What Makes A Good Writer?

I wrote yesterday that I’m taking a mini blogging hiatus over the next few days as I focus on completing the third draft of my novel. I’m happy to report that progress is being made as I now have the first 14 chapters, roughly 12000 words, in a coherent running order. Yesterday was the first time I saw a tiny chink of light at the end of this very long tunnel. My jumbled thoughts were coming together into a more structured, seamless story.

At the heart of this process remains the blog, There would be no book without it as the daily routine of writing has given me the self belief to bring the story which has been bouncing about in my head for the best part of a year to life. While I’m still an utter novice as an unpublished author at least I have the blog to fall back upon if the former dream never comes to fruition. My dream is to write for a living but, if not, my writing will always remain a passion.

I’ve been blogging consistently for 14 months now but it still baffles me as to what makes a good writer? What baffles me even more is when fellow bloggers ask my advice on the same subject. I never know what to say as I have no creative writing qualifications or any real grasp of the mechanics of writing. I just tend to sit at my keyboard and the posts and chapters tend to write themselves. In some ways it’s akin to an out of body experience. Sometimes when I read over a piece again I don’t even recall writing it.

Does that make sense? So I’m sorry if my answers to such questions come across as a bit half baked. Because I don’t intend them to be. Consequently I’m going to return the serve today and bounce the question back to you lot. What attracts you to a writer? What makes you want to desire more of their thoughts and words? What lures you into the imaginary worlds they create and tempts you to give up your valuable time to curl up with them in your favourite chair?

Over to you. What makes a good writer?

49 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Writer?

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  1. I feel as though someone else has written my entries at times as well. I, like you, do not consider myself knowledgeable to offer any writers advice but I believe dedication is the number one component of a great writer. And of course an extensive vocabulary.

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  2. I think passion makes a person good at anything. If you have a passion for writing the words will just flow, the same can be said with any hobby. The more you want to do well the more you will try to get that PB in the next race or, finish writing that chapter of your book. When I blog it’s usually because I’m passionate about something and want to share it with the world. I find I struggle if I don’t have a particular topic to write about and just need to write a blog because I feel I should do.

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    1. To go off what you write, I believe passion has a huge part to do with blogging, at least in my case. Nothing I write is forced. I cannot fake my feelings just for “likes” & “follows.” In order to produce quality content, I must be passionate about the topic or else I’ll struggle, trying to find the right words to write.

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  3. I think that one of the reasons more people don’t try things is because they fixate on what makes a good writer or a good teacher or a good baseball player or good whatever. But, in your own case, you simply started doing it, not worrying about if you had it right. You simply write what is on your heart. When we come up with lists of expectations, people who see the lists tend to think, “Well, that’s not me.” Oh, think of how much we miss knowing! Some of the best writers never took a course.

    God gives us all a passion, for me it was teaching, and I never took one class on how to teach, I just stepped in a college class and did what seemed to come naturally for me. I was stunned to receive some of the best evaluations in my department. One seasoned professor once told me that I was either lucky or the best professor they ever hired.

    Iread some books to get better, but if I had read a list of what makes great teachers, I would have missed out on the sheer joy of touching lives with knowledge. It is the same with blogging. I don’t have a clue what I am doing most days, but I am learning as I go. I have only a few hundred followers where someone else who started at the same time has a few thousand, but I am attracting who God sends my way for my messages, and others attract those who need their messages. So, let us just do, and be as happy as possible.

    Do I seem a little passionate? Sorry for the lone answer, but I have watched people who have suffered so much loss because someone told them that they did not have what it takes, and they believed them. Then, they entered my classroom and with encouragement to at least try, they soared, surprised that they had the right stuff after all. You and your wife have the right stuff for blogging, and my hope and prayer is that your book will hit the publishing stratosphere, so others can see that hard work, determination, perseverance, and faith in oneself are rewarded. Regina

    Liked by 4 people

  4. For me it’s irreverence, unique insights, depth and brutal honesty that makes the writing come alive. I’m committed to blogging and my book and story drafts have been a long time in development. Love this post, happy to find you.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. If I knew that, I might be able to sell some of my stories… When I think of the books that have gripped me and made me buy the rest of the series, they have been different. Some have pulled me in emotionally, although not so much these days as when I was younger. Some have made me laugh, although my sense of humour seems to be getting harder to trip as I age.
    Some books might have included paragraphs of detail (usually historical) that I’ve skipped through as boring, but I bought the next volume. Tolkein’s prose was heavy going, but his imagination kept us reading, and I think, in the end, that’s what grips us – a well-imagined world, or plot or character – and, I think, that’s where my writing struggles.
    Rarely do I find someone who has sensible, even wise, points to convey while making me laugh. I still mourn Terry Pratchett.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I remember a professor in my freshman English class said that Ernest Hemingway was asked if he ever suffered writer’s block. His reply was no because he simply wrote down the truth (at least his…). Truth has a way of reaching human emotions. I know the writers I most enjoy are those who reveal themselves through their writing. In the grand scheme of things, I no longer feel so alone. I feel part of humanity. That’s important to me as I tend to feel ‘apart from’.

    I’ve been blogging (I never have liked that word…) for a few months. In doing so, I became part of a wider community of others like me. I truly appreciate your posts. They help me to keep moving forward despite self-doubt and, if I’m really honest, fear. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I get surprised when people ask for blogging advice so I share what I’ve learned over the years. I am drawn to realness. Honesty and heartfelt. If what I am reading does not feel relatable, I won’t continue.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Good is in the eye of the beholder. Some of us seems to write because we are called to do it, and we lose energy when we stop. I write to make sense of my world and to understand myself and others better. When that seems to result in connections with others, it feels gratifying. I like someone else’s comment about dedication because it can take years for our craft to yield what we may want. Liz Gilbert would call this “stubborn gladness” and ask us to appreciate the privilege of getting to engage in this kind of activity. I’m inclined to agree. Peace and happy editing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. To me, a good writer has done the work of educating himself about good writing. He must read good literature a lot, and of course, write a lot, until his writing is so natural and smooth that the reader becomes lost in it. And as others have said, good writing must ring true.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Great! We had a guest speaker, a missionary to South Africa, for Sunday school. Fascinating discussion about life, culture, and ministry there. Then my husband, Shae, and I taught the children’s class.

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  10. I love descriptive writing, especially in fiction. I want to get wrapped up in the story and drawn into specific scenes. There’s a rhythm that I’ve had to learn over the years where you pause for a moment and immerse the reader in sensations before moving the plot along yet again. I love it when writers do that well.

    I also appreciate it when a writer is well-read because it comes out in the writing. When you’re steeped in words written by those who are more experienced than yourself, your work should naturally improve. Because there are so many different writing styles for different audiences, I encourage people to read a lot of an author they long to write like. The chapters I’ve written while reading some of my favorite authors are considerably better than when I don’t do this.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Writing style, word flow, how they find inspiration? I just want to understand what sort of space they create to be able to write until no end. How to become a successful writer? Too keep going when critics say differently.

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  12. I think about the same thing a lot. How can I possibly give advice when I have nothing qualifying it? I think what we have is our experiences in a subjective industry. And that’s okay to say because it’s different for everyone. One just has to take it all in and use what works for them? I don’t know what defines a good writer. For me the question is usually the same: Do they have passion.

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  13. I skipped a few comments on here because I’m often like the rising generation: too bored to spend actual TIME on anything.
    To answer your question quite honestly:
    1. You need to be fairly intelligent.
    2. You need experience reading and writing.
    3. You need some sort of interesting voice; a style of writing that enough people connect with.
    4. You need to do a lot of freaking work!
    5. You need to keep pushing for your stuff to get published.
    6. You need to follow the specific suggestions the agent/publisher/good beta readers give you.
    I’m all for “passion” and “just write,” especially to get started and keep going, but there is most definitely a formula to success.

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  14. Stories that grip me are ones where I am there – experiencing what the character is experiencing. I always told my students, “Don’t tell me, SHOW me.” What was the character seeing, hearing, feeling. smelling, tasting? Pick the right details – the more specific, the better – and take me there. And SURPRISE me. One of the things I love about one of my favorite writers is that when I get to the last chapter, I realize how many of the characters I have completely misjudged. Show me unlikely heroes, mysterious behavior suddenly explained, that sort of thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need any “creative writing qualifications” to be a good writer. The “out of body experience” description is accurate, and shows that you’re accomplishing what writing is meant to do. And the very best written output is the stuff that writes itself. You’re doing fine.

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  16. People read and go back to authors they connect with.
    I also write so i can connect to others.
    What i love about ypur blog is that i feel there’s a real person on the other side of the screen.
    Authenticity is what i connect with.
    Keep writing and keep up the good work.
    Thoughts and prayers your dream of becoming a published and successful writer come true.

    Like

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