How to Make Your Writing Worth Reading in 2021 and Beyond
What scares you most about writing?
I just found an article that listed 15 different fears writers experience. Chances are you’ve felt more than one of these. Here they are:
- No talent for writing
- Not believing you’re really a writer
- Looking like a fool in print
- Having nothing to say
- No life experience
- Feeling the system is rigged (and you can’t win)
- Having your writing rejected by editors, readers, and even your friends
- Failing to live up to your own sky high standards
- Watching others have more success than you
- Selling out to the mainstream
- Writing about the wrong thing
- Not finding the time to write
- Worrying you’ll never make enough money
Having one fear is bad enough. But if several of these have gripped you, you may have wanted to give up writing altogether.
These fears really all have one thing in common. It’s the belief that your writing isn’t worth reading. And as long as you believe that, it won’t be.
Is there any hope at all?
Belief makes all the difference in how you perform.
When I learned to ride a bike, my parents put training wheels on it. After I got comfortable riding, they took the training wheels away. My dad walked behind me for a while, then let go.
When I discovered I was pedaling without his steadying hand, my excitement knew no bounds.
Did I scrape my knees along the way? Yes, and I have the scars to prove it. But I can still ride a bike today because I earned the ability to do it.
If you struggle with writing something that’s worth reading, you can learn to do it better. You can earn the right to be heard.
You just have to be willing to endure some scrapes first.
The good news is wounds heal. You can get up when you fall down. And after you rise again, you’ll be better the next time you ride.
Do you believe you can become a writer whose work people love to read?
Build a healing community.
There’s a Facebook group for everything under the sun these days.
While starting your own can be an excellent way to build your following, there’s another reason you want to build a community.
During this pandemic, people feel more isolated than ever. Their friends and family are getting sick. Some have been hospitalized and had to do it without anyone they love by their side.
This has led some to turn to drugs and alcohol for comfort. Others have sunk into a bottomless pit of despair and loneliness. Worse still, some have taken their lives to escape the pain.
My favorite Bible teacher said someone told him when he was a young pastor that 7 out of every 10 people are suffering. It can be physical, emotional, or relational. What’s worse is that many suffer in silence because they think nobody cares.
The best medicine you can give is hope.
Hope makes the sun shine through the clouds of despair. It opens the door to a better tomorrow. It gives strength to get up one more time when someone has been knocked down again and again.
Hope draws people together.
Use that platform to plant and nourish the seed of hope. Then people will rise up and call you blessed.
Turn your failure into a blessing.
I spent a year writing my first book.
It sold a whopping 12 copies.
For 8 years, I gave up on the idea of writing another book. I blogged with no expectations. I hoped my messages would bless my friends, but I never believed I could bless strangers with my words.
10 years ago, I started doing freelance work. My first assignment was the company newsletter. The topic was leadership and I tackled the job with all the zeal I could muster.
Getting paid for it was pretty cool.
Then I got an email from the owner of the company.
“Frank, this series on leadership traits is great! You should put these into a book!”
I knew how to put the book together. I just needed to learn how to package it so people would buy it. I learned about keywords, blurbs, cover design, and formatting.
I did weeks of experiments. I tested and tried everything until I found what worked.
Four books and 6 years later, over 30,000 books have sold.
If I can do that, I believe you can, too!
The truth about success.
The people who succeed aren’t necessarily smarter than you. They may have started with less than you. The one thing that set them apart can set you apart, too.
They learned to turn failure into a blessing.
Hard times teach us more than success ever can. If you made it through a difficulty, you’re superbly equipped to lead others through similar difficulties.
Your call is to share what you learned with others who struggled like you did. Be the light in their darkness. Help them get up when they’re down and see no hope.
Do that and you’ll turn your failure into something that blesses others.
Do it often enough and you’ll find more opportunities to make a difference that only you can make.
Don’t wait until everything is in order to begin.
Share your hard-earned wisdom with people. Offer yourself as a resource to lead other people down a better road. That’s your reason for taking up space on this earth. Pay it forward, and you’ll be paid with more opportunities to serve.
Today is the day to begin. If you haven’t started, do it now. You’re not guaranteed tomorrow, another week, another year, or anything. People are waiting for you to share your wisdom so be about it. Learn enough to go — and go. Maybe you’ve already learned enough. All you need to do to make a difference is take the first step. The first step is sharing your story.
May 2021 be the year you make the most of everything that’s happened to you. May your past move you to do things today that make a better tomorrow for you and everyone your message touches.