Listening to other authors, I'm realizing good writers are deep divers. They find something interesting (an idea, a topic, a story, themselves) and get lost in it. They risk going all the way in, all the way to the bottom—if they can find one. They roll around in it, feel it in every part, so they can share what it is like to be there. The good ones take their time. Even writing itself becomes an exploratory process.
But not all deep divers are good writers. Some never make it back out of their deep holes to connect with others about their experiences. They get lost, but never come home again. I've read (or should I say fallen asleep to) a few textbooks written by these guys. If you want to write well, you have to make your way home again.
Then there are the talkers, the performers, the pop-culture book producers who are NOT actually good writers. They have an idea (it may even be a good one), but they don't really know anything about it. Going deep takes time and doesn't always produce a solid buck at the end. They stay home and stay safe. They talk like they've been somewhere, but they haven't. Most books I pick up are 80% fluff.
Be brave. Dive in. All the way. But please come home again, because I want to hear about it.
Unsplash photo cred: Solen Feyisa