What is the difference between a good writer and a bad writer?

16 Jan

Sometimes it’s all objective. I might prefer James Patterson over Michael Connelly whereas the person sitting next to me prefers Michael over James. It can be as simple as that. Or…stand out on the street and interview the first 20 people that walk by. I guarantee you will probably get 20 different answers in response.

That being said, let’s try to nail it down. Shall we? Jeff Goins breaks it down very simply for us:



Tips for being a good writer

There are six things you can do to be a better (ahem, more effective) writer. The following is what I recommend (click the links to read articles on each subject):

  1. Read. Good writers read. It’s that simple. Words are the lifeblood of great writing. There’s no way to get good without lots of valuable input.
  2. Get an editor. A good writer recognizes he needs help. He can’t do this on his own (neither can you). You need to get someone to critique your writing — someone you trust. I suggest a peer editor for starters.
  3. Capture ideas. A good writer is constantly gathering creative input. Ideas are the inspiration for artists and writers. You need to have a system for collecting them. A great tool to help you do this is Evernote.
  4. Write every day. This cannot be overlooked. It’s essential. You can’t get good without practice. Even if only for a few minutes, you need to write every single day.
  5. Rewrite. An essential part of writing is rewriting — distilling the fluff down to some core content that will actually make a difference. This is hard, but important. Stephen King calls this “killing your darlings.” And for good reason. It ain’t pretty. But it’s necessary.
  6. Get inspired. Hard to explain, but there’s a part of the writing process that is mysterious. You can’t take full responsibility for what you create. A good writer knows how to avail herself to the Muse. She knows inspiration is like breathing for the creative spirit.

Good writing resources

Here are a few books and resources that may help you:

The world needs better writers

The bottom line is this: We need you, the writer, to be good. Really good. Especially at a time when more people have something to say. And with the Internet as a megaphone, sometimes the best voices don’t always get heard.

There’s a lot of noise and little clarity right now. I hope that you’ll take the time to hone your voice, craft your message, and write with excellence. Because this tool of writing can be squandered. Your message can fall on deaf ears and be ineffective.

And what a shame that would be.

For further reading, check out this Squidoo page I created: How to Be a Good Writer

And be sure to read this guest post I wrote: 6 Essential Tips for Better Writing

What do you think it takes to be a good writer? Or is there even such a thing?

Just another day in the neighborhood (Evin Wilkins –

1 Comment

Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Uncategorized


Tags: , , ,

One response to “What is the difference between a good writer and a bad writer?

  1. selfpublishingadvocate

    January 16, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Reblogged this on Self Publishing Advocate.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: