Why Now is the Best Time to be a Writer?
Imagine making a few hundred bucks with a click of a button…
Would you be interested in doing that? Of course, you would.
Why do I bring it up?
Becuase I’ve done it. More than once. After writing for a few years, I’m finally making (what I consider) a good income with writing.
You can do the same. It will take time, effort, and patience, but the landscape for writers is more promising than it ever has been.
What a Time to be Alive
I’ve seen writer success stories left and right lately. Writers getting massive book deals, creating membership channels earning enough for them to quit their jobs, self-publishing books earning from $1,000 to $500,000.
I anticipate more success stories to come given the state of the blogosphere in 2023.
Let’s say you wanted to be a successful writer in 1979.
You’d have to send query letters — physically through the mail — along with your manuscript to dozens of publishers for consideration.
Your chances of hearing back were about zero. Then, if you did get an advance, it may not have even been life-changing. For every Stephen King or John Grisham, there were thousands of unknown writers.
Today, the traditional route is dying. Even if you do get published by a traditional publisher, they want to know about your platform — how many subscribers and followers you have — before they’ll work with you.
If you’re passive about your writing career, you’re dead. If you’re active, however, nothing is stopping you.
You have sites like Medium to feature your writing. You can build an email list to help promote your work. And you can be the publishing company.
So what do you do? You’ve been here before. All of this sounds good, but putting it into practice is another story.
Today, I’m going to strictly talk about attitude.
You can find all of my ‘tactical’ stuff at the links below:
- The Ultimate Guide to Attracting a Loyal Audience
- The Ultimate Guide to Writing Your First Book
- How to Start a Blog for $3 in 10 Minutes or Less
- The Ultimate Guide to Building a Writing Habit That Sticks Like Superglue
- How to Build an Audience on Medium
- How to Pick a Writing Topic (and Stick With it)
Those guides provide a roadmap for getting out of the starting gate in your writing career, but tips don’t help if you don’t…use them.
You won’t use them if you don’t have the right attitude.
What’s the right attitude? For starters, you must desire to be a good writer.
Is E.L. James a good writer?
Most people would say no.
Does E.L. James care?
E.L. James penned the 50 Shades of Grey novels. She started writing short stories on a Twilight fan fiction site. She got popular. Capitalizing on her popularity, she turned the stories into a novel. She self-published the book and it went viral…like, really really viral.
She eventually got the book deal, the movie rights, and the rest is history.
I’m sure she has some nasty critics online and probably cries herself to sleep using $100 bills as tissue.
My point? The tastemakers opinions have little to no bearing on an individual’s success. Who’s opinion matters? Yours and the readers. That’s it.
Don’t suffer from what I call ‘Hemingway syndrome.’ People with Hemingway syndrome are delusional. They want to write the next great American novel. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to write quality work, but if you’re a snobby writer who feels they’re above other writers or methods of promotion, you’ll fail.
If, after reading James’s story you feel tons of envy and scoff at her luck, it’s a death sentence for your career. Not because you’re wrong — she was lucky — but because envious people rarely succeed at anything.
Focus on finding people who want to read what you write and nothing else. Don’t chase prizes and accolades from your peers.
You have to focus on the readers, but readers can be picky.
Put yourself in the shoes of a reader. They live in a distracted world with notifications, pings, and apps dancing around on their phones, tablets, and computers. Upon visiting a site like Medium, they browse around only to find what appear to be copies of the same article.
What Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffer Eat for Breakfast
How to Avoid Mediocrity at all Costs
The Ten Steps to Getting Rich
First, know this — the excessive amount of ‘me too’ writing is actually a good thing. While others play Where’s Waldo with blog posts, you can stand out by contrast.
There are plenty of ways:
- Add a twist to a common trope – I wrote an article about the secret to creating successful morning routines where I mentioned something no other writers had before — the fact you need an actual reason to get up. It opposed the common view that arbitrarily adopting habits causes success.
- Be brutally honest – Say what others won’t say. I often talk about how much work it takes to become a successful writer instead of trying to sell the “six-figure blogging shortcut method.”
- Hone your voice – Most subjects have been written about, but you can always have a unique voice. Develop your own style. I write punchy and tight while other writers I know are verbose — both work. Many types work, as long as they sound like you.
I use headline formulas and talk about subjects other people talk about, but I always remember to stand out by being me.
Do the same, and you’ll grow a following people dying to read your work.
Become an Overnight Success
Want to know how to become an overnight success? Write for ten years.
What excites me most about writing is how much room I have to improve. I’ve only been writing for 3 years. While I’ve learned a lot, I have tons to learn.
Now, I’m starting to think in decades instead of years.
I love the Tony Robbins quote “You overestimate what you can do in a year and underestimate what you can do in ten years.”
The landscape is favorable to committed writers. I’m reaping what I sowed three years ago. Now, I treat my work like a deposit in a bank account.
Your body of work is a bank account that collects interest in the form of fans, sales, and new opportunities.
I randomly get emails from fans who read something I wrote two years ago.
I found out — by accident — a post I wrote got published on business insider.
When you hit publish often you toss out a net to catch opportunities. Publish your work all over the place. Remix it and republish it.
Again, all of this sounds great, but you have to stay the course.
That’s why I started writing about writing in the first place. I know how hard it is to go from zero to one — from obscurity to momentum — so I developed a site to help aspiring writers like you.
If you’re serious about your writing career, go back up to the earlier section with the links provided and do the work.
Right now is the best possible time to be a writer. There’s more potential for success than ever before.
It’s time for you to be kinetic.