What Does It Take To Be a Writer?

I felt it was only appropriate that this be my first article on my new personal site. I've ghost written over 1,000 articles for so many people over the years and yet in spite of that fact, I never once wrote about what it really takes to be an article writer, or any writer for that matter. So I thought that now would be a good time to focus on just what it takes, deep down inside, to become an accomplished writer.

For starters, unless you are going to focus on just one particular topic that you just happen to be an expert on, you're going to have to learn the art of flexibility in your writing. The truth is, if you're going to freelance and take on various contracts, you're going to run into clients who will have very different requirements. One day you may be writing an article on acne cures and the next day writing one on baseball rules. Aside from the technical aspect of having to research topics efficiently, you will need to learn how to keep your mind clear, almost like a vacuum. Believe it or not, when you've been writing on one topic for a very long time, it becomes difficult to write on another topic because your mind has become conditioned to the one topic. It's almost like you lose touch with the rest of the world.

Aside from keeping your mind open and flexible, you need a tremendous amount of discipline to be a writer. If you get a job and your client says he needs the article in 3 days, you better make sure you discipline yourself to do the research, write the article and get it to your client in those 3 days. Not meeting deadlines is a great way to ruin a good reputation.

Another part of being a good writer is keeping abreast of what's going on in the world. Knowledge is power in any business. By having a well rounded background, it makes it easy to draw on other disciplines when writing about a topic. This makes it easy to do comparisons between disciplines, even if you're comparing apples to oranges.

But probably the most important part of being a writer, of any kind, is your love for the art. And make no mistake about it. Article writing IS an art, and while it can be learned, the artistic part, or what most people refer to as having talent, only comes with practice and time. Very few of us are born gifted writers. We learn the basics of writing in school, but ultimately it's our love for what we do that brings out the talent. Some people would call that love something else, commitment. Well, there is that too, for no matter how much you love doing something, there are days when you just don't feel like writing. Sometimes that feeling lasts for weeks or months. Sometimes it never goes away, which is why many writers retire for years until they get inspired again. Some never do.

If you're wondering if you have what it takes to be a writer, simply look inward. If you feel it is something that you will love doing, then just do it. You may not be very good at it at first, but with dedication and a lot of practice, that love for your art will eventually translate into whatever talent you will ultimately show to the world.

Make the most of it, because you never know when that fire will stop burning.

To YOUR Success,

Steve Wagenheim