How will you know when you’re a ‘good’ writer?
How do you know if what you’re writing is any good?
I coach writers and find I hear the same things:
I get it. Writing is subjective. You only have to take a look at your favourite writer on Goodreads and you’ll find that the book that changed your life, did naff all for someone else. In fact, they DNF’d it (Did Not Finish).
What defines ‘good’? Is it getting an agent or a publishing contract? Is it winning an award? Is it getting great reviews? Is it making one fan smile every time you bring out something new? ‘Good’ means different things to different people. There are any number of literary festivals taking place near me in the next few months. None of them even acknowledge romance as a genre - it is not seen as ‘good’ writing to those powers that be. The fact that local romance writers outsell these ‘good’ writers on their speaking panels, a hundred or even a thousand times over, means little to them. What’s their criteria for ‘good’ then? Obviously not wide international appeal.
What would be your definition of good writing? Is it about story? Is it about poetic sentences? Or is it about what people think? Small literary gatherings at university libraries? Online reader’s groups that clamour for your ARCs (advanced reader copies)?
What’s popular and what sells at any given time is a mystery, and hindsight is always twenty twenty. In the writing business, you’ll have to determine what your own definitions for success are. But all ‘good’ writing has a few things in common that you should bear in mind:
I’ll let you in on something else – a little self-doubt in your work might be a GOOD thing. I’ve done manuscript appraisals for writers who believe they are alreadygreat writers. They wanted me to send them twelve pages of unadulterated praise about their masterpiece.
How is a little self-doubt good?
Don’t let being ‘good’ stop you from starting your novel. It’s the only way you’ll be your definition of ‘good’.
Do you want to write a romance novel?
Everyone wants a HAPPILY EVER AFTER (HEA).
A little something to get you started on your writing journey: