Being a full time writer is one of those careers that's way harder to pull of than it looks.
In the old days, you had to be lucky to succeed. Some writers would go decades before getting published. Even in today's landscape, where anyone can publish anything at any time, you still face an uphill battle.
Two million blog posts are published per day. Everybody's chasing their dream of being a writer and trying to make a quick buck from their blog. Competition is stiff.
How do you come out on top?
You have a dream of becoming a pro writer. It's lofty. Can you do it?
Of course you can.
You can also get a six pack, make a million dollars, or run a marathon. But will you?
I'm tired of online writers trying to make what they do sound easy. It's nowhere near easy.
In order to become the writer you're meant to be, it's going to require the type of mindset most people won't develop. If you do develop this mindset, however, success is just a matter of time.
How to Dominate Your Field and Scorch Your Competition
I just finished reading the book Relentless by Tim Grover. He was the personal trainer for top athletes like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade.
In the book, he talks about the relentless attitude these athletes had that made them all time greats.
They never wavered from their goals.
They were singular in their pursuit, and they put an inordinate level of practice and effort into their training.
Their preparation made them so confident in their skills they didn't worry about their competition. Their competition had to worry about them.
I drew many lessons from the book that tie in with writing. It takes a relentless attitude to put in the word count you need to catch your "big break."
Take a page out of these athletes' books and use their techniques to become a relentless writer who never quits.
Writers are neurotic creatures. We think, obsess, and stress over the details of our writing.
Does this opening sound right?
Should I replace this sentence?
Will anybody even like this?
All the time we spend thinking takes away from the time we can spend writing. This isn't to say you shouldn't think or plan at all, but eventually you're going to have to sit down, face the keyboard, and do what you know how to do.
You don't get "talkers block."
When someone asks you about something you're passionate about or knowledgeable in, they can't get you to shut up.
Why, then, do you freeze and over think things when it comes to your writing?
The great athletes realize practice only takes you so far. At a certain point, their instincts kick in and they don't have to "think," because their body knows what to do.
Hold Yourself to Higher Standards
I'm not one of those,"thou shalt always hustle 24/7," types, but I know if you don't put in a significant amount of work, you'll fail as a writer.
Take the amount of practice you think you need to succeed and multiply it by 10.
How can you expect amazing results without an amazing effort?
The world doesn't owe you anything. You have to earn attention. It doesn't matter what you think about your work and progress. You'll reach the level of success you think you deserve once you put in the work.
It amazes me how I sometimes feel entitled to success after only putting in so much effort.
I've only been writing for eighteen months.
Some writers say building a popular blog takes 4 to 6 years.
Some say you need to write a million words before you write something worth publishing.
If you published a few blog posts and they didn't get traction, don't get a tummy ache, whine, and quit. You have at least 1,000 more blog posts in you.
If you've been writing for less than 24 months, you have zero right to complain about your lack of progress.
It's the truth.
You don't have to put in the work. By all means, put in a low amount of effort and complain if you like, it's your right to do so.
But, nothing worthwhile comes easily.
Time weeds out the people who aren't serious. The people you see at the top are nothing more than the ones left over after everyone else quits.
Apply Your Knowledge
All the athletes mentioned in Grover's book had one thing in common -- they practiced to incorporate what they learned into actual games.
They applied their knowledge.
You've read dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of blog posts on writing tips and ways to grow your readership, right?
How many times have you acted on any of the advice? Be honest.
I used to run on the "blogging advice treadmill," without taking action until I finally said enough.
I recently read a blog post about reaching out to people individually to promote your work:
I followed the strategy in the post to the letter.
I reached out to 100 people, individually, to promote my writing, and most of them responded and read my work.
I followed through with someone's advice and it paid off. Now, I use the same outreach strategy over and over with each new post.
Does it take time? Yes. But it works.
The next time you read a blog post or take an online course -- do what they told you to do without questioning it.
If you took all the advice available online and followed through with it, you'd be amazed at the results.
Stop Comparing Yourself to Other Writers
You compare yourself to other writers.
You spend your precious time reading their blog posts and coveting their success.
When you put blinders on and focus solely on your craft, amazing things to start to happen. Your confidence skyrockets.
You tell yourself, "I can do this."
A successful writing career used to be a dream, but now you believe it's possible.
You become Michael Jordan during his first few seasons.
Sure, some stars own the league, for now.
They have no idea you're about to unleash absolute mayhem on every team you face and become an unstoppable force of nature.
You're taking over.
You look up to these writers, but they're just people, and nothing's in your way of reaching their level.
In fact, they're going to have to get on your level.
You have everything you need to master the craft and take the online writing world by storm.
It's yours to take.
Stop Treating Your Work Like a Hobby
You don't think about going to work, you just go. You need food and shelter, therefore, you commit to working for money.
Do you treat writing like your job?
If you don't take yourself seriously, no one else will.
Growth takes time. When I started writing, I didn't have a big dream of becoming a pro. After a while, I realized I wanted a full time writing career.
I face the page, even when I don't feel like it, because I have to.
Until you shift in your mindset from being a hobbyist to being a pro, your work will be nothing more than "okay."
I'm not delusional enough to believe I'm a master, but I'm committed to becoming one.
A word spinning warrior hides underneath every insecure, wishy-washy, and inconsistent writer.
We're all capable of reaching mastery, but few of us will, because the majority of us never commit.
I don't know when you'll make the switch, but once you do, nobody will be able to stop you.
Become relentless. Write every goddamned day until you get the results you want. Become so good you're impossible to ignore. Never quit.
You can do it.
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