Here’s my writing tip of the week: keep writing until you succeed. Failure is only feedback. Yes, I know, groundbreaking stuff. 🙂 I’m offering this insight to you because I’ve had a week of writers telling me that whatever they’re doing (self-publishing, Web content writing, blogging etc) “isn’t working for me.”
One writer went so far as to tell me: “I can’t see how (she named a couple of high-ranking titles) got such high rankings. They must be tricking Amazon or something, because…” She continued with a long rant about her own books’ rankings on the Kindle Store.
Please, write your stuff your way, and keep writing. That’s basically all you need to do: keep going.
A (not-so-groundbreaking) writing tip: KEEP WRITING
Keep writing. Stop looking at other writers. Stop complaining about their high or low rates, or their high or low prices for ebooks. Or blogging. Whatever works for them may or may not work for you.
I suspect the flow of negativity this week annoys me because if I’ve learned anything in my long years as a commercial writer, it’s that you need to forge your own path. Way back last century I had a literary agent who was forever telling me that I needed to write like a then-bestselling writer. We parted company after she sent me a long screed about some other writer’s book. Since it was obvious she wasn’t reading my stuff, her advice wasn’t worth anything.
Keep writing. Expect to fail. Be pleased about failing.
Failure is good for you, but you’ll only realize that in retrospect
At times, I’m nostalgic for the good old days, before email and the Web. In the good old days writers wrote for years, expecting endless rejection slips, and boomeranging manuscripts with “not for us!” scrawled over their cover sheets. Writers expected that they’d need to suffer through five years of “not for us!” — and zero income — until they broke through.
Contrast that with today.
Today, more writers than ever before are making an income from their writing. Many are making six-figure incomes. There are UNLIMITED opportunities for you today.
So no matter how well or badly you think you’re doing, others’ success should give you confidence and motivation.
You CAN make a great living, but only if you accept responsibility. It’s your writing. Your name is on your blog, and your ebook’s cover. Yours. If you haven’t yet found the success YOU want, so what? Keep writing.
It always amuses me when writers complain about other writers who are doing well, because it doesn’t matter how well other writers are doing. Or how well you’re doing, for that matter. You’ll still have to get out of bed tomorrow, and WRITE.
Since you’ll need to write tomorrow, and the day after, and the day after that, your failure or success (or other writers’) is neither here nor there.
You make your own rules: do it YOUR way
When I first started this blog a decade ago, writing for the Web was a relatively new thing. Print writers professed great scorn for Web writers. Their opinion was that Web writing was junk. Only junk writers wrote it, and… these junk writers weren’t following the rules!
At this distance, I can’t recall what all the whining was about. Writing for the Web is different from writing for print, so I’m sure that the whining related to that difference. What hasn’t faded is the memory that of all those scornful writers who imagined that there were rules.
There are no rules for your writing. (While there are grammar rules related to writing clearly and well, there aren’t any rules in the sense that the scornful writers meant.)
Following others’ rules gets you nowhere. The scornful writers have either left the writing business, or they’re blogging, or self-publishing. Whatever they’re doing, I’m sure that they’re still complaining. 🙂
In conclusion: keep writing. Write your stuff, your way. Try new things. Experiment. Ignore people who tell you what you can and can’t do. And most importantly of all, have fun with your writing. 🙂
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