Can anyone be an author?

In the broadest sense yes. With a bit thought, application and practice we can all write something of merit be it a Facebook post of a tweet. But it takes a certain type of person to be an author of books.

Typewriter by Sarah Scicluna courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY-ND 2.0

Essential qualities all authors must have:-

  1. Realism – it’s a tough world out there for writers.
  2. Optimism – someone, someday will see my potential.
  3. Pain management – it hurts to write (if you’re doing it properly), it hurts not to write (if you are driven to write).
Pain by Lien C. Lau courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

4. Levelheadedness – they love me, they love me not. Rejection can be death by a thousand cuts. Can you withstand that and come back writing?

5. The ability to daydream – Where do you think all those crazy ideas come from – even the ones that never make it to the page.

6. Dogged determination – Never give up, never give up, never give up!

Determination by Emil Ovemar courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

7. Pragmatism – if something isn’t working, is there a way of doing it better or doing it differently?

8. Stamina – It’s a long haul to write a book, a longer haul to edit and market it. Have you got what it takes to become the literary equivalent of a marathon runner.

9. A thick skin – they said what about me? Shrug your shoulders and move on – it’s not you, it’s them!

10. The ability to multi task – there will always be at least three writing related things to do – six if you are an indie author. Make like an octopus!

Octopus by Karyn Christner courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons licensed by CC BY 2.0

Can anyone be an author? Yes but to be a successful one I think you need all of the above. What do you think?

The Flower Seller Cover and Blurb
Have love and loyalty gone out of fashion? The Flower Seller by Ellie Holmes available from Amazon now


10 thoughts on “Can anyone be an author?

  1. Jessica Wood 11/08/2016 / 11:12 am

    The real question is not ‘can anyone be an author’ but ‘will everyone be an author?’ Technically anyone can be an author but very few will do all of the things on this list required to become an author.


    • ellieholmesauthor 11/08/2016 / 11:43 am

      Absolutely! Did you notice I didn’t put talent on the list? For one thing it’s too subjective. For another I know very talented writers who aren’t published and some less than talented writers who are which just goes to prove the old saying of everyone is a critic (when they’re not being writers ;))


      • Jessica Wood 15/08/2016 / 10:17 am

        Very true, I think that great writers are made, not born.


  2. lgould171784 11/08/2016 / 1:47 pm

    Great list. Every one of those ten qualities is hard to cultivate, yet every one of them is essential to being an author.


    • ellieholmesauthor 11/08/2016 / 2:18 pm

      Thanks! I’d like to say I achieve all of them all of the time but I don’t think anyone could. I usually manage 7-8 out of 10! Thanks for commenting. Ellie x

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kelee Morris 18/08/2016 / 6:23 pm

    Great list! Two things I would add are luck and talent. If you talk to successful creatives, one thing they inevitably point out is the lucky breaks they’ve had — being in the right place at the right time. I think outstanding writers also need some innate talent. (How much I don’t know!) Like being a world-class gymnast or basketball player, you need to be born with at least some strong creative genes. On the other hand, we can all point out writers who have been wildly successful financially without seeming to have much writing talent.


    • ellieholmesauthor 18/08/2016 / 7:30 pm

      Thanks Kelee. Happy to agree to the two things you mention although I would say there is a lot of wisdom in that old saying of ‘The harder I work the luckier I get’. Sometimes the effort of putting yourself out there and making connections leads to all sorts of opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise have presented themselves to you. It’s always worth making the effort in that regard as you never know where it might lead.

      Liked by 1 person

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