How to Succeed as a Writer
I’ve been guilty of spouting lies, so have many other online writers.
Online writers and bloggers make success in the writing field seem harder than it is.
Don’t get me wrong, becoming a better writer, finding readers for your writing, making money from your writing, building a legacy with your writing, ect., aren’t necessarily easy.
But they’re not as impossible as many would like you to believe.
You’ve seen the introduction in blog posts on writing blogs that say something along the lines of:
“There are a bazillion blog posts published every day. How is little-old-you going to be able to stand out among the infinite space of online publishing?”
Personally, I get motivated by challenges. I strive to stand out.
Maybe I’m egotistical, but I believe I’m capable of achieving anything I want with my writing given enough time.
When someone asks me how I’m going to stand out, it pushes me to work that much harder to get noticed.
For others, however, hearing phrases like this does nothing more than discourage them.
It’s sad, because there are writers out there who can succeed, but they’re stuck in the starting gate because they don’t believe in themselves or gain enough momentum.
And writers who talk about the difficulty of success in the blogosphere are part of the problem, not the solution.
The idea that it’s difficult to become an influential writer is misleading. I think there’s a better explanation.
Are You Insane?
Marketing expert Gary Vaynerchuck often talks about people’s “insane lack of patience,” when it comes to the activities related to perusing their passion.
I agree with him one hundred percent.
Becoming the best in the world at anything isn’t hard, per se, it just takes time.
You have to show up.
Unless you’re totally inept (you’re not), you’ll find some measure of success given enough time.
I look at the comments of people who say they’re going to follow the advice I give them about writing and promoting their work. I check their Medium accounts to see if they’ve been posting regularly.
If I could put a number on it, maybe less than one percent do.
This is the state of the world, not just in publishing, but in every other avenue in life that requires even the slightest bit of delayed gratification.
Nine times out of ten, people fail to stay consistent.
For you to want to write a handful of blog posts and become a famous writer is insane. For you to expect any level of success without having written, say, at least one hundred blog posts, is delusional.
Deep down you know this, but you won’t succeed until the truth buries itself into your consciousness deep enough for you to take action.
That’s okay. It’s what makes work like this relevant and important.
I needed about three hundred reminders about ways to improve my life before I actually did anything.
Call it a “fed up,” moment. We all have our own tolerance level for the amount of bullshit and lack of progress we’re able to accept in our lives.
I write each post because I hope it’s your fed up moment.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
Another day you could’ve spent writing is wasting away. The sands of your writing dreams are slipping through the hourglass, at a cruelly rapid yet gradual pace.
What are you going to do about it?
Fed up yet?
Let’s dismantle the idea that becoming a successful writer is difficult. It’s time consuming, but it’s simple.
A blueprint for success exists, and I’m about to reveal it.
The Most Obvious Yet Ignored Advice When it Comes to Your Writing Career
I’m convinced there’s one trait that separates people who succeed in writing — or any other field for that matter — and those who don’t.
It’s not innate talent, luck, or even motivation.
It’s the ability to follow directions and implement what you’ve learned.
Those blog posts about driving traffic to your website, promoting your work to readers, and becoming a better writer will work if you DO what you’re told.
You just won’t do it.
You’ll read a blog post that says, “reach out to ten potential readers via email,” and you’ll reach out to one or two or zero, make up a rationalization for why your situation makes the task worthless, or skip onto the next blog post.
Do me a favor.
Take one blog post on writing or marketing and do it exactly what it says.
Suspend your judgement and DO.
You’ll be amazed at the results.
Unsuccessful people are bad listeners. They’re hard headed. They’re insane.
I could give you a detailed blueprint for a building, an instruction manual, and all of the tools/materials you need to build a house.
But I can’t hammer and saw for you.
The blueprint for success in writing is readily available. Write often, promote your work, build relationships with readers, and grow your network within the industry.
It make take months or years, but it isn’t hard. It just requires those cliched virtues of patience, consistency, and the ability to follow through.
Being a Successful Writer Isn’t Hard
This isn’t 1975.
You don’t need to send 900 query letters to publishers like Seth Godin did.
You don’t have to live in obscurity for 25 years like Vonnegut did.
Nobody is in your way. It is by far the easiest time to become a successful writer in the history of writing, because you have direct access to the entire world.
As far as the competition is concerned, those millions of other online writers don’t matter, because 99 percent of them are going to quit. So it goes. Again, this is the state of human behavior.
You may have to write a couple hundred blog posts or even a handful of books before you succeed, but why does that mean finding success as a writer is hard?
I’m sitting here in a chair, relaxed. I’m not out of breath from typing. I have to edit and that’s a bit of a strain mentally, but I love to write.
If you love to write, then why the hell is doing it often such a problem?
Writer’s block? I’m not buying it.
If I asked you to talk to me about your favorite T.V. show you’d barely be able to contain yourself. “Nobody gets talker’s block,” so you shouldn’t get writer’s block either. You’re just making things more complicated than they are.
If your writing is bad, then write poorly.
You don’t even have to set out on a grand mission to start, just write every day.
Hit publish, spread your ideas around, see what happens.
Those online writers who love to talk about how difficult it is to publish just don’t want you running around in their playground. They’re not showing you tough love, they’re infecting the population with insecurity and it’s unnecessary.
There’s enough room for all who persist.
But there’s no way around the moat of effort and consistency.