Great writers have the same traits as great businessmen, great athletes, great public speakers, great musicians and just about anyone else who is considered great at what they do. They usually have a deep love for their chosen craft that is akin to addiction level. They enhance whatever natural talents they are born with by studying their craft to gain more knowledge. They rehearse and practice vigorously with the goal not of achieving perfection but for the pleasure and satisfaction it brings them from knowing they have done the very best they can. They work hard and are determined to meet their goals as well as willing to make the necessary sacrifices that go hand in hand with success. They are persistent to the fault of sheer stubbornness. They believe in themself, have a mission and can sustain momentum. They are not afraid to experiment or fail and they become great by trial and error.
In writing, the defining skill that must be developed is the ability to communicate. Great writers can connect to every type, creed, race, social class and gender. They don’t necessarily need to be the best persuaders since they aren’t running for political office or trying to win a popularity contest. But, they must be able to inform. They all have the uncanny ability, some naturally, others keenly developed by hard, determined study and practice, to make every word and phrase they sign their names to, appear first and foremost completely honest and forth right. Next, they work on how relevant and entertaining their message is.
Certainly, some great writers seem to specialize in one particular arena of literature or writing niche, for their own personal and professional, even spiritual reasons but that should not suggest that they couldn’t deliver the goods in other forums. They don’t ever talk down to their audience; in fact, they usually come across as being very respectful and even humble. There is no need to sugar coat, really good or really bad news. A great writer understands the truth is the only thing worth writing or reading about. They all realize that to gain trust and to expect readers, whom they will probably never, ever meet in person, to pay attention to anything they have to say they have to trust readers enough to open up to them. Surely it is important to present something of value too. But first, you must establish a true relationship with your reader. The great writers make us sit up and take notice as we wonder, “Who is this person who is willing to show me, as well as expose himself to thousands of others, his deepest wounds, share his utmost fears and discuss his dreams and visions?”
Great writers make every paragraph seem personal. They are more often soft spoken than garish, as if they are in the room with you, sitting on the end of your sofa, having a casual talk while sipping tea, instead of you reading the words they may have scribbled over a hundred and fifty years ago.
Sure it’s important to for a writer to develop the gift of clear, articulation and hone one’s skills of grammar and diction, while mastering the beauty of word choice. But, that is not what endears us to one writer over another. Nor is it our admiration for a great imagination that commands our loyalty.
Great writers, teach, encourage, inspire, motivate, reassure and calm us, through respect. They acknowledge, celebrate, and exude enthusiasm with integrity and the utmost of human kindness. They command our confidence and gain our trust and we adore them because their true underlying agenda and reason that propels them to write is so very apparent. The great writers write, not for personal recognition or to acquire wealth but to serve. For them, it is all about us. They are selflessly sacrificing their time on earth, pursuing a life’s work that has nothing to do with self-gratification and everything to do with us.