How to Succeed at Writing
What nobody’s telling you.
Are You Even Writing?
If you want to succeed at writing but you’re not writing, all I have to say is: are you being serious?
The fact that this even has to be stated makes me want to slam my own hand in a drawer, and yet I still find myself baffled by the number of people who don’t. So make sure you do.
Are You Any Good?
And that’s the real secret that nobody is saying.
Look. There’s a lot I’m not good at.
I can’t make popcorn, I white-girl dance, I only speak one language, I’m clumsy, I have a terrible memory and forget half the stuff that’s said to me (or even happens to me in real life), I’ve got my foot in my mouth half the time…
…and I’m just so-so at Instagram.
I don’t innately “get” Instagram, but I know I should be on it, so guess what I did when I built my first business account?
I researched. I found best practices (post at least once a day, post at the right time of day, comment on other people’s shit, follow other people, use hashtags, use filters, don’t use filters, etc) and I pretty much blindly implemented them without thinking.
Im not saying they didn’t work — my posts were much better afterwards than before.
But I never excelled at Instagram.
Because my posts just weren’t that good.
And despite all the resources on Instagram out there, almost none of them will tell you the most obvious step:
Be good at taking photos.
Because if you’re not taking good photos, but you’re still trying to implement all the best-practice techniques, you’re gonna run yourself into the ground.
And again, I’m no Instagram master, so yeah, maybe I’m the asshole here. But check out these two random pictures of two different strangers’ food and tell me which account you’d put your money on — regardless of anything else (post timing, hashtags, etc.).
If you want to optimize for slop, go for it. But if you ask me, you’d be better off taking better photos.
And it’s the same for writing.
How to Be Good: Write Well
The equivalent to “take a good photo!” on Instagram — by far the most important thing.
Are you even any good?
Good writing isn’t made in tags and stats.
Good writing is something else entirely.
Do I think I’m the greatest writer in the world? No, I do not.
But I also don’t care — because it doesn’t matter.
You don’t have to be “The Best.” Yeah, there are several heart-stopping writers out there whose meaty work makes my sides yearn and my jaw ache it’s so fucking good, but there’s also room enough not to compare. So somewhere amongst them, or betwixt them, or gazing adoringly up at them just like you, here I am to offer my opinion.
You don’t even have to be a writer everyone likes! (More on that below.) But you do have to be passably good.