“To thine own self be true.” – William Shakespeare
From J.K. Rowling’s “rags to riches” journey with the Harry Potter series to George R.R. Martin‘s Game of Thrones phenomenon, it fascinates us to learn what it is about authors that help them reach their levels of success.
What makes some writers more successful than others? When it comes to becoming an award-winning novelist, is being exceptional at spinning stories and impeccable grammar enough?
Do you have what it takes to be a great writer?
While each writer’s story is different, we have discovered that there are specific characteristics that all successful authors have in common. Here are the top five qualities that make a writer great:
Great authors need the discipline to stick to a schedule. While it’s true that many writers need to wait to be inspired, writers typically motivate themselves, committed to writing a specified amount such as a chapter over a defined amount of time. Writers work unsupervised; therefore, they know that it’s up to them to monitor their productivity. They know to avoid procrastination. Because writer’s block is something writers dread the most, they know to not stop when they’re “on a roll.”
- Good Researchers
While some authors write from experience or a vision in their head, many turn to proper old-fashioned research to form their ideas or make their writing more accurate; even some fiction is based on facts.
- Problem Solvers
Successful and productive writers know they can’t let their egos get in the way. They realize they will hit roadblocks and may require help at some point. They recognize that the best way to stay productive is to seek help when needed. It could be in the form of a mentor, a second pair of eyes, someone to listen, or even tools that check spelling and grammar. While writers are expected to be great at spelling and grammar, you’d be surprised by how many aren’t. Many often have to go back and correct their writing or have an editor look over their work.
Some authors say their stories write themselves. But for most writers, their process starts with a view. Without writing a single word, they know who the key players are in their story. They see the theme and the setting. They know what the central conflict is and the resolution.
- Passion for Reading
There’s nothing wrong with being moved by someone else’s words. Most authors are inspired to become writers because of a love for reading. Reading and writing complement each other. Like artists and other creatives, the work of favorite writers often inspires their writing. By reading others work, they can recognize lousy writing and identify different styles of writing. The more you read to learn, the more you develop self-awareness of the kind of writer you are and ultimately, want to become.
If you’re an aspiring writer and need inspiration, Progressive Rising Phoenix has a vast variety of award-winning titles in mystery, suspense, action, adventure, fantasy, romance, historical fiction, and sci-fi. Contact us today, and we’ll help get you started.