By Guest Blogger James A Rose/There are the obvious prerequisites for good writing such as proper punctuation, a mastery of tense, believable characters, etc. Then there are the less obvious. . .
Some of these aspects are social in nature, meaning introverts may have some work to do. The current state of publishing is crowded, so no longer can a writer afford to remain in the shadows. A writer must be proactive in establishing a personal brand. Everyone’s personality is different and change can be difficult, but the acquiring of certain qualities will help immensely in a writer’s career.
Write for the sake of writing
Money is nice but if monetary gain is the primary driver, the chance of failure increases. A true writer has an overwhelming desire to tell a story and affect change in the world. This has been found to be true in nearly every industry with the exception of maybe Wall Street. If a creator does his best work for the sake of creation, financial gain and will usually follow.
This mostly involves reading a lot. Good writers have literary idols and dissect the works of their favorite authors with a passion to learn more about the craft. Effective writers have keen observation skills and the patience to use them.
Effective writers either understand or seek to understand what it means to be human. Effective writers wear their souls on their sleeves and project emotional familiarity to readers. The feelings that all people experience such as love, loss, doubt, pain and fear are the same feelings great writers have been illustrating through words for thousands of years. Times change but people don’t.
Let it Go
Effective writers are not hoarders. They are not afraid to let go of something they have created. Good writers will gladly return to a work to brutally cut characters and plot lines. This includes the stifling of pride and the willingness to listen to the opinions of others.
Be hard, but not too hard, on yourself
They understand that a book grows slowly and often messily. They write first drafts with creative freedom, worrying about details and criticism later. The effective writer has Teflon skin when after taking every possible action to ensure the book is the best it can be; receives the inevitable negative critique.
Adapt on the fly
Moods and ideas change. The characters can seemingly take on a life of their own as the story develops. Effective writers are not rigid and adapt to new concepts and developments as they occur naturally in the writing process.
Know your inner voice
Possess an intuition for their own standards of quality. They do not convince themselves that a piece is merely good enough and they do not permit others to sully their work for a perceived monetary gain.
Writing is time-consuming and achieving success requires a multitude of tasks. Good writers do what they do best and let nothing interfere with the quality of their work. This means a possession of the management and organizational skills necessary to outsource other duties.
Be one with the social butterfly
Writers need readers just as much as readers need writers. The effective writer must go out into the world and proclaim to all that they are a writer and have something important to say. This proclamation is perpetual and success may depend upon the writer’s ability to interact with other people. This willingness to “put one’s self out there” is also vital to garner advice and assistance from other writers and publishing professionals. An effective writer is not afraid to ask for help.
Make time for others
No monumental task is ever truly achieved alone. A good writer will acknowledge all those who have rendered assistance and show gratitude for that aid. Effective writers remember the help they once received and in turn help other writers.
Of course, the primary qualities inherent in effective writers are discipline, perseverance and desire. No great undertaking can be achieved without these traits. The discipline to write nearly every day, the perseverance to keep going after numerous bouts with writer’s block or a steady stream of rejections, and the desire to be heard in the first place.
James A. Rose is a writer for InstantPublisher.com, a self-publishing company that has been helping authors bring their visions to life for the past 15 years. He has worked in the publishing industry since 2010 and during that time he has seen pretty much every problem that authors encounter during the self-publishing process. It is James’ goal to utilize his experience to help budding authors avoid common mistakes and self-publish the best book possible.
You can follow James on Twitter, here or at his website: InstantPublisher.com