Whilst people's definitions of what makes a good writer differ, there are certain qualities that they all share. So what does it take to be an excellent writer? Here are a few qualities to have that will make your writing more effective...
You may notice that most famous writers are fond of reading books and novels, and this has a lot to say for the art of reading and how it can help the way you write. It's useful in that it can help your writing flow – how it is structured and so on. The more you read also means the more you are enlightened to; ideas, themes, arguments and facts.
If your aim is to be a great writer, you need to pursue it. Write as much as you can – daily, if possible. So many ideas and concepts will be running round your mind all day so write them down! That doesn't mean that every time you sit down you have to create an astonishing essay or novel, it doesn't need to be turned into something ‘whole' immediately. It's just a way to capture these creative thoughts so you can come back to them when you have more of a base to use. Developing the habit to write regularly will help you to excel.
When sitting down to write anything, you should set aside time to do just that – purely writing with no distractions. Good writing doesn't happen with Facebook on in the background. The best way forward is to schedule in times for writing (just writing), taking necessary breaks when needed, until it's completed. It's all about passion and devotion for what you're writing!
Something else is that is prompted by the art of reading and writing, among other things, is your imagination. However, to be imaginative, you must have the ability to pick up on things, feel inspired by it and expand on it. This quality will aid you in your writing and help you to create brilliant and stimulating things – watch this space!
One trait that every great writer must have is the skill of observation. They should have an attention to detail that can't be matched, both in their writing and around them in day-to-day life. On top of this, it helps to be a good listener. It's the combination of visual observation and oral observation that helps their writing to be full of different emotions and relatable to a variation of people, not just like the writer themselves.
To write, you must be a good storyteller. That's not only if you want to write fiction, it counts for any kind of writing too. With storytelling, it's necessary to simplify everything down and formulate it well so that it's easily for the reader to digest. However, it only appears to be simple – it actually holds complex concepts that writers deconstruct to make it easier to take in. No one enjoys sitting and reading a convoluted essay or novel that just frazzles their brain, writers have got to express their ideas clearly!
A good writer must also be a good critic, of both their writing and other people's. Everything that has been written will always have some sort of critique, and that's the way it will always be. Not everyone's opinions and views are the same so it's incredibly difficult to please absolutely everyone with what you are saying. Provide evidence of your point and that's all that you can do. However, don't see any criticism as a negative. Being critical of your own ideas and others', forms new ideas for you to write about.
The things you write may not always be received by those who edit or read them as well as you would hope. This can obviously be disappointing, however remember that there will be a bunch of people that will entirely agree with what you are saying. Plus, you know that you can bounce off the criticism into a new pond of ideas, all without taking it to heart.
Every good writer should have a good editor, even if it is just you. You should be able to spot any grammatical errors a mile off, and proofreading and editing should all be scheduled into the work's progress and completion. Don't skimp on the time you need to proofread and edit because you never know how you re-reading it could change it for the better. These two things bring a lot to the whole process – they don't settle for second best, they tease the absolute best out of every writer.
Finally, every good writer must have patience. It's a virtue after all! Good writing takes time and it takes effort. If you're feeling jaded by the number of re-drafts you're doing, don't be – no renowned works came out perfectly the first time. As Mark Twain once said, “Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words”.