I was thinking about what qualities one needs to be a writer. I had to pose the question aloud. It helps me think. Later on, I asked; Why do I write. What purpose am I trying to accomplish?
I have a knack where I can watch me from outside myself. And I watched the thoughts, feelings, and emotions I had while writing.
First, let’s get into the qualities. An important quality a writer needs is to like people. If a writer doesn’t like people, it comes across. The reader will pick up on it and put that book down and never read another story by that author. Unless, of course, the reader doesn’t like people either. Right. How many people in this world truly do not like people? You have to relate.
Patience– A writer has to have the patience of an angel at times. There is a lot of research one has to look up. Even if it’s looking up something contrite to the layout of a foreign city. Then there is the dreaded rewrite. Under normal circumstances, a book is rewritten several times. I was told some time ago that Stephen King rewrites his stories at least eight times before turning it into the proofreaders. Personally, I quit at five to seven.
Confidence– And you know what I’m talking about. Ever feel afraid to turn in your story to be proofread? It’s like learning how to write and the teacher is looking over your shoulder to see how well you are doing. Scarry. Worse yet, what if the reader won’t like it? Scarier yet! But we all know that one miscue can destroy a book. One wrong word can throw off the entire plot. A weak theme and a book ain’t going anywhere.
Be fair to yourself– Every time you sit to write, set a goal for yourself. A good goal is to write 2000 words. Or write an entire chapter. Then come up with a worthwhile reward. You have to come up with a worthwhile reward and goal otherwise you won’t be interested in attaining anything. And if you don’t attain it; no reward for you! It just has to go both ways.
One quality an author can not have is being lazy. And I learned that the hard way.
One item I put in my debut book, My Angel of Angels is that Manuel’s dad died of celiac disease. I did a search on diseases. Celiac disease came up and I thought that had to be a terrible disease. (Notice I didn’t research what ciliac disease is.) Let’s put it in the story.
I gave one of the copies to a co-worker my daughter works with (They’re both nurses). My daughter texted me one day and asked if anyone died in the book. I explained about Manuel’s dad. Ten minutes later she texted a thank you. I texted back if there was a problem. Ten minutes went by. Okay, she’s at work. I waited until lunch break. I sent another text. She never replied. Finally, I asked why is she laughing at me (I just knew she was). She informs her father of very little medical knowledge that nobody dies from celiac disease.
In this profession, this is called Lazy Writing. One quality a writer can not have is being lazy. Know of what you speak. Please. It will save you from a lot of embarrassment.
And the most important quality one can have is————enjoy what you are doing. Again, a reader will know that this is a drudge for you and never read you again. They feel as drained as you do at the end of your writing. Why would you write if you’re not enjoying it? You may as well go get a job at minimum wage and work.
Words are fun things to play with, look up and throw curves at people with. Keep loose and tell a story that will captivate the world.