Don’t fall into the same trap most beginner writers do.
In a lifetime of writing and two years of being a full-time writer, if there’s one lesson I swear by, it’s this -
You don’t have to be perfect while starting your writing journey.
It takes time and practice to improve your craft.
Learn to identify what daily habits are hindering your progress. In the past two years, I’ve stopped doing some things that I believe have fast-tracked my progress.
You’ll find multiple articles, courses, and books on how to become a better writer. If you want to be a successful writer in 2023, it’s equally important to know what you’re doing wrong that’s keeping you from reaching the top.
I’ve created this guide to highlight five things you need to stop doing to taste success as a writer.
Marketing yourself as the “best” in something
Being “the best” in something means there are others.
You aren’t unique or special.
If you focus on proving yourself as the best writer, you’d take the challenging route. You’ll create competition for yourself that remains a subjective comparison.
The key is to create a new category instead of trying to surpass the topmost creators, and you can become the undisputed leader.
"None of this "hey-I'm-slightly-cheaper-slightly-faster-slightly-cooler-slightly-more-refreshing" stuff. That's a rat's game, and forces you to live in a constant state of competition. The best way to grow is to CREATE a new category - not to compete within an existing one. Aka: create a category of 1." - Nicolas Cole, How To Create A Category Of 1
Niche down to a category by:
- Identifying the market gap where your skills and interest can be useful
- Adding a specific sub-category to an existing niche so it becomes unique.
For example- You like writing “romantic stories,” but this niche is already crowded. You can present it uniquely if you add a sub-category to it, let’s say, “romantic stories for military couples.”
Figure your unique category to find a specific target audience and elevate your chances of success.
Comparing your journey with other creators
Engaging with other creators on social platforms is a part of the content creation journey. It enhances your visibility and helps you form connections.
There’s a thin line between following other creators and feeling insecure about their journey.
Judging someone’s post for getting 1000s of views when you think yours is way better won’t help. It doesn’t make sense because writing is an art that will always be subjective.
No two artists can have the same journey, process, or way of expression.
Comparing yourself to other creators leads to procrastination, self-doubt, and unproductivity.
Instead, track your progress by monitoring your user engagement. Knowing what your audience wants from you is a perk of writing in this digital age you must leverage.
Use social media metrics to your advantage and improve your hold on your audience to become a successful writer.
Measuring your progress by a goal someone else set
When you write professionally, you must have some milestones based on your journey. You can’t expect 1 million followers by creating content for just a month.
Don’t set a goal only because someone else’s successful writing career looks like that.
Every writer’s journey is unique, and so are their goals.
Your writing goals depend on your skill level, experience, writing style, expectations, and the current projects you’re working on.
Don’t measure your progress as per someone else’s goals. Set challenging yet achievable goals that allow you to practically measure your progress.
Starting in a crowded place
You don’t want to make your writing journey more challenging by choosing a platform that already has several experts in your niche.
For example, LinkedIn is filled with self-improvement gurus. Starting there as a self-improvement expert isn’t the best way to scale.
Even if your content has value, it might get lost there.
You can also start posting contrarian opinions to stand out.
Not utilizing their unfair advantages
The most underrated skill a writer has is their uniqueness.
Instead of adding their perspective, aspiring writers often try to mimic popular writers. There’s nothing wrong with taking inspiration from them, but don’t forget to find your voice.
Your special perspective can make or break any topic you write on. Technically, everything has been said and written already. It shouldn’t stop you from telling your story or adding your take on anything.
Share your experiences, stories, and opinions to make your writing authentic. Focus on embracing your individuality as a writer. You’ll know the value you can bring to the table.
Use your uniqueness as your superpower if you want to make it big as a writer. If you’ve not found your style yet, here are a few things to begin with:
- Experiment without hesitation by writing on public platforms
- Try different techniques like storytelling, copywriting, blog posts, etc.
- Be open to feedback and iterate accordingly
Leverage your strengths and perspective as a writer to save yourself from the risk of creating flat, predictable, and generic content.
You must hone your craft and build your personal brand to become a successful writer in 2023. With the ever-changing digital trends, reflecting on things you might be doing wrong is also equally important.
Writing is an art. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach. You can still save time by following this guide so that your efforts don’t go in vain.
Here are the top five mistakes most writers make in their writing journey:
- Marketing themselves as the “best” in something
- Comparing their journey with other creators.
- Measuring progress by a goal someone else set
- Starting in a super crowded place
- Not utilizing their unfair advantages
Make subtle changes to your content creation process to not let these mistakes hold you back. Remember to —
- Focus on what makes you unique,
- Set your own goals, and
- Take action toward your dreams.
The best part is you can stop making these mistakes from now on, no matter where you’re on your journey. Take a moment to reflect using this guide to know where you’re going wrong and how you can work on it.