A while ago I did a little poll – well, no, it was a huge poll, actually – about what it takes to be a writer.
I was asked to add to the original answers because I had missed some obvious ones, and I agreed. That list is a combined effort of our author minds. Currently there are 29 attributes to choose from, and multiple choice is enabled. Here’s a link to it, to refresh your memory: https://ellamedler.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/what-does-it-take/
The answers are not that different from what I expected. The most votes went to determination, imagination, passion and commitment. There is no way I would dispute that.
But there has been one surprise, for me. I’ve been waiting and waiting to see whether anyone, at all, would consider this one to be something a writer should feel strongly about. I’m talking about Responsibility.
I don’t understand the complete lack of votes for responsibility. I can live with no votes for humanity, morality and ethics – these concepts are so subjective, so hard to define. But how can a writer not feel any sense of responsibility? How can we not consider the effect our published words might have on our unsuspecting readers? However loosely, however remotely, however lightly – we are putting the germs of our ideas into other people’s minds. We are transplanting pieces of ourselves into others. The way we are, the way we feel, the way we deal with situations, as well as the way we are not and we do not.
Every story has the potential to stick. You can’t think yours will be overlooked and slip away into literary oblivion, because if you did, you wouldn’t be writing it in the first place.
So… just wondering… Am I the only one?