8 Qualities That Are More Important than Talent for Writing Success…

by Anne R. Allen

Even if you have the writing talent of Lord Byron, you need these things.

I understand why new writers want to be reassured they have writing talent. They don’t want to embark on the long road to a writing career if they don’t have the chops. So I have sympathy with the writers who ask me to read their fledgling work in hopes I’ll pronounce them “talented.”

But I always decline.

A wise author never goes there. Even if we had the time to offer freebie critiques, we don’t want open ourselves up to lawsuits for “stealing ideas.”

But biggest reason is: I have no way of telling if people have “writing talent.”

I can only tell if they have writing skills.

And if they don’t have skills—which they probably don’t if they’re newbies—their job is to acquire some, not rely on some stranger’s opinion of what abilities they were born with.

In fact, sometimes I think the most insulting thing you can say to an author is, “you’re so talented,” although I know I’ve said it myself, intending to praise.

When We Say Someone has “Writing Talent,” We Usually Mean “Writing Skills.”

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14 thoughts on “8 Qualities That Are More Important than Talent for Writing Success…

  1. Amazing home-hitting advice. I joined an online reading/writing group on October last year and have read more books in those months than in the previous 10 years I am embarrassed to admit!
    I took part in NaNo which did little more rnore than create a sand empire on my beach of hope… which I’ve since jumped on, walked through, flicked some of the buildings with my toes to reveal grains of useless words sprawled across the flats.
    What it did do however was reveal and re-awaken a lifelong but hidden passion. Writing. I write (waffle) because I enjoy it.
    2018 is about booking courses to learn how to use those grains and therefore I wholeheartedly agree with your advice to be prepared to learn the art of writing, as we might knitting. I have three weekends booked already this year and am seriously buzzing to meet experts in the field of publishing and editing and am fully prepared to be moulder and shown the way. (This way dear. He’s the exit. Your writing is too dark for our readers) 🤣🤣🤣😬

    Liked by 1 person


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