What No One Ever Tells You About Writing
It has given me a lot of clarity of thought.
Writing has taught me how to structure my thoughts and views — this has helped me even in casual conversations to be more succinct and impactful. It has also helped me to become a story-teller.
I am not perfect, but I am definitely better than before I took up writing.
It has improved my language and communication skills immensely
I always thought language is my weakness, yet to be able to articulate your thoughts, language is the only medium. And writing articles has helped me in using the right vocabulary, using fewer words to convey the same message and use artistic phrases.
It has helped me reflect on my life, my choices, my achievements and my failures.
Every day we have a billion thoughts and a million stories we want to tell. Writing has given me that avenue to explore my creative potential and to write stories that motivate others.
And that’s what I want to address in this article.
Most advice from readers tends to focus on “How to Earn…” articles. I am sure there is a lot of valuable lessons and insights that the writer wants to share, but my concern is they seldom talk about the other several benefits they receive.
- How writing helped them discover themselves
- How writing helped them learn the basics of content creation and marketing techniques
- How writing helped them get that much-needed dopamine from seeing those green notifications and knowing this outer world who relate to their thoughts and ideas
- And lastly, how their writing journey began. How they gradually acquired content creation skills before they started seeing any money.
Chasing money before acquiring any of these skills is futile
It will lead to failure and demotivation. It’s a cliched saying, but it’s so true — Don’t chase money, chase the skills, money would follow.
Money is definitely a big motivator, but it should not be the only goal.
Even a job at 7/11 earns you good money — it will at least cover your rent and living expenses. But it doesn’t give you job satisfaction — unless customer service is your passion.
You chose writing because you want to exploit your potential as a writer, as a storyteller. So, tell your story.
People are waiting to hear an excellent story — trust me; there is a shortage of storytellers in this world. Not everyone has those skills. It’s an art that you develop over the years.
The ‘How to earn…’ stories strangely remind me of the ‘Work from Home’ scams that promises you a 6-figure salary, but nothing significant ever comes out of it.
Not to say writing is a scam. The system works, and you earn money from your story if the story has some unique content and gets decently publicised.
Everyone has a different recipe of success and what works for some might not work for others who want to follow that formula.
Because there is no unique formula, everyone needs to write their own formula.
Here’s my formula
Success = Believe in yourself + Create good content + Trust the system
The articles I publish on my personal experiments almost always get curated. These are also the highest-earning ones for me personally. Possibly because these are the ones where I have believed in my values and principles to conduct a personal experiment and then utilised those first-hand findings or learnings to compose my article.
Read my very first article on Social Media or Asocial Life — It got curated in ‘Social’, back when I didn’t even understand the meaning of curation. Just believe in the system — It works!
Here are a few non-monetary things that I discovered about writing in the last few months
- Connecting with the tribe and community — I have connected with a lot of different writers on social media who have helped edit my articles, advised me on titles and who have clapped generously for my articles. We have shared our plight of not being able to write as often as we want to and laughed at the funny comments on the posts we receive at times. You need this community to grow and support you in your writing journey.
- Writing to me is like being part of a fantastic journey, just like in trekking
- The thrill of seeing those notifications — those comments, claps, mentions, tweets are all — again cannot stress more on the engagement aspect and how fulfilling it is. I welcome all good, bad, ugly, meaningful and stupid comments — I learn from each one of them. I engage with most people who find my stories useful.
- It has helped me in discovering myself and organising those million thoughts in my mind. Also helped me in clearly identifying my strengths and my weak spots.
These are just a few small yet significant benefits of writing or any content creation for that matter. And if you want to become a ‘creator’ seek for these benefits, the money will follow.
If you are already on this path and haven’t seen any money, maybe, it’s time to ask yourself — have you enjoyed the journey so far?
- If yes, just continue a little longer, money would follow.
- If no, then it’s time to enjoy writing, discovering your writing style, hitting that publish button (even if your article isn’t perfect) and not stress about money for a little while.
I’d be lying if I say I don’t write for money. I do.
But in the current phase that I am in, where I am discovering myself as a writer, learning new skills, understanding what works — Money helps in validating those thoughts.
When people can relate to what I am thinking and what I believe in, that boosts my self-confidence and motivates me to create more such content that the reader finds useful.
So the focus for me is to give something useful as a takeaway instead of verbal vomit that even I would be embarrassed to read a few months from now.
And in doing so, I have actually received a lot more from writing, from my readers and from Medium.
Overall, it has given purpose to my life
Every day coming back from work, I open my laptop and start working on my blog — some days I write, others I promote and engage with others, but the most exciting part of my life is knowing what I am passionate about.
It has stayed with me for 10 months now and I am not tired of it.
In fact, I think about writing 24*7 — it has become a little more than a passion project for me — something that wakes me up in the morning and keeps me awake at night (quite literally.)
And if that’s something that you can relate to as well, it’s time we move beyond the dollar value of each article and look at the writing experience as a whole.