What Makes a Good Writer? Thoughts.

I always find it hard to describe myself as an author.

For lots of people like myself that write, the term “author” carries a lot of weight. In reality, an author is someone who writes something, whether it’s a novel or simply a diary entry. Technically, we’re all authors.

But the term can also conjure up images of a successful writer sitting in a Barnes & Noble, signing copies of her book. It can sometimes seem like a title that only applies to a full-blown career path or somebody who publishes or makes the NYT bestseller list.

Thoughts and labels like that make it hard to accept your strengths as a writer, no matter your publishing success. So today, I thought it would be good to share my thoughts on what makes a good writer, whether or not you write books or articles, and whether or not you have been published or even have an interest in doing so.

Trait # 1: Curiosity

Good writers are curious about the world. They study people and interactions. They search for the perfect word to describe a feeling, setting, or character. They might be naturally into hearing gossip, since gossip is, at its base, storytelling and making sense of things. They seek solutions or answers to questions that pop into their head. And they’re probably voracious readers themselves.

Trait # 2: Sympathy

It might seem odd to say that most writers I know are sympathetic. What I mean by this is that it takes a certain level of compassion and understanding to write good, likable characters. Arguably, you also have to know what makes for a likable character in order to create your villains. Having sympathy or even empathy for others helps a writer make a reader care about the plot.

Trait # 3: Self-acceptance

A large part of my personal writing process has included not judging my writing style or the ideas that come into my head. Sometimes, I think I have a good idea while writing but then worry about if a reader will find my idea weird or confusing. I’ve spent a lot of time coming to terms with my imagination and learning to trust my instincts. I think that stronger writers stick by their ideas and trust that the right audience will love them.

What about you? What do you think makes a good writer?

2 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Writer? Thoughts.”

  1. This is an amazing post. Personally, i believe determination also makes a good writer. The difference between a good writer and the one who is not is their intentionality in writing and determination to get better.

    Liked by 1 person

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