Writing is An Art
Hello, Hello, Hello! How do you like the new blog? The last time I posted on this blog, last year, I said that by 2023, the blog would look and be a lot different, And it is, so far I’m loving it. But before I go deep into the main themes of this blog, The Art (of being a writer ), The Business (of being a writer ), and The Writer (my journey), I want to properly introduce these topics. That way we can be on the same page and have great discussions in the comments section.
First up is the art of being a writer…
I think we can agree that writing is an art form. Right? I mean it literally makes up one of the seven art forms as literary art. When I looked up literary art I found this definition…
Literary Arts inspire, enrich, educate, and entertain. They remind us that there is beauty and joy in language, that others have insights worth paying attention to, that in our struggles we are not alone.
I got this definition from The National Endowment for the Arts’ website ( you can read their article on literary art here ). Literary art is most basically: the art of language, which includes poetry, essays, fiction stories, biographies, and so much more. Though I love the arts.gov’s version because I often like to think of literature as an active art form and their definition describes just that. Literary Art incites action, provides new perspectives, gives knowledge, is inspiring, can communicate anything, and can change lives. Totally being biased, I think it is the greatest art form.
Writing/literature is also agreeably recognized as an art because of its artist’s process. You know, spending an insane amount of time working on an art form in order to achieve whatever artistic/career goal: Similar to painters or actors, before any success there is commonly the starving artist phase. Where artists focus on improving their skills and try to make a living out of their art. Sure, getting a job would help to provide financial security. But many arts ( if not all ) require lots of time and dedication to reach levels of mastery. Yet, by primarily focusing on their art, artists run the risk of going broke. It’s the same thing for writers. Especially the ones that decide to make it their full-time job, even if it doesn’t pay well yet.
Therefore Writers Are Artists
Obviously, if writing is an art, then writers are artists, who practice that art. But I think that they’re also artists just for navigating through the profession. And that is one of the main things this blog will begin to talk about under this grand category. The art of being a good writer — keeping up the skill and art despite how the industry changes and obligations grow.
Being a Writer is an Art
Great amounts of creativity, discipline, grit, skill, and everything else are required to be a successful writer. And I could guess that there are millions or billions of creative/fiction writers in this world applying just that and more (and I did guess randomly because I don’t really know). But how many writers actually succeed? Like, get a good grip on using words to immerse readers into a story that fascinatingly delivers a message, reaches their audience, gains recognition, finds financial success through their work, etc…
Now success means different things to different every literary artist and every artist has their own personalized success goals and milestone. But literary success can generally include
- Mastering the art of storytelling with words
Being a good writer means that you write well: Using good grammar, and syntax, having great sentence structure, a unique literary style, developing messages/themes very well, and executing story structures and archetypes very well. Basically being really good at using words to formulate a worth-reading story that essentially has a greater message.
Being a good writer is the basis for any sort of literary success. You don’t have to be the best to get literary success. But the better you write and know how to speak to your audience. The more success you’ll have.
- Reaching our audience
Most writers go public because they have something to say. Someone they want to hear their message. Even if that person is themself. Otherwise publishing a book is for business, an accident or I don’t know, anything other than wanting to reach an audience.
Learning how to appeal to your audience and write a story that’s just for them, handcrafted by you takes skill. And knowing how to do that is definitely a component of success.
And the more that you are able to reach and speak to your audience, the more people you’ll have looking forward to reading and supporting your work. Which almost always leads to more money.
- Living off your work
Writing is not like a trusty 9-5, with benefits, fixed pay for work and effort, unions, or certifications and licensing that guarantee to earn you more money. Being a writer, you have to work so hard at being good and getting your work recognized without initial payment. For many like myself, creative writing is a dream profession. But it’s also a risk: a thrilling one.
And when taking the risk to be a writer pays off, it definitely marks a new level of career success.
- Making a mark on the literary world
Whether we want to self-publish or go traditional, wanting to publish a work means wanting to reach your audience on a grand level and wanting your work recognized as literary work. It’s not really about making up random stories and putting literal words on a literal paper, but a lot about drawing from history and life experiences to impact the future, and make a mark on in the literary world. Some people want to conquer countries, and others want to conquer a genre and make an immovable impression in literary history.
One globally recognized book or piece of work can impact the world. And grand level of recognition and reach is magical,
But like all other industries, the literary and publishing industry has its own roads and highways to travel through. And it is a journey we chose to go on. Otherwise, we would just write in diaries and keep them under our pillows.
- Establishing a career
Being a writer is a great thing. And even though it’s not a 9-5 we do want job security, built experience, time, and recognition in our field. These things just happen a little bit differently for writers. For starters before a publishing deal, and before an agent, writers are building their careers all by themselves. Writing their stories, submitting to journals and magazines, trying to connect to their audience, and more. So getting to be good at what you do is a success.
Writing is a job after all. And it all starts with taking your work seriously.
Striving To Write Creatively – Seriously
At what stage would you say that a writer takes their creative career seriously, wanting to write full-time? Initially, I could guess that it’s when they are willing to go through a starving artist phase.: loving their work so much that they would risk losing the comforts of life to write. But really, that is a piece of it. It is important for writers to recognize the concentration, energy, and discipline needed for this art. But there is so much more. Being willing to to ‘starve’ is an incomplete step
Forget about the starving artist phase.
Truly, I think a writer takes their works seriously when they refuse to stay in a starving artist phase. When they know the value of their work and realize their great potential. When they know their work so well that they are confident about its place and value ( monetary included ) in the art world. When they realize that to be a good and successful writer, they must be more than a writer.
Writers are like a one-person business. A writer produces the product ( literary pieces), envisions the future, researches the market ( keeping up-to-date with the literary and publishing world), invests in the ‘business’, improves the quality of the product, manages the PR, social accounts, and career beneficial relationships. If they are public about building their career, similar to the way I am with this blog, then there’s a whole lot more having to do with content creation and management.
Before writers get their publishing deal they have to sell thier work ( pitch it ) to a number of agents and publishers before they can secure a deal or acceptance and have some of the work can be done for them. But even before that, before the literary pieces are ready for publishing writers are a one-man band.
Though with co-writing I imagine that things are a little bit easier simply because there is help. But maybe it’s not as easy or it’s way too easy, I don’t know. I can explore this with another post later. But I’d love to know how co-writing works when it comes to managing the writing, career building and all the other stuff. If you do co-write comment on what that’s like. I’m curious…
Still, there’s more that writers do, like having a life and probably another job but you get the point.
The literal start of taking writing seriously is different for everyone. But I think that a great start is understanding that as a writer you are also a lot of other things. And to really pick up the pace with your career explore what your best combination of ‘things’ is. And how you can work out those strengths and fill in the gaps.
What is a Successful Writer?
But then what does it mean to succeed in the art of being a writer? What does the end look like? What is a successful writer?
Money is part of the overall success but I’ll be posting about the business side next week Tuesday, so come back for that. But
first, I’ll tell you what it isn’t
- One of the most important things to remember is that a successful writer is not the same kind of writer: They aren’t exclusively fiction writers or mystery writers or YA writers. They aren’t writers who only plot or only panster. They aren’t early-morning writers or nightly writers. Successful writers are just not the same.
- Being a successful writer is not an overnight thing. Or a single threshold that you just cross over. Sure there is a threshold, but not just one. Becoming a successful writer is a growing process.
And now I’ll tell you what it is with ( 9 Characteristics of a Successful Writer)
What defines a successful writer comes from personal experience, motivation, and life. Reading the same kind of book over and over again will surely get boring. And even though there are very similar types of books, no two writers are the same or have the same perspective. It is that new take on a typical story or a totally new story that keeps the literary world rolling forward.
And with that understanding, a successful writer
- Has a developed and unique style
- Knows who they are writing for (audience)
- Can inspire others with their words/stories
- Can effectively communicate their points, theme and story processes
- Can incite emotion and/or understanding with their words
- Keeps their reader engaged ( or coming back )
- Is in tune with their preferred writing approach
- Creates unforgettable stories/images
- Has a good story to share
I’m thinking these need to be unpacked individually, so let me know if you’d be interested in a post for just these 9 characteristics.
Though, if I were to sum all these characteristics up into 1 – 2 sentences, I could say that being successful in the art of writing means being really good at what you do. And as a tree is measured by its fruits so should your writing prove your skill level and mastery.
The Art of Being a Writer
So we start 2023 here. Thinking about what it means to be a successful writer ( successful in the art of writing ), what it means to take the work of this art seriously and most importantly what it means to be a writer – a great writer.
There will be a lot more posts that break this down and explore just that but for now, this is the start of exploring the art of being a writer.
hanks for reading my blog post and making it to the end. Share it as you please and comment on what you feel. The next post will be a WTW ( Writing this Week ) where I’ll tell you how the writing went for me this week. That post will go up on Saturday. So, subscribe to push notifications to know when it’s published. And on Tuesday, next week, The Business of Being a Writer will be published, there we’ll talk about the money and business side of things.
Needless to say that I’m starting 2023 strong. In the meantime you can catch up on old posts. I would tell you to subscribe to my news letter but that’s being renovated.
I write about what being a writer is for me here on this blog but what’s being a writer like for you?
Don’t just be a good writer, be a great one
Until my next words (on here that is)