- Ambition – Many of the best writers choose not to publish.
- Technical skills – this goes way beyond the basics of punctuation and grammar. Good basics equip a writer for report writing, not authorship.
- An eye for detail – writers look beyond the superficial.
- Creativity – making is craft. Making something out of nothing is creating. The first story in a successful series is creation, the stories that go with it are examples of craft driven by that first creative pulse.
- Tenacity – for the blue days, to get you through the days when creativity has flown, the grammar checker makes more sense than you do, and the people in your house want you back in their lives.
- Legal knowledge – enough to know the difference between libel and defamation, to realise that the law doesn’t give a fig about what a writer wants (relative to everybody else’s needs). And enough knowledge to understand what it is the law thinks the people need, just so you know which mark is their line in the sand.
- Networking skills – a writer cannot easily do it alone. Pick a network that suits you – offline and online – and make friends.
- Digital skills – technology is becoming simpler and simpler. A free iPad app can create a movie trailer using camera stills.
- Professional skills – authors have a career to grow and to manage. If you don’t have professional skills, they can be learned. Your creativity makes it an easy task.
- Marketing skills – see above. Authors are in charge of growing their career.
Their stories illuminate what isn’t spoken about. [Tweet this!]