I lost count of the number of emails I receive each day asking how to make money writing.
The answer is surprisingly simple.
If you want to get paid to write… How about you don’t suck?
How about you stop worrying about how to make money and start focusing on how to be fucking good at what you do?
Write something people want to read.
Write the thing that sets you on fire. Because your readers will feel the burn, too.
Be a better writer by showing your passion.
Forget about finding the storyline that will magically sell millions. If you don’t believe in it, if you don’t like it, no one else will either.
If you write about the thing that wakes you up at night, leaving you sweaty and short of breath, the power of your words will come through. The same thing happens when you write what you hate. Readers see it.
And if you don’t believe in what you’re writing, why would anyone else?
Which brings me to my second point.
You might be able to hide how you feel for a little while. You may even be able to write like someone else for a short time. But readers can tell when you’re not genuine. And it never lasts.
One of the easiest ways to be a better writer is to be YOU.
Don’t waste your time and energy faking it. And it takes an enormous amount of energy to pretend to be someone you’re not. Plus, it’s a disservice to your readers. It prevents you from showing off your story and unique voice.
As Michael Xavier always says, “No one can tell the story like you.”
Don’t be stingy. Show us who you are and what you have to say, as only you can.
Accept that everyone WON’T love you or your words. And know that’s perfectly okay.
Be true to yourself, to your voice, and you will succeed.
If you were a prostitute with a meth addiction, say so. If you were abused, tell us about it. If you had an idyllic childhood and managed to fuck up your life anyway, say that.
Hiding facts, altering the way you might normally say something, leaving out details you find embarrassing – all of that cheats your readers. And they know when you’re holding back. (Just like you’re mom knew when you were lying.)
Example: Plenty of people get upset about my swearing, especially my mother. For a while, I tried to clean up my language. I really did.
The whole time, I felt stifled and suffocated. More importantly, my work noticeably suffered.
I tried to change an aspect of who I am – my potty mouth – so my work would be more palatable to more people. What I learned instead was editing a part of my voice meant altering all of it.
Changing one aspect of how I wrote slowly permeated the rest of my voice. I became neutral, gray, fucking boring. Not me.
Bottom line: Shitty writers can market all day long and won’t earn a cent.
You want money for your work? Earn it.
Being a good writer is not easy. In fact, it’s one of the most difficult professions. It’s scary as fuck to put yourself on display, present your innermost thoughts with conviction and let go of what everyone else thinks.
But it’s the only way to do it. Write now.
Subscribe in the upper right hand corner and grab my free book A Writer’s Voice, designed to help you write like YOU. So you can say what you want to say, how you want to say it – and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks (and quit writing like a pretentious asshat). It matters.