What does it mean to be a good writer?

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Like many, I’ve come to realize that I enjoy writing. That doesn’t mean I’m good at it in the least, and I have a lot of struggle with it. I’ve been doing a lot of research on writing, and the difficulties with it.

I came across an article on the differences between a lousy writer and a good writer, and I didn’t really find it helpful. However, there was a guy in the comments who put it into words for me.  I wanted to share that with you all.


I can sum up what a good writer does in three words: they stay involved. This idea encompasses the main difference between being a good writer and being a bad writer. Good writers write while bad writers procrastinate about writing.

When it comes right down to it, writing is a discipline that you have to work at every day. With that said, there are so many ways to stay involved in the craft.

If you simply make it a goal to stay involved, then that impending white space of doom will quickly turn into a fertile playground of creativity. And while there are a number of ways to do this, I’ll highlight some that I use.

* Don’t think of your manuscript as a linear piece of work; rather, give yourself the freedom to pick and choose what part of your story you want to focus on. Who says you have to start at the beginning, if you’re stuck, jump to another spot. Invariably, putting the stuff you’re struggling with on the back burner will allow your brain to work through a problem that may be contributing to writer’s block without you even knowing it.

* Sometimes if I know what the problem is, I’ll write myself a note and demand my brain to figure it out. It sounds ridiculous, but I have yet come across a situation that my inner brain can’t solve.

* Research is another avenue I love that allows me to stay involved and while technically it’s not writing, it keeps me grounded to my work and often leads to other ideas, which leads me back to my office.

* Another key to being a good writer, is finding a place where you can write in peace. For good habits you need a good environment where you can create. This should be your temple. It’s sacred and the people around you need to understand this.

* And finally, have your work critiqued. This allows you to build that thick skin you need for rejections and it also points out major flaws you tend to gloss over. Furthermore there’s nothing wrong with a healthy dosing of humble pie.

If I know anything writing, it’s that I know a lot more than I did when I first started. If I know another thing about writing, it’s that I probably won’t ever know everything there is to know about the craft.

– Ian Long
Total Word Count: 509 words


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