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Today is the day. This is my 100th article in 2021—what a year.
I am not even sure if I should call myself a writer by now, but I have to admit that I am slightly proud of this achievement.
But I am not going to bore you with celebrating myself; I want to inspire you with the things that I learned along the way—not using the word that too often is just one of them.
There is no one approach that works for everyone, but I can share my experience. And isn’t that what writing is all about?
How do we deal with frustration along the way? How do we find topics? And what keeps us going at the end of the day? Here are five suggestions:
1. Don’t expect too much.
Life is about balance. Most writers experienced something we call writer’s block at some point. I am no stranger to this feeling.
When we are trying to be creative, it usually doesn’t work like in the movies. It’s not that we write one article or book and suddenly become famous. This might sound brutal, but it also takes some weight off our shoulders—nobody expects perfection.
Every piece of writing is just one tiny part of our work. When we start writing, we don’t know how the audience will react—so, let’s don’t even go down that road.
We should push ourselves to get our word out there, but we should never push our expectations on the outcome.
2. Be yourself, but don’t focus on yourself.
I am aware of the irony behind this advice in this article. But please hear me out.
Our main goal is to be authentic when writing, but we are also part of a community—actually several communities. The topics we choose, the perspectives we offer, and the ideas we share will create our audience over time. With that in mind, we can ask ourselves, “Who actually relates to my feelings, thoughts, and observations?”
When we write, we offer connection. There might be someone out there feeling less lonely after realizing that they are not the only ones feeling a certain way. When we share our struggles with others, we don’t necessarily have to offer a solution; sometimes, shared awareness toward a topic can be more than enough.
We should always try to offer authentic and relatable stories, but we should never design an article just to reach as many folks as possible.
3. Read, read, and read.
Probably one of the most important things when we write: keep reading.
What do I like about other authors? What makes me want to read their stories? What keeps me away from connecting with a story? It is helpful to ask ourselves these questions to find out more about our personal preferences.
Reading the work of other authors is inspiring, but reading our own words can be a healing experience.
I highly suggest looking back at things we wrote weeks, months, or maybe even years ago. Looking at our own words with some distance allows us to reflect on ourselves. We start seeing patterns we like, and we might notice things we could have done better. Sometimes, we learn something about our own journey that we had no idea about—maybe that’s why it’s called journaling?
We should use our own writing to learn about ourselves, not to improve our marketing skills, but to improve as a human.
4. Track your time.
Getting lost in our thoughts is something most of us experienced when writing. There is nothing wrong with that, but it can be frustrating in the long run. Tracking our time can be helpful not to overthink our writing.
Overthinking is killing joy–that goes for the author and the reader.
When we become aware of how much time we spend on average, we notice when we start overthinking. If I am not done with an 800-word article within two hours, there is a good chance the reader might notice the lack of flow.
We should not rush ourselves when writing, but we should be aware of the time and energy we spend.
5. Don’t be scared.
One of the most painful things as an author is when the audience is ripping us apart. I had been called a nazi-communist-idiot in comment sections, and I have to admit that it hurts at times. Folks attacked me on a personal level, friends made fun of me for sharing my feelings, and some articles didn’t even find more than 50 readers.
But we can’t change any of these things, and even more important, they shouldn’t change what we do.
When someone feels the urge to insult me after reading my article, I try to take it as a compliment. Apparently, that person read the article, felt the need to say something about it, and took the time to write a comment—it shows that they somehow care. If an article doesn’t reach many readers, it is not necessarily a sign of failure—not every article has to be a big hit.
We should try to do our best, but we should never expect everyone to love what we share.
As mentioned earlier, there is no recipe for becoming a writer. I don’t even know if I am a writer, but I hope this helps to encourage you to share your voice with the world.
I am a pretty talkative person, and it is a weakness of mine that drives people nuts. Writing is my way of sharing my voice without annoying anyone around me. Everyone who chooses to read my work did that voluntarily—and I am more than thankful for that.
If you feel like writing, get started right here, right now.
And if you feel inspired to support my words, the words of my far more talented colleagues, and the words of our inspiring community, please support us by subscribing.