What Makes a Good Writer?

Hey, everyone! So, I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but I do have an excuse. Last week, well, that just wasn’t my week. I’m hoping this week will be better, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

To summarize, I was having issues with the house, my debit card information got stolen, again, and my car window stopped working, so it’s been crappy. However, I am going out of town for Memorial Day weekend. There won’t be any new posts or chapter updates, but I’ll be sure to update when I return.

Now, onto today’s topic! I want to discuss what makes a good writer. This subject goes back to my own writing journey and wanting to build up my readers online. As I was walking through the city, I thought about the following questions:

– What makes a bad writer?
– What makes a good writer?
– What makes an awesome writer?
– What makes an excellent writer?

I feel like every writer will have a different answer to these questions, but for the purpose of this post, I will start with only the first two questions.

Back when I was trying to build my following online, I often wondered if I was a bad writer. To explain further, I didn’t have a huge following compared to other writers, so I just assumed I was a bad writer. When I thought about it some more, I realized a bad writer is more like a writer who gave up. Now, there’s nothing wrong with leaving writing behind, but it’s never a good idea to quit something before you try every option (if you’re trying something new, it takes about 6 months to a 1 year to see any signs of improvement).

To me, a bad writer isn’t one with grammar errors, plot holes or undeveloped characters in their work, it’s a writer who gave up too soon.

In the words of Neil Gaiman,

That takes me to the next question, what makes a good writer? Well, to me, it’s simple, a good writer is one that:

If you’ve been discouraged in the past but kept on writing, then you’re a good writer. Why? Because you didn’t give up, and you’re still trying to improve your craft. You may not be an awesome writer, but you’re on your way there. It’s sad that it took me so long to realize this, but it’s import to focus on the writing. Everything else may let you down – fellow writers, readers, and various social media sites – but your characters will always be there for you, waiting for you to tell their story. 

So what do you think? What do you think makes a bad writer and a good writer?

Also, I will respond to everyone’s comment! And as always, thanks so much for reading and supporting my blog!

(images from https://giphy.com)

21 thoughts on “What Makes a Good Writer?

  1. For me a good writer is a writer who does one thing and one thing only.

    They turn up.

    It is really that simple. Some writers are great writers, some writers are not, but all writers have the opportunity to be, or to become, good writers if and only if, ‘they turn up’.

    A bad writer is someone who does not show up. They may have an amazing level of talent that the world could one day be in awe of, however that can only happen if they turn up. If they don’t then they remain a bad writer, and no-one will ever know that in them was someone who could have been remembered through their work forever..

    Liked by 4 people

  2. A good writer is a person which continues writing until becoming better. There is always space to improvement and we must learn from our journey to avoid the same mistakes we did before.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Actually, I’ve heard different things about that. Some say that publishers want a writer to get their manuscripts edited, and others say publishers want to see writers who can edit their own work. I’m not sure which one is correct, though.


  3. Sounds like you had a terrible week last week…hope this one is super awesome to make up for it 🙂

    Completely agree about not giving up too soon…I expect it to take a long, loooong time and a lot of hard work before I build a following, especially at the moment with so little free time…but that’s okay, I’m in it for the long haul.

    As for what makes a bad writer, I would say a writer who believes they are “done”… e.g. thinks they already know everything and there’s nothing left to learn. Ego can ruin writing.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh, it was a horrible week! This week has been rough, too, but I’m on vacation right now, so I’m happy about that =)

      I feel you on the “taking a long time.” It seems to take about 6 months to a year to build a good following, and that’s if you keep a good update schedule.

      Yes! I’ve seen some writers that have horrible egos, and they think they know everything about writing. It’s annoying.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the message here, Aka. Showing up and persevering are two important ingredients to making a good writer. For me, the biggest difference between a good writer and a bad writer is editing. No best-selling author is publishing their first draft. The number one reason I’ll stop reading a book is there are too many errors that keep me from getting invested in the story. Even first drafts require a round of proofreading by the author so it’s at least coherent to someone else who is trying to offer editing advice. It’s difficult to offer advice if you can’t understand what the author was trying to say.
    Sorry to hear you had such a rough week. Hopefully you’ll have a fun weekend while you’re away though. I think you’re on your way to being an amazing author, Aka! And it is your commitment to keep moving forward that’s going to get you to where you attain all of your dreams. I’m certainly in your corner cheering you on, and I look forward to celebrating your every success.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I completely agree. Being able to take a break after the glow of writing that first draft, then being able to be honest about the pros and cons, then pushing yourself to turn those cons into pros (going to restrain myself from making a bad “prose” joke here), I think that’s what takes writing to the next level. I think writers who can see that process as a challenge that makes them better rather than a threat to their idea of who they are as a writer really win in the end.

      Liked by 2 people

      • One of the things I like about letting a first draft rest, is when I go back to it, there are places that are better than I remember. And there’s a bit of a contrast, so the places that need work pop out a bit more too. There’s the familiarity of the work being your own, and yet it gives a bit of that outside perspective where you don’t remember every little nuance of the story.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Six books and eight years in, I don’t have the following that some of my friends do either. Everyone and every genre is different and shouldn’t be compared. Once you fall down that slippery slope, it’s a mess to get back up. Believe me. Lol. I think you’re pretty much spot on in that yes, a bad one gives up. A bad one also belittles others to make them feel better and doesn’t help in return when you help them (dealt with this myself from a couple of “friends” last week).

    Sorry you had a bad week. I hope the problems get straightened out and everything gets better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I really do like the message here and I do agree. Those that pick themselves up again and again are good writers, popularity means almost nothing(just look at the number of horrible books which became popular). Even more so than anything else, I think a good writer is someone who is always listening to criticism and improving their craft constantly.

    And those that do not give up no matter what happens. I really like this post as it does make me think quite a bit about my definition of a good writer, and my belief what made a good one.

    I would think a bad writer not just gives up, but also wishes to be left alone with the news of other success stories. There was a post about a writer who wanted other writers to kindly shut up when they have wrote a novel because of her experiences with them, and her struggles. But I think that the truly good writer is the one who always is willing to help others even when they are down and out, and really would share their joy of finishing a first novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post, my friend. For me, a bad writer is one who doesn’t try, or who gives up easily. I’ve been known to put my work on hiatus, but I do not give up. The wheels of imagination are always turning in my mind. I guess I’m always writing something in my head. As for what makes a good writer, for me that is a person who continues to hone their craft, either publicly or privately. A good writer expresses themselves through writing, and as such, cannot stop creating characters, worlds, and events in an attempt to share something of themselves in the process.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I agree with your thoughts. It was a great post. a good writer is who never never never in his life give up!!. It’s very important to move forward and improve your writings. Thanks for share your thoughts

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Guest post: The writer and the tortoise – redesign life

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