I’ve been rereading this article by Ryan Holiday at The Next Web for a few days now. It’s given me both inspiration and total anxiety towards the way I write. I want to be a better and more active writer. I also want to publish one book before I’m 25. Truth is, I’m pretty lazy about both of those things. I shouldn’t be ok with that.
Here are a few selections I found most interesting:
Writing is easy — there are thousands of graduates out there every year who can do it. But being able to wrap your head around a big idea and knowing how to present to the reader? That’s the tough part. That’s where the race — and the sale — is won.
Isn’t that that truth? I’ve had friends who have gone to school for business, music, journalism, and any number of degrees under the rainbow. Each of them fancy themselves a good writer, but only a few of them can adequately put their writing into practice and allocate the right words to their ideas.
How many instructional books have you bought? I buy them on occasion. When I do, it’s because the information I garnered from a 10 minute skim in Barnes & Noble is greater than that of the rest on the shelf. The way information is presented is crucial.
When you’re sharing what’s important to you, when you’re sharing truth that you feel people need to say, you will find that the difficult parts of writing fall away. You’ll stay up late at night to work on it because it matters to you. You’ll put up with rejection because you have no choice.
Passion, guys. That’s all it comes down to. I made a choice in 2014 only write about the things I’m passionate about. There is no benefit to my readers or myself if I’m spurting out 10,000 words a week on a metalcore band I’ve never listened to. Those 10,000 words – and the hours I spend typing those words – are much better allocated to a topic of my interest. The output is more likely better informed and more enjoyable to read. I’m choosing that.
Too many writers separate their “work” life from their real life so they can justify simply spending time “writing” without any urgency. They don’t make the connection that it’s all part of a larger whole that can be used to their advantage.
This is my biggest struggle. I work a full-time job in a retail store. I don’t hate my job, but I would much rather be spending those 40 hours a week doing something I consider constructive and more enjoyable. I write this blog and my contributions to other outlets on my breaks, days off, and when I get home. I’d love to make more time for writing, but that will recquire some major changes. Changes I’m not fully prepared to take in one big leap.
There is a lot more to this article for anyone who writes. Whether it’s a book, a blog, or something in-between, Holiday has some really good, if not gutsy, tips.