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What Makes a Good Writer?

Good writing is at times subjective as many readers have a preconceived opinion of what quality writing should entail. Writers that are unable to meet the opinionated standard of the readers are automatically regarded as bad writers even if their writing conforms to Basic English Language laws. This begs the question, whether anyone truly knows what makes a good writer.

Writing is perhaps one of the most practised art forms and it doesn’t really require impeccable prowess to master. Whether it has to do with literature, poetry, sales copy, journalism, or simple web content, the most important criterion that should be assessed to gauge the quality of a writer’s work is communication.

Effective Communication with the Reader

Writing like every form of art is a communicative mechanism and in this case, the writer is actively conveying pertinent information to the reader via the carefully assembled texts. When judging a writer’s capability based on the scale of communication, the only thing that matters is the ease with which the reader grasps the central ideas in the written piece.

If the writer fails to effectively convey the message in the written texts to the reader, then the quality of the written work has to be questioned whether or not its grammatical accuracy is ascertained.


Discipline and Commitment to the Craft

Many see writers as art rock stars that simply let their creative minds synthesize magically written content that mesmerize readers and leave them speechless. This can’t be anymore further from the truth because a typical writing process is anything but magically. Coming up with original written content be it for freelance purpose or a literary audience is quite tedious, painstaking, and mentally exhausting.

The only beautiful aspect of the writing process most writers enjoy is seeing the final work prior to sending it over for publishing. Before the writer is able to get to this point though, he or she must endure a long and uneventful process that puts together all the components of the written piece.

Discipline and commitment to the writing craft definitely contribute to what makes a good writer and any writer that lacks these two attributes is bound to struggle to find success.

Good Command of the English Language

Though having a good command of the English Language isn’t a guarantee that the writing prowess of a writer will be exceptional, it certainly does contribute to improving the writer’s capability. It’s simple logic, really. Understanding the rules of the English Language and also having a robust vocabulary will definitely lead to impeccable writing and a writer that continuously strives to achieve these two goals won’t be found wanting with regards to the quality of his or her writing.

While writing talents may be identical and different writing styles may even be closely linked, it is rare to see writers with an identical set of vocabularies in their arsenal. It is, hence, near-impossible to aptly use a writer’s command of the English Language and vocabulary usage to determine how good he or she is.

Ability to Change Writing Tone

Writing tone is a very important component of the writing art that is apparent in literature, poetry, and all types of commercial writing including freelance writing. Every article, blog post, essay, short story, poem, and novel is crafted on the foundation of a writing tone which determines the kind emotional reception the piece will have in the mind of a reader.

There are different types of tone in writing and a good writer must not only be able to differentiate between various writing tones but must also be able to know when a particular tone is ideal.

Enthusiastic about Editing

Editing is indeed the bane of many self-professed writers who insist on delivering their best work in one draft. Unfortunately, their best work ends up being raw, inaccurate, and laden with errors. It is understandable that most writers find the editing part of writing uninspiring but the truth is it isn’t meant to be inspiring.

When writing the first draft of any piece, there is an exciting aura surrounding the process simply because the writer is having first-hand interaction with the concept lodged in his or her cognitive organ. The process of penning that fantastic idea or capturing a beautifully envisioned scene is indeed remarkable and many writers crave reliving that moment again and again.

Editing, however, is a practical step that doesn’t necessarily applies the writer’s creative touch, which is why many writers dread it.

A good writer must endeavour to always edit his or her work regardless of the feeling the process incites. Editing ensures that the written piece is properly polished and that all grammatical errors, typos, and in case of fictional works, plot holes are removed.

Should Readers’ Opinions on What Makes a Good Writer Matter?

The argument about whether the readers’ opinions on what makes a good writer should be held in high regard is indeed one that is controversial with both sides of the argument pretty much justified with their assertion.

Since readers actively consume the numerous content that are created by writers, they are probably the best judges of a writer’s ability…if bias is put aside. The problem though is bias is hardly put aside when trying to ascertain the quality of a writer’s work, which makes one easily subscribe to the notion of good writing being subjective.


Good writing isn’t just about the exhibition of a writer’s talent and writing prowess; it actually encompasses every basic practice that makes a written piece more engaging to readers. Simply put, a talented writer may not be a good writer if he or she fails to follow basic principles attached to the craft and vice versa.

For aspiring writers looking to excel in the craft, discovering what makes a good writer is the first step to take in achieving their writing goals as it ensures that their feet are well planted on the ground and sleeves are folded for the work they must put in.

49's Team