I’m of the impression that it isn’t talent that makes for a good, even a great writer.
It isn’t skill, or craft, either. OK, talent, craft and skill are handy, but they aren’t the key to becoming a good writer.
What is, then, you ask?
There you go asking again. I knew I could count on you.
The answer is clever hidden in the title of this piece. It is word count… or to say it another way, practice.
Your ability to get words out in a way that conveys your meaning, that teaches, that trains, that informs, that… well, entertains, has to do with practice.
See, no amount of sitting down and plotting, planning and pondering will make you a good writer. Planning—outlining, brainstorming, thinking out-loud, all help—but the key, I say again, is getting a whole pile of words produced.
Today’s challenge is a tough one. It has to do with the “ground” you cover each day. How many words do you crank out? Are you, in fact, writing every day? Oh, and yes, rewriting and editing count. The challenge? Set yourself a daily limit. Then, do your best to beat the mark each day.
I promise this will turn your world around. You will become more confident, more facile, more fluid in your thinking and writing. Ask around. The people who have either the daily writing habit—strongly held—or who are attuned to a magic daily number are the most comfortable and productive writers.