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Good Writers and Great Writers

Updated on February 12, 2014

“If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.”
Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid

Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath | Source

“A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity."

[Letter to Max Brod, July 5, 1922]”
Franz Kafka

Just my take

Some people are good writers. They write well because they have been taught how to write cohesive stories or articles. They have the capacity to bring intrigue into the audience without the distraction. They read more than most, and they have excelled in school and life. They write because it may be easy for them and in some ways, it may be instinctive and helpful. They write very well, and they are highly sought after, most of the time.

Some people are great writers. They are born with the ability to paint masterpieces with their words and cannot survive without creating works of art no matter the size of the canvas. For these writers, school is merely an annoyance that perfects the mechanics and grammar, though many have no degrees of which to speak. For these writers, the continuity comes as easily as blinking. These are the writers borne of the pen. They are incapable of silencing the words that formed in the womb and fight, eternally, to drip from the pen of this ethereal writer. Though it is not effortless, it is opulent impulse that drives them, attaches to them and distracts them from all else.

The good writer is usually expert at production and deadlines. He is organized and socially charming. The good writer is well-versed, well-rounded and more often than not, well-spoken. He can be handed a topic and build upon it, painlessly, and certainly without much noticeable flaw.

This is not the life of the born writer. The greatness of the born writer comes from discombobulating thought processes. Compartments within that cannot sustain under pressure without the release of each tedious emotion or consideration. The born writer longs for discipline but settles for ambiguity. Articulate at times, he is rarely as well-spoken as the written word he manufactures. A great writer cannot be taught how to write, for it is inherent. With the greatness, though, comes a price; a toll of which is paid through anguish. Precarious emotional and mental distress seems to shadow the born writer. A sorrow that proves debilitating at times, but is the energy from which the great writer draws breath. This grief is unprompted and seemingly unwarranted, but without it, words become trapped in the darkness of this writer. With a desk covered in possibilities and never-agains, the great writer only thrives in the comely disaster of bedlam.

The good writer sings a song for the world to enjoy. Vivid and frequently wrapped in astounding delicacy, the good writer’s words mirror the disciplined glare of his life. The readers appreciate more, this writer, for in him they can relate. Smooth edges are always interpreted much easier than rough edges, making the good writer much more than a novelty. Always the charming charismatic, he can spin a tale that is created to captivate the masses. When the tale is complete, he instinctively puts out the lights and climbs into bed, shutting off his day after what is perhaps an abbreviated evaluation of a job well done- something the great writer cannot do.

The great writer, sitting in a stump of a chair, combats himself over a dirty keyboard and tumultuously inhabited desk. He is compulsively late, and there is a pungent after-smell to his particular time and space. The great writer struggles between mental states and foolishly disobeys instinct. Fluctuating between outbursts of indignation and reconciliation, this writer spits out a lifetime of experiences in every sentence. This writer demands a tempo not always found with the keystrokes. His intrusive sadness weighs his fingertips and suckles his creativity, always leaving him dissatisfied as he sits in the interim. Then, as if the majestic gods hand over their grace, the great writer ends the confused self-bickering by finally uncovering the words. At this point, they spill from his fingers and tongue, dripping to the paper, embracing the blood and sweat that has laid dormant for hours awaiting their mate.

A writer is most certainly not taught but born. It is the difference between occupation and self. Each of us knows, without question, which of the two we are.

“A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.”
Ernest Hemingway


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    • CrisSp profile image


      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I love your last quote from Ernest Hemingway, “A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it.”

      Great piece and very thought provoking. I have to categorize myself but then I know myself...I wasn't taught how to write and express my thoughts although we learned it from school, of course. However, the desire is innate and to pen it is bravery for me.

      Voting up and sharing this very interesting and engaging hub.

      Here's to courage in creativity!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a very interesting and thought provoking article that is written in vivid language. I enjoyed it very much!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      5 years ago from New England

      When I get on Goodreads, I'll look. Their search interfaces can be picky.

    • bipolartist profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Magness Whatley 

      5 years ago from United States of America

      I used your handle here and your real name. Not sure why I cannot find you. :(


    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      5 years ago from New England

      Hi Bipolartist, may have tried to find me as Seafarer Mama? I use my real name on Goodreads, since the book I wrote is in that name. No worries, though. I'll try to find you, too. Best of luck completing your profile there.

      Looking forward to reading more of your hubs. :0)

    • bipolartist profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Magness Whatley 

      5 years ago from United States of America


      I cannot find you on Goodreads. I am Bipolartist there, also. (Amy W.)

      I just started an account two days ago and adding my books, remembering my books, is proving daunting.

      Thank you for your words. All of you.

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen A Szklany 

      5 years ago from New England

      Hello bipolartist. Such a poetic writer you are. I love the comparison between a writer who writes for the masses and a born writer who writes the truth that burns withing. Enjoyed this hub so much and tweeted it!

      Also voted UP.

      You are welcome to look for me on Goodreads....or let me know "who" you are on Goodreads. :0)

    • Wild Earth profile image

      Wild Earth 

      5 years ago

      'the great writer only thrives in the comely disaster of bedlam' - THIS!

    • bipolartist profile imageAUTHOR

      Amy Magness Whatley 

      5 years ago from United States of America

      Flourish- Ah, Sylvia. You and I should connect on Goodreads. :)

      Jo- Wow. Thank you so much. I have yet to even sip my coffee, but my day is great so far.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image


      5 years ago

      I see you are an amazing writer! I very much enjoyed this.

      I could so relate to both the good and the great writers of this world. Awesome job with penning this piece. :-)

      Up +++ and shared, bookmarked.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      5 years ago from USA

      You reference in photo and quote two of my absolute favorite writers -- Sylvia Plath and Ernest Hemingway. Plath was raw, seething, jagged, explosive and barely controlled. And Hemingway described his style perfectly as bleeding at the typewriter. Two amazing, although troubled souls. If you look closely at their photos, they almost seem to have a similar look in their eyes.


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