The Only Writing Strategy That Works
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For me, for you and for everyone
It was almost midnight that day before I gave up and went to sleep. I was seeing no results. No revenue, no traffic, and no praise.
In 2017, I started a company (now I call it a hobby though). At that time, I had a grandiose vision. Launching my app, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, and being a role model for all others in my university.
But instead of focusing in the business, I was writing. I guess after all there’s always been something between me and writing. I thought that the fact my articles were well-received, customers will flock to my application. After writing roughly ten posts of 2,000 words each, I thought I was a ‘content marketer’.
And so that night, sitting alone with my thoughts, I decided writing wasn’t for me. It wasn’t giving me the returns I’d hoped for. It’ll always be a hobby I supposed. Once I was writing no more, I lost the vision for my business as well. We didn’t know what to do, and after some time and difficult conversations, we called it a day.
It took me two years to write a single post on Medium again. I wasn’t wasting time until then — I learned how to code, worked with national retail clients, and walked away from a 120,000 euro funding deal.
While all that seems fine and dandy, I wasn’t as happy as I hoped I’d be. Writing is what got me through everything. Writing was like the man who jumps in and saves the person who’s drowning.
And so this year, I gradually rediscovered my love for writing. Like any other amateur writer, I spent hours on my ‘strategy’. Reading articles about SEO, succeeding with Medium, keyword research, content marketing, and so on.
After wasting months on this, I came across the simple writing strategy guaranteed to get me out of the rut that I was in.
Read a lot and write a lot
I write two pages. And then I read and read and read. — Jose Saramago, Nobel Prize winner
I’ve been a self-help junkie for the past six years. I’ve read tons of books on diverse topics. But reading as a writer is a totally different game.
A writer sees a book with a completely different set of eyes. The writer sees hidden concepts and lessons he can learn from. He gets in the mind of the author to figure out how he wrote the book in the first place.
He learns how to find anecdotes to supplement concepts. How to make them more credible with research and how to be succinct to get points across.
Every page turns into inspiration. Every sentence is the seed of a potential idea. Every new word expands his vocabulary. Soon enough, good books start to feel as good as an orgasm.
The habit of reading expert authors shifts your mind to what’s possible. When you think you’re doing your best, there’s always someone better than you. You realize that the game is limitless — that mastery knows no boundaries.
It helps me read different voices and find my own. And there’s actually no way to get around reading.
Every musician needs to listen to music. Every coder needs to read code. Every athlete needs to watch game tapes. And every writer needs to read.
It’s funny to say that you need to write to be a writer. But it’s even funnier to see how people forget this.
Writers may think like artists, but they need to work as accountants. An artist isn’t an artist if he doesn’t produce. And produce at scale.
I thought writing 10 articles made me a ‘writer’ or ‘content creator.’ It can only work if I just want to brag in front o friends at Thanksgiving dinner.
So to anyone who’s starting out — consistency matters more than quality or quantity. Quantity takes care of itself if you’re consistent. And if you produce a lot, you’re bound to improve. No one can write 100 shitty stories — there’s got to be one which is good.
Treat it like a marathon and not a sprint. Don’t burnout in one month just to reach some arbitrary quantity or quality you picked up from someone on the Internet.
Do it for yourself. It’ll be long before you can get to a level where you can live off what you write. And most writers never quit their day job. The only way you can persevere through all the downturns if you love to write and write every day.
Everything you think you can’t do will be possible if you just write. Getting ideas, writing better sentences, improving your vocabulary, etc can only be done if you keep writing.
Don’t Believe Me?
It’s fine if you don’t believe me. I don’t have as many followers, email subscribers, or book sales as many other influencers on Medium do.
Will you listen to them, perhaps?
I knew you would.
Look at any of your favorite writers then, who’ve built a massive following. They’ve written for years without any reward. And they continue to do so.
There’s a reason why Todd Brison says “When it feels like you should have already “arrived”, keep writing.”
And for the last bit, here’s what Niklas Göke said when I asked him about his writing skills,
“Six years of practice!” That’s what you need. That’s what I need. And that’s what everyone needs.
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