You don’t need to ‘live’ to become a successful writer.
I was 21 when I announced to my friends, “I want to be a Quora Top Writer.”
One of my closest friends told me, “That’s IMPOSSIBLE. There’s no way you can do it!”
I should have been sad, but he’d challenged my inner competitive brat. “Why is it impossible?” I retorted.
“Because the existing Top Writers are entrepreneurs and PhDs. They have years of experience when you’re just a college student. They write on 20+ topics. How can you match that?”
My friend didn’t mean to discourage me. He truly believed it was impossible for a novice like me who hadn’t even started her life to make it among the elite group of CEOs and public servants who were awarded the “Top Writers” on Quora every year.
There was some truth in what he said. But not enough to make me want to give up.
I had no experience, but I had imagination.
I couldn’t write about how I sold my business for $2Bn, but I could write about my life as a girl in an engineering college.
I couldn’t write about how I cracked the UPSC exams in one try, but I could write about the boy I fell in love with when I was 17 and learned what heartbreak tastes like.
I couldn’t tell stories about my first start-up, but I could write about my life in North-East India and how many people from my country often called me “Chinese.”
I kept writing, and my confidence kept growing.
Single-sentence answers blossomed into long paragraphs of carefully researched material. Fictional pieces turned into personal stories, and before I knew it, I’d found my niche.
Readers from all over the world LOVED my stories. My followers started increasing at a super-fast rate (often, more than 100 new followers per day), and in 2016, I was one of the youngest Indians to get a “Top Writer” tag.
What you can learn from my story
I dedicate this story to all the amazing writers out there who think their stories have no value. Your story might not be unique and might have been written by 1000s of people before you, but you LIVED it, and that’s what makes it authentic.
Sure, reading about billionaires and super successful people is inspiring. But readers also love stories about the first time you cooked Maggi, the time you made an embarrassing mistake in front of the whole classroom, the lovely memories you spent with your college friends, and the lessons you learned from all these experiences.
You don’t have to achieve amazing things for your story to be worthwhile. You just have to live and let your honesty drip into your stories.
It’s as simple as that. It’s as complicated as that.
What’s one misconception that held you back from writing your stories and how did you overcome it? Let me know in the comments.
I’m no longer 21 now and make a full-time living from my writing. If you want to learn how to be a highly paid writer, join the waitlist for my FREE course here.