What’s the single greatest factor in becoming an exceptional writer?
Your willingness and commitment to write all day, every day.
Great writers aren’t born. They may have a certain predisposition for storytelling, written or verbal; but the real making of an exceptional writer is in the amount of time they’re willing to put their ass in the seat and keep hammering out line after line after line.
If you spend hour after hour, day after day, month after month and year after year doing that, it’s impossible not to be a good writer. It’s purely a numbers game, and when your numbers are getting up into the thousands of hours and the tens of thousands, that’s when you’ll start to become confident in your own level of confidence and skill.
It’s hard to measure ability in writing when you’re in the thick of it. After all, a lot of people can write. It surrounds us each and every day, from shopping lists to slogans. But think of it like this: a lot of people can walk too. But not everyone’s willing, or physically fit enough, to climb Everest.
You must have that willingness to write. Wanting to write is the driving factor behind becoming a good writer, and natural talent counts for nothing if you never use it. I’m not even convinced that there is such a thing as natural talent.
The ability to write, and write well, comes with years of willing repetition. Quite simply if you love to write, and let it be your entertainment as well as your job – and especially if you’re writing for the entire time that you’re awake every day – then it’s impossible not to become an excellent writer.