How To Be A Successful Writer: No Hype, Disappointments, and other Non-essential Stuff
Learn and apply the “Yoda” effect and become the writer you want to be.
All successful writers, at some point, have faced the same demons along the path to finding themselves and becoming the writer they want to be.
They’ve fallen prey to the noise and hype that you have to write a certain way, emulate another successful writer, be subjected to ridicule and nasty hurtful comments, and a host of other things that war against producing consistent valuable contributions to the world of readership.
I know I’ve faced my share of these negative things and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way that can apply to anyone who wants to become the best writer they can be and avoid most of the crap that is constantly challenging writers’ efforts to produce good quality writing that can make a difference in the world.
I’m sharing a few tidbits that work for me and I know they will work for anyone else who decides to follow the path that I learned from trial and error and some great mentors along the way.
It All Begins With Mindset
There is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. If you are not getting what you want out of life, it may be because you have not yet made it up in your mind.
God has given mankind a power weapon. It’s called the mind. You can turn it on or turn it off. It’s all up to you. The power to make up your mind is the power to change and control your destiny. Everything — health, wealth, family, career begins in your mind.
If want to be a successful writer, visualize it in your mind. See yourself writing and enjoying every moment of it no matter the challenge. See and feel the elation of creating hope, joy, success, and empowerment that you give to others through the power of your written word.
Know that you are qualified and worthy of being recognized and appreciated by people who read, follow, and trust what you write about.
Be what you want to be, do what you want to do, and have what you want to have. It’s all about mindset and taking action daily, consistently, and persistently to make it happen.
It doesn’t matter what anybody else says about you, thinks about you, or what they do. It’s all within you. You are the captain of your ship.
God himself has given instruction on the mindset one must have to be all one can and want to be. Make up your mind to be honorable, just, do whatever is commendable, strive for excellence and the rest will come in order. Phillippians 4:8. [NIV]
Do your best to not act out of rivalry or conceit. As you write think of those to whom you are writing more than about yourself. Give them value that will help solve their problems or delivers a pleasurable experience when they read and feel what you’ve written. Philippians 2:1–30.
Avoid being double-minded. Make up your mind and move. Take action. Even if it turns out that you need to make a change in course of your writing, your integrity will be intact and the people who count will still be interested in what you have to say.
Learn and Unlearn
Many of the things that can keep one from achieving everything they want to achieve are a result of bad habits that have been learned over years of life and due to experiences that may have scarred and shaped behavior or an environment that has taught one to be uncertain, intimidated, and even made to feel unworthy.
This kind of existence battles against the concept of being successful. It can also make a writer feel that he or she does not measure up to what it takes to be a good writer.
This is nonsense, but it’s real to the person who has learned to be this way. It’s referred to as the “imposter syndrome” which means just because it’s new or challenging and you feel you don’t measure up you feel that you’re an imposter for what the world deems to be a success.
Bad habits are like shackles and handcuffs. They restrict positive action, generate blindsight to reality, and reinforce thoughts of insecurity. The only way to fight them is to take massive action.
No matter what it is you want to do, there is always a positive avenue to accomplish it. You can unlearn bad habits by replacing them with good habits, one at a time. Being or becoming a great writer is no different. The common denominator is it takes action.
You must unlearn bad habits by studying the art of writing, the structure and frameworks of good writing, the power of storytelling, the use of words to create a movie scene inside the mind of the reader that compels attention and makes it part of his or her life.
None of this will happen unless action is taken. It cannot be halfhearted. You either do it or don’t do it. I refer to this as the “Yoda effect.”
Perhaps you are familiar with the tremendously successful “Star Wars” series of movies wherein there is the very old, wise, and very powerful teacher of the character Luke Skywalker.
His name is Yoda. He taught Luke to become a Jedi Warrior. Yoda became exasperated and frustrated with Luke because some of the bad habits he had learned caused him to resist unlearning.
Yoda insisted he must unlearn before he could learn the secret to becoming a Jedi Warrior. In one scene Yoda makes an ultimatum to Luke. You must unlearn or not become a Jedi Warrior. Luke replied that he would try. Yoda immediately snapped back. No, you must unlearn and “do, or do not. There is no try.”
Being or becoming a successful writer is no different. You must unlearn bad habits and learn new ones and then you must “do, or do not. There is no try.”
Commit to learning which means there will be challenges and sometimes things that don’t produce what you want. These are not mistakes they are lessons. One learns from lessons. Thinking shortcomings are mistakes set you up for failure and falling into a mental fog that clouds visions of success.
Create a System or Structure For Writing Articles and Follow It
Success always leaves clues. One of the clues of success is there is a system that usually applies to creating the successful results that have been accomplished.
Writing is no different. It does have a framework or success pathway. The names of the systems or steps may not be the same but the concepts and applications are always the same. They are:
(1) Don’t get caught up on claps, likes, accolades, and congratulations.
(2) Write to provide value and help to your readers.
(3) Develop a tough mentality and resistance to ridicule, haters, and other nonessential stuff.
(4) Write with the following basic structure
- (a) Always have a strong, captivating headline full of benefits for the reader. Your headline should have a main keyword and it should be spread throughout the body of your article in a naturally flowing way that makes reading sense. This drives home the point of your subject and keeps the reader engaged to keep reading.
- (b) Have a lead or opening paragraph that pulls the reader in and triggers their mind to think “this is something I should read.”
- (c) Point out the problem or challenge the reader is likely having and aggravate it a bit to make the point stick.
- (d) Lead the reader to the solution of the problem or challenge they face with information within the body of your article or publication. Show them the benefits and how to apply them so their pain is removed or the pleasurable experience they seek can be achieved with what you’re providing within what you’ve written. Be sure to back up what you say with well-researched information and link to relevant sources that back up what you say. Use images or videos that reinforce your message.
- (e) Present a powerful call to action to encourage or challenge them to put into action what you’ve suggested which will lead them to solve their problem or getting what they want. Use words, terms, and phrases, that picture in their mind what their world will look like after they’ve applied what you’ve written.
Being a writer is a wonderful thing. It provides an opportunity to share yourself with the world and to help people better their lives.
Writing success is really a matter of mindset. What other people say or disagree with you about does not define who you are. Only you can do that.
When it’s all said and done, it’s about who you are and the unique value and contributions that only you can make that count. Never let anyone or anything take that power away from you.
You can make a difference. As a writer, you have been given the power and privilege to make a change — to cause an action to be taken or a thought process to take place that might not have happened otherwise.
There are people, entities, and organizations that need to hear from you and what you have to say and contribute. Focusing on these points and forgetting about all the noise, hype, and disappoints will help you stay the course, create your own pathway and the world will take notice. Everything else is non-essential stuff.
Write to provide value and help others. Keep in the forefront of your mind and ask these questions. Does this help anyone? Does it solve a problem? Will it provide a pathway to pain relief? Will this give someone hope? How does this provide a pleasurable experience?
Use the information and steps in this article for a framework to achieve writing success and rinse and repeat it in every article or publication. Make changes as you learn other techniques along the way and constantly refer to and learn from comments made on your writing, whether good or bad, and never ever give up.
Lastly, don’t ever try to be like any other writer. It’s impossible. God made every human being different, distinct, and unique.
Learn from others always, but never fall into the mistake of trying to be like them.
“Be yourself, everyone else is taken.” — Oscar Wilde.