The title is contradicting, right? yeah, I know. It contradicts the most important thing every writer wish for, one thing I probably wish for. To be a good writer.
But I wish someone told me 9 months ago or 10 years ago that I should not focus on being a good writer, rather I should focus on being an effective writer. Assuming someone really told me, It would have saved me lots of stress and worries about my bad structures, spellings and grammars. I would probably have written more posts and books now.
Here is what I feel being a good writer is like,
When a writer has a story or an idea, he or she has to find out what genre it falls into when they find out about the genre, they have to find out about its sub-genre, then sub sub sub genre.
They have to understand all these processes, the idea is to follow a certain systematic way.
They need to find the right tone or voice for their writings, from passive to whatever tone. They need to sound professional.
Being a good writer to me means you have to understand the rules in whatever genre you are writing if you don’t then you are not a good writer. You will probably have to graduate from college, from the art department, the list can count on. That is what I think being a good writer looks like.
Here is what I don’t like about being a good writer.
It Keeps readers waiting.
It took me 10 years of wishing, dreaming and hoping before I summoned the courage to call myself a writer and wrote. I’m even still feeling unworthy because no one has called me a writer excerpt myself.
What happened? Why did it take me that long to be here? I was focusing on what it takes to become a good writer, a well polished English, nice structure, strong grammars, know your genre, your form, what type of writer you are etc. If someone told me 10 years ago to consider less of all these things and focus on being an effective writer I would have started long before 9 months ago.
I kept my readers waiting for 9 years and 3 months.
When you are trying to follow systematic method, you will always drop your own method, your own way. This is not good for creativity.
Writers become more creative in a free environment. Focusing on being a good writer will cause you to exercise cautions and you probably know caution is not good for creativity either.
Compress the message.
You avoid some words, you eliminate some phrases, clause, sentence, paragraphs, just because it didn’t fall in line with the systematic methods of the form, genre, sub-genre, sub, sub, sub-genre. The message becomes thicker and difficult to understand.
Trying to be a good writer can be difficult.
But on a serious note, most of the people you are writing for don’t know what is called genre or sub-genre, passive or cohesive tone. They don’t care about any of these, what they care about or rather what is important is the message you have for them. Actually, that is what I feel is important.
3 months ago I didn’t even know what genre and sub-genre are all about. But I have read countless of books and post.
On the other hand, you might be reading this right now, and you are already a good writer, you understand whatever rules that are assumed to make someone a good writer and you probably follow through them, that is great. You may be asking should I stop being a good writer then?
It’s great to be a good writer if you can be and still maintain your creativity, communicate your messages, keep your readers busy, its ok. I will love to be a good writer too.
But what then?
Focus on being an effective writer.
Effective writers write because he or she has something to say, not because he or she wants to say something.
Effective writers put message and creativity first, then rules last or nowhere.
The most important thing a writer should focus on is the reader getting the message he or she intends to share.
If you are a writer or you are anything, focus on being effective rather than good.
Good or effective, which do you think a writer should focus on? share your opinion in the comments section.