Practice in Public
Published in

Practice in Public

This is an email from How to Not Suck at Writing, a newsletter by Practice in Public.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Do What You Don’t Want to Do, So You Can Do What You Love​

There’s one skill that’s crucial to building your writing career that has little to do with the writing itself.

Most people struggled to build their writing careers because they don’t master this one skill.

Most people just want to write, but they don’t want to do the dirty work that’s necessary to make a full-time living,

If you want to make serious money as a writer and build an audience, you have to be willing to do and I’m about to share next.

You Have to Handle This Tense Emotion

You have to be willing to do boring tasks, sit through monotonous tutorials, and perform mind-numbingly repetitive actions if you want to build a real writing career.

In short, you have to learn how to be bored.

The number one downfall I see with most writers is an inability to handle tedium.

Learning the tech skills required to build an audience is boring.

Certain techniques you can use to build an audience and land clients like reaching out to people 1 on 1 via email are tedious.

I make my online course videos as short and to the point as possible because taking courses isn’t the most electrifying experience in the world.

If you can handle tedium, though, you can learn a bunch of skills that will help you make money.

Here’s a short list of some skills I’ve picked up along the way:

  • Basic HTML prompts
  • How to build a WordPress website
  • How to use no-code tools like landing page software
  • Pitching blogs
  • Creating affiliate links
  • How to use email marketing software
  • Publishing a book on Amazon
  • Video editing
  • SEO research
  • Basic design using Canva
  • Uploading YouTube videos
  • Converting documents into lead-magnets

Just to name a few.

I could probably add another 100 skills and micro-skills I’ve picked up along the way.

The crazy thing about it all? I can do tech stuff seamlessly now. I can write a solid pitch from scratch without having to use my brain.

I did the work, which was hard, and it taught me this valuable lesson that I’m about to teach you.

Take Peace in Knowing This

I know the conversations that go on in your head.

“I’m not a tech person,” you tell yourself.

When you try to sit down and do some tedious task related to your writing career like setting up some software, your brain instantly just wants to shut down.

I’ve been there.

I remember the first time I made a WordPress website. It felt like blood was going to ooze out of my forehead. I was so frustrated I felt like throwing my computer against the wall.

But I did it.

It took two back-to-back 8-hour days, watching a bunch of tutorial videos, pausing every minute or so to try the step, trying the step only to mess it up and have to rewind the video and do it over again. But it worked.

Now? I can easily breeze through any WordPress-related task.

Once you have the skill it’s yours forever. Once you learn one set of skills, it’s easier to learn a related set of skills.

You have to get it out of your head that you’re incapable of doing certain tech-related and marketing tasks related to writing.

You have to learn how to build and how to sell. There’s no way around it.

The One Thing Most Writers Are Unwilling to do (Even Though It Would Help Them Make Tons of Money)

Doing manual outreach is the shortcut to success as a writer, but, again, it’s boring.

I remember one time I read this article about how to get a ton of people to share your blog posts. The strategy involved emailing 100+ people directly and building a relationship with them that would ultimately lead to sharing your post. It was time-consuming and boring, but it worked.

I send 50 DMs a day talking to people about my products. It’s boring, but it works.

If you’re a freelance writer, for example, you literally just need to send enough DMs and emails to potential clients until you hit your number.

I’ve reached out to some freelancers about joining my new program so I could help them scale.

Some of them said, “I can’t afford it.”

What they should’ve said was “I’ll go do some outreach, land clients, and get the money.”

If you’re willing to do grunt work, you can build your writing career much faster:

  • Commenting on big-name writers’ posts daily
  • Sending outreach emails to clients daily
  • Responding to every comment on your blog posts and social media posts

Boring, but effective.

You can brute force effort your way to success.

Eventually the Tide Turns

​After a certain point, you don’t have to do as much grunt work.

Opportunities come your way.

I make “passive income,” but it’s only because I did a bunch of work to reach that point.

My audience is so big that it compounds on its own, but I needed to create momentum first.

I get to do what I love now because I gritted my teeth and got the boring tasks done.

You have what it takes to build a successful writing career, but you need a level of effort that matches your ambitions.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store