Writing is Hard

black vintage typewriter

When I decided to take off down my own path and see what I could forge out of my likes, dislikes, and skills, one thing I put on that list was this blog. When you are working on a blog and hope to gain a following, you can pour your heart, soul, blood, sweat, and tears into it and, in the end, end up with a bunch of things you wrote but no traction, no followers, no impact made. No matter how good you think your writing is, you are up against a lot of competition.

Beyond the established publishers that we all know and love and sometimes hate, there are millions of independent authors just like you and me. We all want to write that best-selling novel or blog that gets hundreds of thousands of hits per month. We all want that, but very few achieve it. The reason being that the market is flooded. There is so much writing of all different types available on the Internet that it can be hard to weed out the nonsense to get to the good stuff.

On Twitter, I am subscribed to a few topics about writing and independent authorship. I see the writers lifts and promotions and the requests for beta reviews and such, but I also see a lot of writing that is not going to have enough impact to make a difference anywhere, let alone land a book or advertising deal. I am not saying the writing is bad, but most of what I have seen is not going to go much further than a few dozen followers on Twitter. In my opinion, this is because the writing is conservative. Again, not all of it, but enough of it that I can say you are just getting lost in an ocean of letters that gets deeper every time someone takes a whim to write a story or start a blog.

Some of what I have seen seems short and rushed. Some are grammatically correct but wander all over the place within those limits. Sure we have writers’ freedom, but if the reader can not follow where you are going, that freedom just became a prison that you have locked yourself into the first time someone reads one of your works. Some others seem very conservative, like you are filtering everything that you write to appease as many people as possible while still trying to get a watered-down version of your message across. First impressions are everything, especially when it comes to writing. These days time is money. If someone takes the time to read one of your works, it needs to be worth every penny of the cost of the work and the cost of their time to read your work. Any writing is either entertainment or informational; you have to beat what a computer, movie, or video game could do in that amount of time.

Your writing needs to be from the heart and the subconscious, the parts of your humanity that are less controlled by human logic. In some cases, the deep parts of your person. The dark places you would not normally want to go. You need to turn that into writing, reach deep down, down into even the feelings that hurt you, and mold that into your character, story, novel, or next blog post. If you filter what you are writing, you are not telling the true story. If you filter what you are writing, the soul of the work is lost to a world that has grown way too strict on what we can say and read.

Controversy and darkness garner more attention than anything else. This is an unfortunate human trait that you must tap into. If you want to draw people into your writing and have them come back for more, you have to tap into that primordial cortex, the deepest part of the human mind. You must do this using your words and the images you can form with those words. Skimming the surface and stories lacking detail can not do this. Sure, you want to leave the reader thinking, but you have to give them enough detail to form a picture in their mind and then another and then another to keep them going. If they have to think about it too much, they will get bored. Once the full picture is built over a few paragraphs or a few chapters, then you can drop the mental bomb that makes the reader say, “Wow, what’s going to happen next.” and they keep reading.

These are just my thoughts and opinions that some may want to ponder the next time you come up with an idea for a blog post or a story. Your story will never please everyone. Depending on the topic and how deep you go into the human psyche, your story may anger some, but they will remember you either way. You can either be remembered for how great your story was and have people waiting for more, or for how shallow and flat it was to never be read again.

The choice and the power are in your hands. How you handle the consequences of those choices is what builds your character, improves your writing ability, and could eventually make you into that great author that we all want to be.

-Parting Wisdom
–Write a good story, they will read. Write an epic story, they will watch.

–Bryan Vest

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