Monday, April 1, 2024

Are You Really A Good Writer?


Do you think you are a good writer? Why? Have others told you that or do you just feel it inside? Or both? 

Who or what really determines what makes for good writing? Is it a book award or writing contest that has the final say? Is it professional book reviews? Acquisition editors at major book publishing houses? A literary agent? An English professor? Other writers? Your spouse, parent, child, or friend? 

It seems like a subjective experience, to grade one’s art, but I suppose if we take the totality of various metrics into consideration, even if a bit arbitrary, the community can substantiate if a book is crap or very good. 

Writing does not exist in a vacuum. We can compare one book to another, but because the average American reads so few books in a given year — and there are 7,500 newly minted books every day — how is anyone to judge? 

Even the most aggressive book reviewers couldn’t read any more than a few hundred books per year, which is about the number of new books released in just the next hour.  

I think what we know better is bad writing. It lacks syntax and punctuation. It is too long or boring. It just offers a plot to nowhere. Characters are dull. The dialogue is not believable. It just does little for us. 

Good writing should: 

* Force us to feel something

* Utilize the level of vocabulary, jargon, dialect, or slang needed for authenticity

* Inspire us

* Be descriptive, accurate, and have a personality

* Entertain us

* Make us question or get us thinking

* Expand our imagination

* Introduce new concepts or show established ideas in a new light

* Expose us to unfamiliar experiences

* Make us not want to put it down

* Should stand on its own, without context or explanation 

Of course, good writing is linked to the genre in which it exists in. I can’t complain that a horror story doesn’t make me laugh or that an erotic short story is not philosophical enough. I don’t expect illustrations in a business parable but I do in a book about fashion or in a children’s book. We need to judge on the standards we expect or demand from a particular genre. 

Good writing can paint a visual for us. It can get us to explore with our senses.  

Can you taste the thick, dark chocolate enveloping ripened strawberries? 

Can you hear the fast-moving, clickety-clackety, 12-car train roar past the vacant country side, only outdone by the echoes of lost Indian tribes that used to roam these lands until hate and greed wiped them away? 

Can you feel the nurturing warmth of a tropical island sun that bathes your winter-shielded skin that until now was covered in layers of snow-protective, wool sweaters? 

Can you see the stunning view of clear-blue mountain skies that protect a vast, yet hidden patch of Earth, nestled between untouched woodlands to the north, and a stone-filled, cold river whose powerful current seals off the area from potential crossers? 

The smell of rotting garbage strewn about the side street consumed all of her faculties, making it impossible for her to concentrate on what she really needed to focus on: How to dump her deadbeat boyfriend. It was as if the decaying, fleshy foods mirrored the rot of her broken heart. 

There is no singular barometer by which to measure one’s writing. Judging someone’s writing is likely to be based on the reader’s perceptions, beliefs, needs, wants, knowledge, life experiences, emotional state, and reading history.  

You might have enjoyed my blog or you may have legit criticisms about it. I don’t really care.  

We write for ourselves and hope that others enjoy it too. To define writing may be an arbitrary and biased process, but to generate powerful writing, it starts with the author’s ability and desire to craft what he or she feels will be a work of quality.


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Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, with 3.6 million page views, can be reached at  He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has over 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres. Let him be your advocate, teacher, and motivator!


About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2024. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.8 million pageviews. With 4,900+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and director of publicity positions at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America several years ago, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, Morgan James Publishing, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. His first published book was The Florida homeowner, Condo, & Co-Op Association Handbook.  It was featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald.

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