Thursday, 22 December 2011

The Qualities of a Good Writer - The Most Important Habits a Good Writer Needs

In the previous articles of this series we've discussed many important habits and skills. Habits and skills which a good writer needs to develop and improve and constantly strive to achieve. We've covered technical habits that a writer needs to develop their craft. We've talked about personal work habits that a writer needs to work on in order to actually produce writing. We've talked about communications habits that a writer needs in order to be understood. Habits that form the basis of his or her craft. And we've discussed the thinking habits that a writer must seek to develop to allow them to put the pieces of a book together.
But of all those habits and skills which is the most important? The one skill or habit that makes a writer stand out? It's not technical, or communications or thinking. Even work habits aren't the most important. It's passion and a love of people. Why is that? And aren't those two separate issues? I'd argue that they are in fact two sides of the same coin. Two faces which drive all the other habits. Two ends of the chain that drags a writer towards constant improvement and constant output.
It starts with a passion for one's topic. Whether it's making the life of a cancer patient easier. Or saving peoples lives by improving their waistline. Or showing the disabled how to live their lives with dignity. The passion starts with the topic. The love of that topic and the overwhelming belief that your topic means something to people. That it can help people in someway. That it can truly make a difference.
It continues with a passion for writing. A desire to express oneself through writing. A hope, and fear and demand that forces one to get their name in writing on the cover of a book. Whether driven by fame or fortune or a true passion to help. But it expresses itself as a passion for writing.
And finally it meets with a passion for people. For helping the other guy. For making people's lives just that little bit better. These are the habits that make a good writer. That transforms a mediocre writer into a great writer.

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