The Art of Being A Writer – It’s Not Just About Making Art

Writing is An Art

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 on google I found that

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. 

arts.gov

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 one of the greatest art forms.

Writing/literature is also agreeably recognized as an art because of its artist’s process. 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. But many arts ( if not all ) require lots of time and dedication to reach levels of mastery. So by primarily focusing on their art, they run the risk of going broke. But once they find success in their work, the dream of being just a writer ( successful ) becomes a little more possible every day.

But this blog post isn’t titled the art of writing, is it?

Therefore Writers Are Artists

Obviously, if writing is an art, then writers are artists. 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, despite how the industry changes and obligations grow.

Being a Writer is an Art

It requires a great amount of creativity, discipline, grit, skill, and everything else to be a successful writer. And I could guess that there are millions or billions of 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?

There are many components to being a writer but I think these are some of the highlights

  • Skill/art to master

The whole reason for this blog, this post, topic, is because I want to write great stories ( preferably fiction for now ). Wanting to write is probably the reason you’re reading this blog post now. And being able to write means very different things for every writer. But for all writers becoming a really great writer/storyteller takes practice and time.

  • Money to live off of

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.

  • A publishing industry to conquer (step into )

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. We chose the publishing industry’s platform to make our point and speak to somebody ( even if it’s ourselves. 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. One globally recognized book or piece of work can impact the world. 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.

  • A career to build

Being a writer is a great thing. And even though it’s not a 9-5 we do want job security and 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. But building a great writing career has a learning curve.

And it all starts with taking your work seriously.

Working To Write Creatively – Seriously

At what stage would you say that a writer chooses to take their creative career seriously? Initially, I could guess that it’s when they are willing to go through a starving artist phase. Maybe because a writer loves their work so much and are willing to give everything up for it, then they are taking their work seriously. But I really think that’s step one. It is important for writers to recognize the concentration, energy, and discipline needed for this art. But there is so much more.

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. That no matter what their stories will be written and told. 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 it ( pitch it ) to tons of agents before some of the work can be done for them. But even before that, before the literary pieces are ready 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 its way too easy, I don’t know. I can explore this with another post later. If you do co-write comment on what that’s like. I really want to know.

And 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 furthering this understanding by knowing your best combination of ‘things’. One person can’t be everything.

What is a Successful Writer?

But then what does it mean to succeed in the art of being a 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 because I’m thinking of writing one.

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 really good one. 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.

Up next…

Thanks for reading my blog post and making 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. Make sure you subscribe to push notifications to know when it’s published (click the green bell at the bottom left of the screen). And on Tuesday, next week, The Business of Being a Writer will be published, there we’ll talk about the money.

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)
Christa

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