You may be one of those writers who doesn’t give a rat’s ass if anyone ever reads — or likes — what you write. Perhaps you write only to exorcise personal demons and writing about them is much cheaper than a session with your psychiatrist.
It’s quite possible you read about other writers making a living, a really good living, on Medium but you’re on target to make a whopping .30 cents. It’s a crushing moment in your writing career (of three whole months) and it’s so crippling you decide to write once in awhile while you search for other “less taxing” revenue streams.
Maybe you write because in your mind “other hobbies” you’re interested in are too damned expensive. Sports may not be your jam. You can’t afford a sail boat, but it doesn’t matter because you’re scared to death of water. You can’t dribble a basketball with both hands. Maybe the farthest you’ve ever thrown a baseball or football is exactly three and a half feet. You gave golf a try way back when, but your score resembled a lotto payout and you dug up more divots and holes than a family of gophers. You even tried roller and ice skating and almost broke a hip when you fell on your ass.
So now you’re sitting in front of your computer because you checked the calendar and six months has passed. It’s time for your bi-annual writing episode.
As the first President Bush once said, “Not gonna do it.”
The purpose of this piece is not to serve up foolproof tips and tricks guaranteed to make you a better writer. I’m not going to tell you what to write. I’m not going to disclose five magical things you need to do when you finally decide to write. You won’t hear me recommending mantras you can hum as you snort incense and try to get your writing mind in the writing middle.
Besides, unless this is the first article you’ve ever read on Medium, I’m willing to bet you’ve already gorged on all the “make yourself a better writer” improvement articles ad nauseum.
What I’m trying to do here is get you ready for the “Show”. Right now, you and I are sitting in the minor league. We only have a few people coming to the game.
Yeah it sucks. I hear ya. I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to sit on my ass doing nothing expecting the call to come. I’m going to keep on honing my skills until I reach the day I crank out “A” game material so often I get that call up to the major leagues.
I’m trying to prepare you too so listen up.
If you’re planning to write something only twice a year you’ve already doomed yourself to a “C” game or should I say a “Z” game. You gotta get a whole lot better than that. You better figure out how to bring your “A” game brothers and sisters. The competition is fierce (that’s right I said competition — there are only so many readers to go around) and a lot of my brother and sister authors have been pounding the keys for a long, long time.
A long time.
They understand what it takes to publish “A” game material. They also understand what their audience wants to read and they feed them a steady diet of it on a daily basis.
Yeah, I said daily.
Those “A” game players write every day, sometimes three or four articles a day and yet sometimes, they only publish one piece that day. Why? Because they know the other three articles weren’t their “A” game. The others weren’t as polished, didn’t draw the reader in and in fact, read like shit.
Successful writers understand the writing game. They’ve paid their dues in the minor league just like we’re doing now. They worked their ass off to get to the “Show” and now they rarely (if ever) step on the Medium playing field or any other media form without bringing their “A” game. They know it’s the only way to win.
Yes, fledgling writer. The ONLY WAY.
You can read all the — How to Make a Million Dollars Writing — and other uplifting, orgasmic articles out there in droves all you want, but it won’t get you closer to being a successful writer.
Writing until you discover what your readers want to read — God Bless you, you just got curated —and stringing words together over and over until you craft “A” game pieces is the only way you’ll reach the promised land. Only then will you feast on the manna the Medium gods shower upon you.
Only then will you get called up from the minor league to the “Show”. So you’ve got to be willing to do the work to achieve your “A” game. As a writer you’ve got to figure out how to bring your “A” game day in day out.
Unless you just don’t care.
If that’s the case I hear you can pick up a set of golf clubs at Sports Academy for next to nothing.
Knock yourself out digging gopher holes.
P.G Barnett is the author of the Gifter’s Ring series. His works, A Balance of Evil, Return of the Brethren and The Power of the Three are available for purchase.
Let’s keep in touch — pgbarnett.com