If you want to be a 100 metre sprinter, you need more than just the sort of quick-twitch fibres that’ll carry you to the finish line in around 10 seconds. If you’re hoping to become an actor the ability to convey stylized emotion is a non-negotiable, but it alone won’t get you drowned out by the orchestra after you’ve gone over-time on your Oscar acceptance speech.
Success in these pursuits, like any that strive for greatness, must be a result of both inherent natural ability and the sort of work ethic that can turn even the most talented professional into just another journeyman.
But what of writers? Obviously the ability to throw words together is a major part of becoming a Dickens, but what other traits do successful authors share?