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To Be a Great Writer

Podcast Audio Link: Click here.

Podcast Transcript: Hi, genuine writers! This is Innovative Editing’s Jeannette DiLouie officially welcoming you to episode #10 of The Genuine Writer Podcast. We keep things short, sweet and to the point here so that you can learn what you need to learn and get back to writing already. Today’s episode is sponsored by The Genuine Writer, Innovative Editing’s free e-letter that gives you the encouragement and insights you need to get your writing to where it needs to be.

Sign up for it at or just go to and scroll down to the sign-up box. When you do sign up, you’ll instantly get the six-page starter’s guide “Writing Tips 101” to get you properly placed to make things happen in your book-writing world.

After that, you’ll get humongously important, pretty important and itty-bitty little pieces of useful advice wrapped up into manageable reads or listens. Like this particular podcast episode. In fact, this particular podcast episode is probably going to be on the shorter side, so I guess it falls into the itty bitty category. Let’s just say that it’s making up for two weeks ago when my fellow author and Genuine Writer’s Retreat co-founder, Lia Mack, and I yapped for I think 22 minutes straight about whatever writing topics popped into our crazy little heads.

This one on the other hand? I’ll be surprised if it takes up five whole minutes. Unless, of course, I keep yapping. So getting to it already…

Back when I was teaching Novel Writing 101 at the Community College of Baltimore County in Maryland, I got asked one specific question often enough. Actually, come to think of it, I’ve been asked that question outside of the classroom as well. “Do I have to be a great reader in order to be a great writer.” The short answer is “probably, but not definitely.”

That might come as a major shock to you, especially after you take into account that I have my degree in English, that I was an education major for the longest time, that I’m now a copywriter, editor and book-writing coach – not to mention an author who would love for you to check out my multigenre novels all displayed on under the Books tab. (Hint. Hint.) And even without knowing all that, I recognize that I’ve actually offended people before by stating my opinion on the subject. They want to think that anyone who doesn’t read is a lazy ignoramus, and they’re not entirely wrong there.

It’s just that they’re also not entirely right.

Some people don’t read because they’re too busy getting their information from Hollywood or so-called comedians. Which is really sad. Not to say that Hollywood is always wrong or that so-called comedians can’t have valid opinions. But come on, people! Do a little outside examination and thinking on your own. For your own good, much less the good of everyone you come into contact with or influence.

At the same time, some people just have natural gifts, proclivities and/or very little time to themselves. So they don’t read much. The way I see it, at least, that doesn’t mean they’re automatically out of the writing pool.

There are a few people out there who I’ve worked with who just didn’t read all that much. Yet they proved to be pretty good writers anyway. I mean, they needed to work on their craft, of course – every single writer out there does. But they had interesting ideas and solid starts to presenting those ideas. Are they ever going to be the next Steven King or J.K. Rowling? Probably not. But most hard-core readers won’t be either. So I don’t see how that says anything one way or the other.

Now, rewinding for a second, I do want to stress that nobody can be great writer if they don’t practice writing. To use myself as an example, I know I was born with a talent to write. I wrote my first story when I was five years or old or something like that. Yet do you want to see my first attempt at a novel? Too bad. You can’t. I won’t show it to anybody because it’s just so humiliatingly bad. My cheeks are getting red just thinking about how melodramatically lame it is

Do you know how I moved past that? I kept writing. And then, after that, I kept writing again. And then, after that, I kept writing some more until today, when I’m a pretty solid writer – who still needs to keep practicing her writing. Because there’s always something else to learn.

So if you want to be a great writer, go practice writing already.

That’s it for today. Toldja it would be a short one, but thanks for tuning in to The Genuine Writer Podcast anyway. It was awesome to have you here as always, and very happy writing!



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