3 essential factors that makes a writer great

What sets one writer apart from another writer? How can we ever measure ourselves up to the likes of Stephen King, Nicholas Sparks, Nicholas Evans, Cecilia Ahern or JK Rowling? What must a writer have in order to be the best of the best?

I’ve asked myself this question time and time again, all for the primary reason of improving my craft. Writing as a craft, is something anyone can do. Anyone can write a piece and couple that with a reading habit, most people have what it takes to be a writer, but are these things enough. What really sets a writer apart from his/her peers?

I think a writer must have these three (3) essential factors in order to be a great writer. Not just a writer that merely writes but one that sells also. One that is able to deliver his/her message to an audience dying to hear what they have to say.

1. Talent
If you got it, you got it. Anyone can string together a sentence. Anyone can put together words but it takes talent to arrange the words into sentences that appeal to the reader. You can teach the dummies guide to writing, get the wannabe writer to memorize each page and the result would be as exciting as an obituary if there is no talent. Talent is something that one is born with and chief among the talents is imagination. Imagination is key to a writers. It is his/her vision into another world. It is the canvas where they paint the pictures that appear in the minds of their readers. If imagination is non-existent then you better think of another area to work in, maybe cutting grass or accounting.

2. The art of the craft
Talent alone would not get you anywhere. You must develop the skills of good writing. This is a never-ending process and all writers learn as they go along. The key is to identify what works with you and stick to that winning formula. Most people don’t read Stephen King. Most of my friends are horrified that I read Stephen King. Too much horror, they say. Evil influence, another tell me. Have they actually read Stephen King? I bet they haven’t. Why then would I read Stephen King? I love the way he voice out his stories. His prose is something that I aspire towards. It is as if Stephen King himself is sitting in front of, over a cup of coffee, narrating the story from memory. It’s natural, its great storytelling and his stories are entertaining. Stephen King has develop not just the writing but the art of the writing. He breaks the rules after understanding what the rules are. Study the craft and then break the norm, make it your art-form and I bet you would develop into a unique writer of your own.

3. Focus, focus, focus
Focus on your study of the craft, focus on developing your voice, focus on writing, focus, focus focus. We must become stubborn with our solitude, alone in our struggles, conversant with our inner muse; all for the goal of writing the story that sits in our minds. The story needs to be told and the audience is waiting, gearing up for the twist, waiting to hear the ending and hoping to identify themselves with the plights you identify in your writing. Focus and all other things will fall into place. I read somewhere that out of a hundred that start writing a book, 3 finish the book but only 1 get published. Pure tenacity, mindless stubbornness and perseverance would take you a long way in your writing.

There then is my 2 3 essential things in order to be a great writer. There are many more that I can think off but I rather stick to these three for the moment and once I’ve mastered them, maybe I look into other essentials.


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4 Responses to 3 essential factors that makes a writer great

  1. greenpainter says:

    Focus is something I need to work on. Good point.

  2. polisny says:

    attention, yes… focus… yes, I agree that this is understated, underrated, and misunderstood. A powerful tool that is well worthy of practice.

  3. fruit says:

    I need to focus more. C: and in your last pragraph you said two essential things when there’re actually three. 😀 just thought you’d want to know.

  4. …it is said (and I do not scoot around on one) that when one gets on a motorcycle everything else gets tuned out because of the focus it takes to operate one safely out on the open road. Well, whatever it takes—we need to find out what our motorcycle is and jump on it if we will write boldly and effectively.

    Great points you make here.

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