This blog originally appeared on hyperfundit.com. It has been updated and represented here.
For a long time, I had a job most people couldn’t understand. Even my job title would make their eyes glaze over with confusion or an “I’m sorry I asked” fog. (Can you blame them? What would you do when you hear Lead Modeling and Simulation Engineer?)
Now, I’m a writer. The looks I get are much different – and so are the expectations.
It’s as if I’ve gone from a world so technical people couldn’t be bothered to understand, to a realm of the mystical.
The name holds a certain amount of prestige in many circles. They assume writers are special or have some amazing talent that regular, average folk don’t have.
On Steemit, a blogging platform based on cryptocurrency, some people have the same belief. Take a look at these comments from some articles I wrote there:
“I am not a natural writer, but am working to improve my writing…”
“I think some people are naturally talented in writing. Unfortunately, I am not that one!”
There are others like these too. It always makes me sad to see them. Being a writer isn’t about talent, it’s about communicating.
For example, many blockbuster movies are based on poorly-written novels or short stories. But something about the ideas or concepts in those books were deemed exceptional enough to be successful. Even with untalented writing, those ideas were communicated well enough to get noticed.
What does it mean to be a successful writer?
To me it means you write – actually sit down and write something with a middle, beginning, and end. You can’t just be thinking about writing, you have to do it.
What’s needed next depends on your objective. Many writers simply write in their personal journals, and that is enough for them. But if you’re trying to communicate concepts, ideas, stories or anything really, you’ll eventually need to let someone read your writing.
It might be good, or it might need some improvement, but merely taking the step of letting someone read it is the first stage of success. How much farther you want to go is up to you – but remember that nothing I’ve listed so far requires you to have any unique talents. You write, let people read it, then write some more. The cycle goes on and on because you can always improve your writing and feedback is a critical piece of that process.
I think the idea is captured well in this quote also from another Steemit comment:
“Talent is overrated it’s about how hard you work these days.”
They are absolutely right. You don’t need talent, but you do need to work. Obviously, the amount of work differs depending on whether you want to write a novel or just today’s daily blog post.
Writing blogs requires no talent too
Blogging, even though it’s writing, doesn’t seem to hold the same respect and esteem granted to the word “writer.” Unless of course you are trying to be a blogger and don’t think you can write. Just like those two who wrote the comments about not being talented or natural writers.
In case I haven’t said it enough, you don’t need talent or natural ability to be a successful blogger.
And in case you don’t believe me, here’s a quote from Chrissy Stockton, an author, blogger, and poet.
“Some writers are special, for sure, but 99.99999999% of writers in the world will never be Salinger or DFW or Bukowski. That doesn’t mean anything. What percent of CEOs will ever become Steve Jobs?”
In all professions, there are outstanding examples – the physicists who win the Nobel prize, the surgeon who saves the most lives, the musician that sells the most concerts. But for each one of those, there are many, many successful people in the same field. And you should never compare yourself to those people when measuring your success. They may represent your goals and dreams which is fine, but don’t ever give up trying to be a writer just because you don’t write like someone you think is a “real writer.”
The one thing you need to do to become a successful writer and blogger
Some characteristics identify successful writers though. And not a single one of them has anything to do with natural talent.
The primary thing most successful writers do is write consistently. It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger or cranking out your novel. Many of the best-selling authors have commented on discipline and writing a certain number of words every day whether they felt like it or not.
For bloggers though, it isn’t just about writing. For a blog to be successful it needs content updated frequently. Sometimes it’s referred to as “posting regularly,” but the gist is the same. And it makes sense. You can’t be successful at something if you don’t do it or do it haphazardly. Posting your writing at a consistent frequency also lets the people who like and read your blogs know when they’ll be posted.
Maybe there’s more than one
Ok, so I admit there’s more than one thing you need to do to be a successful writer. But without constant content creation none of the others matter. In the coming weeks I’ll share other ideas you can use to become more successful. There’ll be inspiration and step by step guides to various tools and techniques.
If there’s anything specific topic you’d like to see me cover, just let me know in the comments.