Writing advice is great if it is simple.
You can waste a lot of time reading advice that doesn’t remotely help you. Or you can chose to get hammered by short but intense cleverness.
Tim Denning has more than 100M views over the last six years. He says, “ I didn’t study beautiful English essays or date Hemingway’s mother.”
I have read books on writing. But Tim Denning’s raw, emotional, unprofessional, and popular style can teach us a lot about writing — and succeeding — online.
1. Stop trying to be exceptional.
Don’t try to invent your style. Everything is a remix. Hardly 1% of information is unique. Focus on your personal experiences and how you understood that information.
2. If others copy your content, be thankful.
Never complain if people are copying or imitating your articles. Internet is like that. Learn to live with it and be thankful. They could have copied someone else too. You are lucky.
3. No story is a viral story.
Don’t try to write a viral story. You are free to make mistakes and screw headlines.
4. Quit perfection.
Do your best and hit publish. Get rid of perfection. Move on.
5. The writing process is nonlinear.
Most of your stories will fail to create an impact. That’s okay. Don’t fret over it.
6. We live in a crazy world.
People can like strange things. They may love your worst piece and hate your best story.
7. Reveal your vulnerable side
People want to know something silly you did and survived. They already know the sane things.
8. Try to help others.
New writers fail to see how helping others is helping yourself.
9. Take a break.
Taking a break from your writing is a writing tip. Small breaks recharge you for writing.
10. Embrace rejection.
Every writer faces rejection in writing life. Publications have the right to reject your pieces. Try again. Don’t quit.
11. Write different.
Don’t stick with one style. Write fiction, non-fiction, essays, short pieces, long pieces, and poems, if you like.
12. Don’t underestimate formatting.
If all your stories look the same, “format like an out-of-control Kardashian fan who spotted Kim with Kanye,” Tim suggests.
13. Remember how you wrote last year.
If you find your work embarrassing, you are on the right track.
14. Remember how you wrote five years ago.
If your writing from five years ago nauseates you, it’s all right. It should.
15. Remove extra words.
People don’t have time. When you are Stephen King, they’ll love to read every word you write. Until then, cut every extra word.
16. Writing is a habit.
Write more and write regularly — at a particular time. Publish as frequently as possible.
17. Disconnect from the result.
Write because you had something to say. Forget what happens next.
18. Forget fame.
Fame is a nightmare. People like Tim Ferriss or James Altucher can tell you how being famous makes life complicated.
19. Flow is the king.
Try to reach a state of flow if you want to succeed as a writer. Start early in the morning. Write the first draft and then take a break. Edit later.
20. Your writing process matters.
Amateur writers don’t have a writing process. To write regularly, you have to follow a routine that becomes your habit — or your second nature.
21. Break grammar rules.
If you want to break grammar rules, you are free to do that.
22. Allow yourself to make a mistake.
Don’t feel bad about a mistake you made. Let it be there. Your readers want to see your faulty human side.
23. “I felt it too.”
If you can give words to how many of us feel, you can connect with the reader quickly.
24. Write for five years.
Write. Publish. Repeat. After five years, you’ll be living a different life.
25. Life is uncertain. Start today.
“You could die tomorrow, so why not write today?” Tim asks.
You cannot easily imagine yourself writing better than Hemingway or Stephen King.
But writers like Tim Denning tell us that we can do it too.