It isn’t talent, genius, or being unique. It’s much simpler than that.
Successful writers know what not to do when writing. There are thousands of articles and dozens of books about what a new writer needs to do to be successful. New and experienced writers read these articles and books to see if they can dig out a secret that will propel their writing to stardom. The authors write about talent. They write about genius. And many share tips on how they come up with “unique” ideas.
What these stories have in common is you can’t fabricate talent or genius. Either you are born with it, or you aren’t. But you can’t will it into existence. And writing something unique may happen once or twice, but you won’t be able to do it again and again.
The good news is you don’t have to have natural talent, have a genius I.Q., or come up with unique ideas to succeed as a writer.
The writer’s skills you need to develop
If you aren’t proficient in the basic skills of a writer, you won’t be successful. That may sound harsh, but it’s true.
85% of readers read at the 8th-grade level or above. So you don’t have to master complex sentence structure or write complicated paragraphs. You aren’t writing for a college professor. You’re going to write for an 8th grader.
If you want to check your writing level, Hemingway Editor will score your writing for free.
Here are the 4 parts of writing you have to master:
- Paragraph structure
If your writing skills are rusty, Grammarly is another free service that will do the bulk of editing for you.
The one thing that you must not do if you want to be a successful writer: never quit
I did an informal study of writers on Medium. What I wanted to know was how long people wrote on the platform and how many stories did they write. This wasn’t a scientific study, and Medium probably has better information. But from the writers I look at, most of them wrote less than 20 articles over a 90-day period.
I read a lot of their stories. I thought most of the authors’ writing was good, and their ideas were interesting.
But they quit.
Writing is a long game. It takes a lot of practice. And most of what you write won’t be successful. But the one thing you can not do is quit. Vince Lombardi, the great football coach, said, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” It’s true of football, and it’s true of writing.
If you will keep writing, you will succeed as a writer. There is no guarantee of fame and fortune, but you can make a living at it. How do I know? Because successful writers write. And they write a lot. If you follow their example, you will also succeed.
And if you are lucky, you may even get rich.
Have you felt like quitting?