentence and story structure; appropriate tonality; a natural curiosity and interest in others as well as knowing your audience.
All of these attributes are necessary aspects for great writing, but the single most important factor for every successful writer can be summed up in a single word.
In fact, if my writing was a character in the movie Amadeus, it would be more like Antonio Salieri than Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart. Meaning, I can recognize the genius and skill of others even though I’m devoid of both.
However, one thing I do is that I keep persevering and writing. Here are a few reasons why.
Finding Your Voice
The writing process is time consuming because it is mainly a process of trial and error. Good writing requires good thinking and working through those thoughts takes time.
Great writers spend more time finding what doesn’t work than finding what does work. However, through that trial-and-error process the writer’s voice will emerge. But it’s only the persistent writer who finds their voice.
The vast majority of writers pen their thoughts for another individual or audience, which means writers have to expect rejection. That’s a difficult trick to turn because most creatives write from their hearts, losses or experiences – the words are inseparable from the author.
Rejecting the writing is a rejection of the writer.
Rejection is a certainty along the writing path, yet the best writers get beyond rejection by writing something else – something new. They keep moving forward and that can only be accomplished by persevering.
Developing Your Craft
Whenever you take up a new hobby, skill or activity you can expect to be terrible at it initially. That’s part of life and learning.
In Malcolm Gladwell’s oft-quoted book Outliers, he asserts that it takes approximately 10,000 hours of doing a thing before the typical person becomes an expert at actually doing that thing.
So, don’t expect to become an expert writer until you’ve logged about 10,000 hours clacking away on a keyboard or scribbling on a legal pad. It takes time to hone your skill, but the best writers understand that and forge ahead.
Question: What other attributes do the best writers exhibit?