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The Epic 4,000-Word Guide to Differentiating Yourself as a Writer

11 November 2017

From Medium:

It started when one of my friends made a surprising change.

“I’m going to focus on my YouTube presence more,” he said. “I feel I’m going to be able to differentiate myself there.”

Then he said:

“It’s hard to differentiate yourself as a writer.”

Truthfully, I’m a little jealous. He will spend the next year romping around Pittsburgh with a camera and a cute toddler. I assume his popularity will skyrocket.

. . . .

Maybe you want to be a Writer with a capital W. You scrawl random words on post it notes and wake up in the middle of the night to jot something down in your notebook. You want to see your name on a cover.

If so, I have awful news for you:

My friend is right.

It’s difficult to separate yourself as a writer. Your Instagram friends will cross the world and shoot infinite exotic and beautiful locations. You will lock yourself in a room, pushing buttons to try and express how you feel. The latter is not a natural thing.

. . . .

In order to chunk this monster post up a little, I’ve divided the key components into three sections:

  • Why You Should Even Bother Writing
  • 10 Ways to Outstrip Your Writing Competition
  • Practical Steps to a Viral Post

Link to the rest at Medium

Advertising-Promotion-Marketing, Social Media

5 Comments to “The Epic 4,000-Word Guide to Differentiating Yourself as a Writer”

  1. I tried to read the full post _The Epic 4,000-Word Guide to Differentiating Yourself as a Writer_. I made a pdf and will come back to it later. There were a lot of words that bounced around saying things that did not hang together as a narrative, so he lost me about a quarter way through.

    I’m in the middle of reading _Murder He Wrote_ the memoir by Donald Bain, who died last month.

    Donald Bain, Widely Read Author (but Not by That Name), Dies at 82
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/26/obituaries/donald-bain-dead-widely-read-author-but-not-by-that-name.html

    He lived an amazing life, and few people knew he wrote the books that he did. He was happy with that.

    This is a quote posted on TPV before:

    You should write, first of all, to please yourself. You shouldn’t care a damn about anybody else at all. But writing can’t be a way of life; the important part of writing is living. You have to live in such a way that your writing emerges from it.

    – Doris Lessing

    Said another way:

    Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

    – Gustave Flaubert

    Those quotes make more sense to me, and it didn’t take 4000 words to say it. HA!

  2. I skimmed (TL;DR) and got the feeling ‘writing’ here consisted in creating content for blogs and such, not creating readable fiction.

    ‘Going viral’ didn’t mean getting your fiction read – it meant having lots of people like your posts.

    Not particularly helpful for fictioneers.

  3. My .02: we differentiate ourselves through our seeing, not through our writing as writing. Who wouldn’t want to see the world as Updike saw it? Luckily for him he had the subject-verb stuff down enough that he could report back what he’d encountered.

  4. Your Instagram friends will cross the world and shoot infinite exotic and beautiful locations. You will lock yourself in a room, pushing buttons to try and express how you feel. The latter is not a natural thing.

    Writing is natural for writers.

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