The 7 Qualities of Successful Writers

If you want to be a great writer, you need to know which quality do most successful writers have. Here are seven of them.

What do bloggers, non-fiction writers, creative writers and social media professionals all have in common? If they are successful in their work, then they are all great writers.

If you are going to become a freelance writer and earn money through quality writing, then you are going to know which qualities do most successful writers have.

While every successful writer is going to have their own unique qualities that make them great at what they do, there are some that seem to be universal to professionals known for their good writing skills.

Here are seven writing skills worth developing if you want to fill the blank page with exceptional prose.

The qualities of successful writers

Successful writers have many qualities in common. Whether they are blogging, writing a novel, composing a short story or writing a screenplay, you can expect to see these qualities in each bestselling, high-quality writer:

1. Persistence

Writing is hard work. Not only does the writer have to create the first draft, but editing and re-writing can take many months, depending on the length of the piece. Good writers have the ability to persist, even through obstacles, to finish their writing. 

Consider J.K. Rowling as an example. This famous writer took six years to complete Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. If she did not have tenacity, then one of the most impressive bestsellers in children’s literature would not exist today.

2. Stubbornness

It may go hand-in-hand with persistence but a good writer has to be a bit stubborn. Writers face editors, publishers and critics who will say their work is not good or will get nowhere. They have to be stubborn enough to push past these critics to find success.

Stubbornness is also important when getting past problems like writer’s block. Staring at the blank screen can derail your motivation, but tap into your stubborn side to keep pushing through the writing process until the words flow again.

3. Timeliness

Which Quality Do Most Successful Writers Have? Timelines
When people depend on your writing to help them reach their own goals, you must deliver on time

Procrastination is the enemy of the writer, and a good writer, especially a freelance writer who works for someone else, will be on time consistently. When people depend on your writing to help them reach their own goals, you must deliver on time. 

Remember, writing has deadlines. You have to meet those deadlines or your clients or publishers will choose someone else and your reputation will suffer.

4. Humility

The writing process includes critiques, and many professional writers can find this difficult. a little bit of humility helps writers take constructive criticism and grow from it. This allows them to grow from their mistakes and become better writers.

New writers can remember that all published authors have to submit their writing to the pen of an editor. The more aggressive that pen is, the better the final work will be.

5. Research Skills

Writing, including fiction and non-fiction writing, requires research. You must research settings, facts, characters and more before putting pen to paper. The top writers on the New York Times bestsellers list are often some of the best researchers out there.

Research takes time, so much of your writing career will be doing in research, not actual writing. Stephen King once said, “Writers should be archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.”

6. Imagination

All types of writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, requires imagination to be successful. Freelancers need to tap that imagination to make engaging writing that people will want to read. Even a non-fiction book needs some creativity to be something people will want to read.

That does not mean you should write overly flowery works. Ernest Hemingway said, “If I started to write elaborately, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away.” It actually takes more imagination and creativity to write succinctly with power and attention-grabbing writing than it does to write overly wordy pieces.

7. Grammar Skills

Which Quality Do Most Successful Writers Have? Grammar
Take some writing courses to improve your writing skill because word choice problems will confuse your reader

This one is last on the list because it almost goes without saying that a full-time professional writer needs to have good writing skills. Grammatical errors will cause your piece to fail. Word choice problems will confuse your reader.

If you have the rest of the qualities of a good writer, but lack grammar skills, then take some writing courses to improve your writing skill. Soon you can be putting your creative writing abilities to good use and earning money as a writer.

The Final Word on Which Qualities Do Most Successful Writers Have

Tenacity, good research abilities and strong grammar skills, combined with imagination, humility, timeliness and a dose of stubbornness all combine to make a good writer great. If you want to make a career out of writing, take the time to develop these qualities. 

The world of freelancing and writing has many possibilities. Amazon is full of people just like you who became great writers. By developing these qualities, you can join their ranks.

Like this? Check out our guide to the seven habits of effective writers

Success Writers: FAQs

What are the qualities of a good writer?

The qualities of a good writer include:
1. Persistence
2. Stubbornness
3. Timeliness
4. Humility
5. Research skills
6. Imagination
7. Grammar skills

Who is the most successful writer of all time?

According to the number of copies of works sold, Agatha Christie is the most successful fiction writer of all time, with 4 billion copies of her works sold to date.


  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.