Everyone Has an Opinion on Writing and Here Is Mine

woman in white long sleeved shirt holding a pen writing on a paper

Introduction

So, you want to become a writer?

7 ways to be a successful writer.

Things I wish I knew before I started writing.

You must have come across such articles on Medium and other blogs when you first decided to start your writing journey and started actively looking for advice to help you become a successful writer. I am no different. Even I did.

But more than demystifying the whole process, I got muddled with different opinions and lost track of why I started writing in the first place.

Let me first tell you why I started writing on Medium

I loved writing right from my childhood. I would pester my parents to buy me a diary every time we went to a gift shop. And then I would write all sorts of gibberish and sometimes meaningful prose and poems in it.

This tryst with writing carried on to my college years. With the advent of smartphones and the easy accessibility of the Internet, I started exploring different avenues to express myself. I wrote on Quora quite frequently. And it was only in May 2021 that I got introduced to Medium.

But I guess expressing myself by writing just for the sake of it, just for the love of it is the noblest pleasure that I derive.

Writing gives me otherworldly joy. And just like most of you, more than wealth or fame, I crave a sense of belonging, a feeling of connection, and a pat of appreciation; of course, constructive criticism is also always welcome.

But I guess expressing oneself by writing just for the sake of it, just for the love of it is the noblest pleasure that I derive.

I am listing below the following points that one should consider before starting actively pursuing writing:

Figure out why you want to write

In a personal development class in my college, we were coached that before starting any endeavor we should ask ourselves Why? Why start it? Why do it?

And I was the only one in the whole class who raised his hand and objected. I sincerely and politely said that I don’t think we should always search for the reason before embarking on something, especially a passion project. Sometimes, we should just listen to our gut feeling or intuition, pursue something just for the sake of it and forget everything else.

But if passion and sheer love are the only two reasons why you write, then my opinion on writing will help you.

So, if your target with writing is to earn money or establish yourself as a full-time writer then you need to do all sorts of things apart from writing like marketing, SEO-optimization, listening to your readers, being consistent, and writing algo-friendly articles.

But if passion and sheer love are the only two reasons why you write, then my opinion on writing will help you.

Make it big in life

Are you writing to be successful on Medium, in other words, to make it big on Medium? Well, if you follow other bloggers and write consistently you will probably make it to those approximately 7% of writers who are making more than $100 on Medium monthly and could also gain significant followers on Medium along the way. But then what? Will your soul be satisfied with money, fame, and success? If yes, then you don’t need to read it any further.

But if you are craving soul satisfaction, then make it big in life. Make it big in your own eyes.

Make it big in your life

Make it big in your own eyes

Don’t try too hard to be a reader-pleaser

Well, that may sound like a contrarian piece of advice, especially on Medium where a member pays $5 monthly to derive some value out of it, but I strongly believe the first and foremost person you should please with your writing is you, yourself! Readers come second.

I strongly believe the first and foremost person you should please with your writing is you, yourself! Readers come second.

I believe if you are writing from a pure place then whatever you will write, readers will relate to it and you will find a community of like-minded people growing with you.

I am very well aware of the concept of IKIGAI, the Japanese secret to a successful life, which says that to find true happiness you should do:

● Something you are good at

● Something you love doing

● Something that the world needs

● Something for which you can be paid

But there has to be a priority among these four core values. What you love doing and what you are good at should take the front seats. And then come all the other priorities.

But, unfortunately, what I have been noticing is that writers are incessantly worried about what the readers or audience wants to read. They are worried about the SEO and trying to feed the algorithm of Medium so that they can get curated or earn more.

Well, I am not saying this is a bad approach but more emphasis is given to the superfluous and less to the core aspect of writing itself.

I believe if you are writing from a pure place then whatever you will write, readers will relate with it and you will find a community of like-minded people growing with you.

Write for the love of it

You must have heard that when you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work. In the case of writing, when you write to meet a deadline or to meet a word count or to be algo-friendly then you are not writing for the love of it but to be more readable, more SEO-friendly, more reader-friendly, and so on. Writing will feel like a burden then.

Do you think Leo Tolstoy while writing War and Peace would have thought, “Oh, I should write this novel in about 300 pages because then it would be more saleable, more reader-friendly”?

Or do you think Rabindranath Tagore would have thought, “Oh, I should write Gitanjali in about 300 pages, maybe it would then earn me a Nobel Prize”?

No, they must have written till a voice in their heart said, “ Ok! I think I have given it my all, it feels complete now.”

Connect with your inner self

Find your internal motivation. It is very easy to get lost in the noise, all the advice given by bloggers, and looking at the screenshots that show their four-digit earnings.

You start with the right reasons but looking at all these things, you deviate wanting to replicate their success stories in your life. So, you start imitating, you start borrowing their writing styles, their strategies but it won’t work for long. You will run out of creative juices.

If you are a sincere writer with a pure, creative soul, then the best way forward is to connect with your inner writer.

Fortunately, before falling into the trap, I took a pause and reflected, “Do I want to become just like one of them?” The answer was a resounding NO!

If you are a sincere writer with a pure, creative soul, then the best way forward is to connect with your inner writer.

Conclusion

I don’t mean to say that you don’t need to read or you don’t need mentoring or inspiration. It is very much important. Even Roger Federer took coaching, well he has a coach currently as well, and he was inspired by Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras a lot. Although they were his idols, he never imitated them. He worked on his own style, his own way of playing.

So, my point is that you should try your best to find the inner writer while getting mentored and taking inspiration from great writers concurrently and keep on writing for the love of it.

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