5 Practical Ways Budding Writers Can Get Ahead Within Six Months of Consistent Effort
- Author Mohammed Tyem
- Published November 18, 2022
- Word count 2,612
There is this misconception that is somewhat a cliché, suggesting creators, including writers—any type of writer—typically operate or end up in perpetual want, hence the term starving artist. If the cliché universe were islands competing against themselves, this one would probably be a dignified Hawaii. Ironic. Though lots of artists end up struggling not because of a substantive stance to this saying per se, but rather due to a belief system…a bad one at that, which often stems from misplaced priorities, right form the very beginning.
Let me explain…
You see, writing, like any other profession can catapult any person to any desired level of income. Did you know there are many millionaire writers? And others earning six figures—from Amanda Hocking to Hugh Howey—all earning from Amazon or self-publishing? All of these were once regular folks just like you who didn’t think they could break through despite what those stubborn inner voice repeatedly echoed.
So, whether you are interested in creative fiction, business writing, speech writing or creating your own publishing empire with either physical or digital versions, there is a starving market out there in every niche. Both businesses and consumers need answers to nagging problems and as long as you can creatively serve them, offer solutions and lead the way in terms of attaining results, then my friend, the world may very well be your own creative oyster, making you smile away to the bank… while those who think, believe or want to just follow ‘their passion’, whatever that means… while living in perpetual misery can have their way.
But for the ambitious out there, they certainly can get the desired success, fame and other perks that comes with writer’s life.
To attain these requires mastery of the craft and being strategic about how to evolve. The first step is by focusing on the fundamentals and move on from there. In other words, taking baby steps and growing as you go…every day.
Are you an aspiring or budding writer, author or publisher of your own work? And want to get ahead in record time?
Below are a few tips budding writers can utilize to shine through in just a few months such that they can start earning good money via excellent writing. Successful writers do these routines every day without fail. With writing just as any other career path, there is no need at all to reinvent the wheel, no. The secret simply is following what others have done with great results.
Here we go then:
Read a lot. Reading has always been a great way to improve your craft and one of the best ways is by reading the quality materials out there. It could be books, periodicals, articles or newspapers. Whatever your preferred avenue, the idea is to get immersed in good writing, which in turn kind of binds to your subconscious as you pick how different genres of writing are structured by successful writers. The more you read, the more you grasp. One of my preferred ways of reading daily is via subscribing to and reading e-newsletters from writers, business folks or mentors I admire. This could be masters in the particular area you are captivated by or a rainbow of fields you are interested in. Some people I follow such as bestselling author, writer and marketer Seth Godin sends daily emails from the very short yet inspiring and practical …all the way to several pages of highly engaging content. Yet others put out content about 3-4 times a week. In any case you can in this way have a constant stream of quality writing you can learn, emulate and even profit from. Keeping this a daily habit is a no brainer and can set you worlds apart from mediocrity in a just a short while. And for the long haul as well.
Write a lot. This is second in line that kind of accentuates daily or regular reading and involves honing the craft on a grand scale. You see, when you write regularly, it simply becomes second nature as you improve in every aspect. If its business writing, the more you write, the more you understand the dynamics of the writing itself, and the essence and the psychology behind the purpose of whatever you pen down. Whether it’s headlines that grabs attention making the reader hooked or the lead which literally drags her into wanting to go further to get the real gist or the transitions that makes for a breezy flow and easy read, the more you practice, the better you get. Professional writers swear by the ritual of writing every day.
Yes, you heard that right…writing every single day…and many of them actually do, no matter what. From writing at least an hour a day to writing 750 words a day or any other approach that works for you, as long as it’s consistent, within just a couple of months you’ll be head and shoulders above your peers, leaving them in the dust in terms of ability, competence and confidence. This in turn helps in taking you to any desired level you aspire. There are software that help in keeping the discipline which you simply set up and type away. And if you are the old-fashioned type or prefer this route, the notebook comes in handy here.
One practical way of doing this that equally sets you apart on a whole different level is copying great writing by hand in a notebook…yes, with a pen or pencil. This could be a viral article, well performing 10-20-page direct mail advertisements or any other material acknowledged to be excellent that you want to master. Doing this you get the best of both worlds of practice and inherently absorbing the style, structure of the best writing out there… such that you can do the same thing with relative ease. And how exactly do you do this? Simply get about 10 copies of excellent writing preferably ones that impressed you in some way or won awards, then copy by hand all of them. After doing this, you then write one or two of your own or rewrite any of the piece using your own original titles, body and conclusion.
Diligently executing this exercise— otherwise called neurological imprinting— a couple times a week, for even just one month can perform wonders and help improve your craft. Yes, it may be boring, tedious and unappealing but super effective, simpler than you think and can triple the speed of becoming a competent and sought after writer…Do it for 3 consistent months even if you don’t ever have to do it again, the rewards can stay forever…potentially keeping you in the top percentile of good writers.
- Attend a Writing Class. In 2007 famous American cartoonist, writer and bestselling author the guy behind the Dilbert graphic books, Scott Adams, wrote a short piece titled, The day you became a better writer. And it was quite a gem. Simple. Direct. Practical. As the saying goes, simple is compelling…
In the piece he highlights the essence of using simple words, small sentences and cutting out unnecessary wordings, highlighting the notion of conveying your message in fewer words. But the real takeaway in that short essay of his comes from the very first sentence, which states how he learned all those writing principles that seem like common sense and they truly are. But then most folks don’t know, imbibe let alone adopt in professional writing or every day correspondence. And what did that very first sentence…the lead of the essay say? He learned all of that in just a day’s writing class which lasted just a short while.
This makes it worthwhile to join a writing class with real people, participants and feedback from professional tutors. This could be weakened classes, a night class or even a live online masterclass which may suit millennials and the Gen Z demographic. Because it’s always practical and the atmosphere enchanting, you’ll come out more learned, better motivated and self-confident both in writing and whatever business aspect in which you want to apply it to. In fact, writing classes has produced many successful writers. It simply works.
- Join a Writers’ Group. You’ve probably heard the saying that’s echoed by none other than personal development and career coaches which goes along the lines of, you are the average of the folks you hang around with. Now let that sink in for a minute. What now? Reflect and assess yourself, then if you’re honest about it, you get a feeling of why you are in a particular situation in a particular area of your life.
Many people tend to shrug this off even when it rings true, making excuses that makes them stuck in a rut…such as the route to a starving artist existence. To that I say, drop the attitude. Because there is always a way out of any unfavorable or stifling environment. All a we have to do is decide, burn the proverbial bridges and take action. Action is indeed the bridge between philosophy and results. As you hang out with or begin to be within a circle of successful people you want to be like or simply a collective of folks that really want to get there, the job is half done. The rest becomes following in the footsteps of these folks in practical terms which also comes with a mindset shift. Very important. And so it is with writing or indeed any professional creative endeavor which writing can help develop further anyway. The group you join may be an interactive one online, one with resources and feedback access via email or direct messages or could be a weekly gathering of sorts.
The most important thing is that being within such a group creates several advantages which includes getting invaluable insights on both business and life, pushing yourself to new frontiers by setting big goals and better yet creating and adapting to systems, accountability, better productivity and of course making new connections and marketing opportunities. The last one mentioned here, marketing if done well within a group setting can catapult your aspiring or existent writing business to the stratosphere within a short time. This is basically due to a spirit de corps kind of atmosphere that is apparent within group settings and the support that typically comes with it.
From referrals to shared paid work or even getting access to a life changing gig, anything is possible. Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups and other such congregations abound in disparate fields and sub niches. Get creative…and just find the best and take your pick. Many are free while others require a one time, monthly or yearly fee commitment. The paid versions come with perks with different levels you can start from depending on your budget, and comes with numerous benefits.
If budget is a constraint however, the free ones or at least those that offer both free and paid versions can be a starting point which you can upgrade later when you starting earning well, hopefully through what you learn within the group. This is invaluable simply because in the writing world, no one man is an island. The more you connect and engage with others the further away from a starving artist you’ll be…and a better writer to boot. What’s more the investment typically pay for themselves in a jiffy.
- And Finally, the Holy Grail…Marketing. As long as you practice all these highlighted tips above…all four of them with diligence, then you would have as much as 80 per cent of success in writing. You have a functional system…This in turn will enable you achieve self growth and set a pedestal towards exactly where you want to be. And when you add marketing into the mix, then the sky is the limit in terms to what you can earn. This is basically the tool that helps set you apart from the starving artist to the well-paid artist where you can earn as much as you want. You know, the type that is booked solid for months on end with paid retainer contracts, some paid 50% upfront or indeed anyhow you structure it.
In the book, The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, the authors Al Ries and Jack Trout echoing Seth Godin, highlight how and why, setting yourself up right out of the gate as a business is important and vital to your overall success. In particular, the area of having success faster when you have a budgeted amount to put yourself out there is quite interesting. And practical. The more money you spend, albeit in a strategic way, the better your chances of success and faster too. The good news is that one can also start with no budget at all via free publicity like press releases, blogging, writing for free in newspapers and magazines.
Following the first four tips highlighted earlier here diligently means you’ll have a solid portfolio of good writing, which can further be promoted via search engine optimization SEO articles where people can find you online…leading to all sorts of opportunities. When I say opportunity here, I mean paid services or getting customers for published products of yours.
One of the secrets of successful publishers and writers is that they showcase their expertise and aren’t afraid to reach out to prospective clients. In other words, self-promotion is key and there are many ways to do it whether you’re identify as an introvert or extrovert. This could be via email, phone, search engine optimization, SEO, via organizations they are familiar with and known, alumni clubs, or even family and friends.
The more you do this, the better chances of success and there are platforms that you can do many of these tasks and practices, all in one place…making it relatively easier for you.
There you have it.
You can actually get ahead in the writing universe to exactly where you want to be. You just need to start from somewhere, get the momentum going, work hard and indeed smart too. And you’ll be there earning the fees you deserve or getting the ideal customers you desire if self-publishing and selling via other channels is your preferred option. The sure thing is that self-publishing in the 21st century digital world we are in takes out many barriers. All you have to do get prepared, do the work and you may even find traditional publishers at your doorsteps begging to do business with you.
You are unstoppable. You can achieve excellence with gold (I mean dollars…lots of it) in your hands for good measure.
Go read, write, train more, form alliances and promote yourself such that you are booked solid.
Working and earning as folks line up waiting to buy from you surely feels good.
It’s all in your hands. Go for it. Start, expand and grow starting today. Right now.
Attend Writing conferences… even if it’s just once a year. From a one-day conference to a 3-day event, the networking opportunities, business insights and indeed the chance of getting better at your craft could be strongly magnified. It is a great investment. Do this whenever you get the chance. It is truly something else…from it alone you may get on a platter and indeed absorb all the highlighted tips to your solar plexus where it stays forever.
Get on with it then…
Write and Grow Rich! And you could be the possible next coveted prize winner to boot.
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