“The true alchemists do not change lead into gold; they change the world into words”- William H. Gass
Do you often wonder whether you are a writer, let alone being an outstanding writer? It’s incredibly challenging to know if you’re an amazing writer- especially if no one has even torn an article you have written or went head over heels over your work saying ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’! However, one of these easiest ways to spot a great writer is through the remarkable characteristics traits he/she exhibits on a daily basis.
As I have spent six years down this line, I learned hugely while monitoring some of the most remarkable writers of the recent era. I learned a lot from amazing and successful writers. But, I also realised that there are certain aspects which draws the line between great writers and not-so-great writers.
There exists a certain set of characteristics of an exemplary writer which revolves around a specific common practice. For these writers, it is their everyday rituals and that’s what makes them stand apart in the herd of common writers.
These character traits are essential for a successful writer as they demonstrate a certain devotion and openness- both of which are incredibly vital to accomplish writing greatness.
Research On The Characteristics Traits of Great And Popular Writers
In a Northwestern University study known as “How Would Einstein Use E-Mail?” researchers found that every well-renowned poet and successful writers who wrote letters using pen and paper, did so in a pattern similar to the way people use in the modern-day.
The researchers also examined letter correspondence records of popular 16 writers, performers, politicians, and scientists. Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, and Ernest Hemingway were among those men who were studied. The noteworthy result was all of these 16 great writers sent letters randomly….however, in the circadian cycle.
All of these writers and poets wrote a number of letters, irrespective of the subject at one sitting, which is efficient and productive.
So, how does this relate to the writer’s common characteristic traits? I believe almost all successful and bestselling writers are more organised and efficient. They follow a specific set of patterns and habits- such as batching their writing- that help them write better, and write happier.
Enough with the scientific explanations. Without any further ado, let’s straight away get to the relatable deets. Shall we?
The 7 Common Characteristics of Every Great Writer
If you think the inborn talent- the ability to write excessively well- is only the common characteristic trait every successful writer shares, then you cannot be farther away from the truth. “Talent is cheaper than table salt”, asserts the bestselling author Stephen King.
Good news for you is, most of the “characteristic traits” of highly successful writers are simply daily habits. These habits can even be mastered by regular people like you and me. For that, you don’t need to be Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Isaac Asimov, Charlotte Bronte, or Ernest Hemingway.
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If you’re interested in beginning your writing journey and have questioned whether you possess remarkable traits shared by every great writer in this world, read through this list. See if you line up with the 7 outstanding and significant qualities of a successful writer-
“Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye”- Dorothy Parker
Great writers have creative juices flowing every moment of the day. That is not to say they do not suffer from the occasional writer’s block. Undeniably, they do have their bad days, but they know well how to derive creativity from these days too and how to turn it into a good thing.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a maniac genius to be creative. The crux of creativity is combining existing aspects and turning it in new ways. Sure, your plot can still be a boy-meets-girl, but then you can add in something unexpected and unrelated. A leather factory fire or corporate espionage or a surly stepfather coming back from the dead. You can also be a news gatherer like essay writers. If you see something unique, intriguing and inspirational in a newspaper, cut it out, and create an ideas box for future reference.
Creativity isn’t something people are just born with. Often, it’s a skill that all great writers hone over time.
2. An Eye For Details
“Nothing has such power to broaden the mind as the ability to investigate systematically and truly all that comes under thy observation in life”- Marcus Aurelius
Great writers are also great observers, taking mental notes and noting subtle changes around them. They can spot even the minutest nuances that normal people would otherwise miss. And it is more often, that they would use quirky and fun nuances as an integral part of their characters. This is the mark of a brilliant writer. They never fail to observe the world around us.
You can try it too. Overhear conversations on the bus and note how people talk when they are in coffee shops. Begin creating your own scenarios about other people and their inner worlds. Trying to make sense of those inner worlds and creating stories based on them is a vital habit worth developing. Who knows, no sooner than you realise you might become the next Sherlock Holmes!
3. Clarity Of Thoughts And Words
“Clarity has purpose and strength and brings with it the undeniable ability to move forthwith into our chosen direction”- Anonymous
Outstanding writers often need to write about the most complex intricate characters and of experiences that they haven’t been through. Moreover, they have to do it in the first person, in front of the whole world that is only waiting to judge and critique their new piece of art. Thus, it becomes extremely crucial for every writer to possess the clarity of thought so that they can articulate their imagination into clear words. Clear organisation of your thought is a must-have if you aim to be a brilliant writer.
“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing”- John C. Maxwell
Great and famous writers are always extremely disciplined individuals- they need to be. Writing is an art that takes time, utmost dedication, and practice to get right. They are constantly devoted to re-evaluating their work, irrespective of how small the task is. They concentrate on their craft and continuously work to get much better through intense discipline.
5. An Immense Love For Words
“One forgets words as one forgets names. One’s vocabulary needs constant fertilising or it will die”- Evelyn Waugh
No reader likes to read the same words over and over again. Thus a robust vocabulary is a brilliant asset to any good writer. Every genius writer in this world is always exploring language and unearthing unique ways to use it in their manuscripts. This remarkable skill helps them maintain the interest of the reader and enables them in communicating more efficiently by accessing the perfect word for any situation.
6. A Thick Skin And Being Open To Changes
“Those who can’t change their minds can’t change anything”- George Bernard Shaw
Every successful or unsuccessful writer experiences rejection. The Harry Potter series of J.K. Rowling was rejected by dozens of literary agencies and publishers before it found a home and received immense success. Thus, writers always make it a point to get constructive criticism and remain open to external edits or suggestions. Though it might damage their ego in the meantime, it helps them in improving their writing hugely. Open-mindedness helps them to see their work through the eyes of others and work on the weak aspects.
7. An Avid Reader
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader”- Margaret Fuller
Often, voracious readers make the greatest of writers. After all, reading is what sparks the desire of a person to write. Further, being constantly immersed in a world of words helps one develop innate knowledge of the nuts and bolts of writing. The more one reads, the more learned he/she becomes on different writing tools and stylistic angles that exist out there.
It’s incredibly easy for us to feel that we would never be able to write 2,000 words a day like Steven King or come up with brilliant fantasy universes like George R.R. Martin. Know what connects all these great writers is that they are able to use each of their traits to their advantage.
Accept the truth that life can be hard. Take inspiration from around you all time, but never handcuff yourself to it. Maximise the benefits of your personality traits to become a successful and perhaps even a great writer. Before you know it, you would have a book you would be proud to sign.
Emily Moore is an eminent author and active blogger, all the way from Australia. She is associated with MyAssignmenthelp.com, providing quality assignment help in Sydney for 10+ years.