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The Key to Better Writing: Don't take yourself too seriously

by Ciarán Coleman 6 months ago in advice

Heres the number one key to become a better writer

Writing is just one of those things that, as humans, we need it to live, just like any other form of art or expression. You could say it separates living from just surviving. We're surrounded by massive amounts of talent, excellence and perfection everywhere we look, from just browsing the internet to every single social media platform.

So why is writing so difficult?

Countless people want to write a book at some point in their life yet only a fraction of them get round to doing it and even fewer to publishing. We're weighed down by the impossibly high standards enveloping the world of writing today and it's terrifying to put our hearts and souls into a project that could very likely fade into obscurity or worse, get a couple of bad reviews or ratings. So we start to question everything.

How do I create something good in such a saturated market? How will my work stand out? Is my story genre or niche profitable? And even if I find all the answers to these questions, will my work ever be perfect?

I'm going to let you in on a little secret.

It never will be.

This is the simple basis of art itself. And that includes writing. We make art for ourselves - its up to everyone else to interpret it however they want. There's no such as thing as a piece of art being perfect. Even art you categorise as perfect is more than likely disliked by someone else. Writing is subjective. You will never be able to please everyone.

This isn't to say you shouldn't strive for excellence. You should always take pride in your work and that only comes when you do it to the best of your ability.

It's a very true fact in life that anything worth doing (and doing well) is hard. You can get great satisfaction and inner peace from working hard at your passions. So that's why I created this article for you.

Don't take yourself too seriously

This tip is essentially an amalgamation of what I've previously said, with a little twist. It can sound really demoralising to hear that your work will never be perfect or may never find its place in the world/marketplace - but here's the thing: it doesn't have to.

Remember when you were a kid and wrote stories just for the sake of building whole worlds from your imagination? Or maybe, you only started writing as an adult and wrote cause you fell in love with how a book unfolded its secrets as you read it.

Search for the passion behind your need to write and you’ll find yourself far more forgiving of your work. The more forgiving you are, the quicker you can potentially release your book, thus you gain more experience and thus you gain more chance of future success. Focusing on writing for the sake of the art is, funnily enough, your biggest chance at becoming successful.

The chances of any of us becoming the next Shakespeare or Stephen King or J.K. Rowling are few and far between, so why not write for the sole reason writing was even created - to tell a story.

If you are a writer, then your main concern should be what you're writing and how you are writing. Too many writers, both amateur and professional care far too much about the publication process or the current market and write purely to become the next big thing or to make a lot of money.

This won’t happen.

The key to becoming a better writer lies in not expecting yourself to be perfect or, rather, not taking yourself to seriously. The key to becoming better financially as a writer lies in writing the best stories you can, as much as you can, with a good sprinkling of luck. There is no market niche for books, particularly fiction, and even if there was by the time you finish your book it’s more than likely evolved.

It’s ok and natural to make mistakes, the most important thing is that you write.

A few helpful reminders to wrap up the key points that come under this essential writing tip:

  1. Ask yourself why you want to write, deep down, and hold onto that reason.
  2. Embrace your mistakes, learn from them and utilise them to benefit your story.
  3. Don’t hold yourself to the standards of prodigy playwrights and bestsellers.
  4. Understand there is a huge element of luck to your story being both successful and well received.
  5. Most importantly, write for yourself and for your story to be the best it can be.

Finnaly, I think it’s best if you treat writing as any other art. You don’t have to be a literary genius to write good stories. The Beatles couldn’t read music and they’re the best selling artists ever.

So there you have it, a neat little article on why you should really go a lot easier on yourself and your writing. Respect your abilities, don’t take yourself too seriously and most importantly... start writing!

Like this? Wanna see more? Check out my page for more content just like this. Feel free to leave a like or even leave a tip - Ciarán

Ciarán Coleman
Ciarán Coleman
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Ciarán Coleman

'There's no time for hatred, only questions

What is love, where is happiness

What is life, where is peace?

When will I find the strength to bring me release?'

- Jeff Buckley

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