I'm waxing philosophical today. Lots of people write. Like, tons. And there are so many people out there who think they are publishable. As we all saw on Nathan Brandsford's blog, most writers think they are above the curve. And even if they don't, they still write. Lots of people also talk about why they write—the drive, that's who they are, they love it, they want to be published, etc. But I have a different question, though it seems to be in a similar vein.
How do you know you have writing skills?
Really, with so many styles and genres and so-called tastes out there, how do any of us know if we are good writers or not? We all think we're capable of writing a good book. What's the measuring stick you use on yourself?
Do you base your skill level on other people's opinions? Like, since your critique group or family like your work, you have faith that you have some talent. Or do those four stars on Amazon deem you as a four star writer?
Is this why we all seek publication? Is that was finally deems you as a skilled writer? But then so many people complain that published work is "sub par." Seems a tad contradictory.
Or do you base your level of skill on how accurate your punctuation and grammar is? The better you are at the technical stuff, the better the book? I'm not so sure.
Maybe it's something less tangible? Like the ability to observe life, to imagine, to make sense of all the nonsense and put it in words that makes a good writer. The ability to entertain, perhaps?
I personally claim to have some skill in writing, but I have no idea why I think that. All I know is that I love to write and I get better everyday. Maybe someday I'll figure out why I think I'm any good.