Okay I'm bored so I'm going to give you some more tips. I don't know what's wrong with my brain lately but I feel too dumb to come up with my usual posts. So looks like you're getting facts two days in a row. Sad.
- What to write about
- How to get rid of writers block
- Keep a diary
- Befriend your demons
- Always delete the first paragraph
- Paragraph spacing
- How many times to proofread/edit your posts before publishing
- Being unpredictable = being interesting
- Don't be afraid to be inconsistent and contradict yourself
- You must write long-form articles. No exceptions
- If you don't write long form articles, then wyd?
- "Come on, do the thing!"
- Commenting - should you do it?
What to write about
I'm probably the wrong person to ask about this, but I believe you should write about whatever the fuck you want to write about. When I'm writing something, if I have to stop and think about what I want to say then that tells me that I'm on the wrong track. I believe it should all just flow out of you onto the screen. You can always go back and edit it later.
While we all love reading about the best restaurants in Little Rock, Arkansas or listening to your brand new song about why Steemit is awesome, I believe that the path to good art is found through genuineness (for lack of a better term).
Good art/writing/music whatever isn't about sitting there and logically thinking about how to put the notes or words together. Maybe the first five minutes is like that, but the goal should be to work long enough that your brain turns off and everything just flows. Once you get into that flow state, the goal is to keep yourself there for as long as you can while you work. When the state ends (usually from fatigue) and you're not able to kickstart it, it means the piece is over.
How to get rid of writer's block
Studies have shown that all living things work with greater energy when their peers are around. When I'm at the gym hitting the pads with a trainer, I won't work so hard if it's just me and him. But the second another person walks in I increase my efforts because I want to look good. So does my trainer.
Like it or not, we all have egos. And if you're lucky then you have some pride in your work as well. Maybe you're just starting out and your writing is shit, but that's no reason not to keep working at it.
Don't be put off by me or anyone else who says your content is garbage. Mine is also garbage. So what? Most people will probably be super nice and say, "Wow, it was really good!" Chances are they're just lying to be polite.
In my case, I made such a stink on this platform about how this place needs an overhaul that I admittedly bit off more than I can chew. I'm trying to be present in this Discord channel but I can't be there all the time. I still haven't sent any emails out to the people who have signed up for the email list. And on top of that now I have to come up with these fucking #sharkschool articles.
I've never taught a course before. I have literally no idea what I'm doing and I'm too lazy to even copy anyone else. Maybe some people will get value from me analyzing my writing process. Maybe they won't.
You have to understand that you can't expect the work you put in today to pay off tomorrow. Trees don't grow overnight. The work you do today will pay off in a year, two years, three etc. It may be disheartening... fuck, wait a second. What does this have to do with writer's block? God damn it.
I just sat down and started typing and eventually got carried away. But look at all those words I wrote. Does that look like writer's block to you? Granted they don't have anything especially to do with getting rid of writer's block, but that's kind of besides the point. I can always go back and change the heading later to make it fit.
I sat down ten minutes ago and was like alright, it's nine thirty at night and I'm bored but don't want to go to sleep. I'll write a Steemit article!
Had no idea what I was going to write about. Just sat down and started putting words down. I'll probably end up deleting a lot of them later. And if I wasn't trying to make a point about getting rid of writer's block, I'd DEFINITELY delete this convoluted mass of shit that I just spent several hundred words explaining.
Keep a diary
I mentioned in the first #sharkschool lesson that I kept a diary for many years. I believe this was THE MOST important thing that I did to improve my writing. In fact, when I can be bothered to occasionally read other writers on here, I can tell which ones kept a diary as well.
How do I know? Their writing is crisp and clear. They know how to tell a story. And while they don't talk about as much of the dark side of their human nature as I would like, I can tell that they know just what to say in order to cover it up. They're writing for you, after all.
Trust me, you don't learn that shit in a fucking creative writing class at school. You don't learn it by churning out 5 paragraph essays in AP English. You don't learn it writing legal briefs.
There's only one way you learn how to send the words deep into your readers' souls: by spilling your guts on the page. Why? Because you'll go back and read that shit because you love yourself more than anything in the world.
If it sucks, you'll know why it sucks. And if it's good, then you'll remember why and use the same strategies again in the future.
Befriend your demons
Good writing is not writing about happy moments in your life. I'm not saying it needs to be all doom and gloom, but you need to have some darkness in order to balance out the light.
For example, you'll never see any news headlines that say:
Never. Why? Because nobody's going to buy a fucking newspaper with that shit headline on it. We want to know how many schoolchildren died in the freak ice cream truck accident. We want to hear about how some chick cut off her husband's pee pee because he fucked her sister. We want the dirty, ugly stuff.
If you have never written about those things before then exposing that side of yourself will probably make you uncomfortable. You probably also have no desire to share that with anyone and that's fine.
But if you want to be able to give a well-rounded description of the human condition then you need to be comfortable writing about the dark side of human nature. A perfect way to do this is by keeping a diary.
With a diary, you can write about all the shit that's going on in your life and be 100% honest. Keep it to yourself and don't let anyone read it. Just let loose, talk about your day and tell the story of your life.
It will be bad at first. Even when you know nobody else will read it, you'll have moments where you are about to write something that exposes a vulnerability, weakness or ugly side of you and you'll check yourself.
You'll think - hmm, what if someone reads this someday? Do I really want to commit this to paper?
Only you can answer that question. I think that if you keep writing long enough then you'll want to put it all out there.
I am starting to see a few people on this platform who are obviously in touch with their dark side but are hesitant to show it to their readers. Understandable, because of how this place rewards positivity and "cooperation." Nobody wants to say how they lied, cheated and secretly wished destruction on their peers for no reason other than pure, unbridled jealousy. That's "bad," right?
The fact is that when you expose those things about yourself, you'll touch a deep part of your reader who has felt those same emotions but never verbalized them. You'll instantly create a connection with them and they'll feel like they know you. It won't be reciprocal, but as a content creator do you really care if it is? No. Your job is to inform, to entertain and ultimately to sell your $27.99 ebook and $500/month coaching program.
Always delete the first paragraph
When I was selling hair straighteners, I would notice that my first few attempts to stop people in the morning would be horrendous. Not like I was some scrub with broken English either - I was a seasoned salesman that had been giving literally the same pitch every day for years.
Even still, it took me a few times to get my tongue loosened up.
My first few demos would also be shit. I'd realize that I was making mistakes in the middle of my pitch as I was giving it. But what am I going to do? Tell the customer oh no sorry, wait hold on I fucked up, let me start over... No. You can't do that.
And you can't do that with writing either. Yes, I know sometimes you start writing and you're just not feeling it. Maybe you even get a few hundred words in and you look at what you wrote like: this is fucking garbage. What's wrong with me today? Why can't I write anything?
Don't worry. It happens.
And if you write regularly it will happen more than you think. Because if you write long enough, eventually you'll actually write something that resonates with people. It'll be a work of art that you'll go back and read several times yourself because it's TWICE as enjoyable for you because you know that YOU'RE the one that wrote it.
It's the same in sales. You have a few good days in a row and think you're hot shit. But then when you have a few bad days it hurts even more because you expected yourself to crush it every day.
Fuck, got sidetracked again. Anyway, the point is that if you think what you're writing is shit, just keep writing. Even if it takes you 1000 words to get to strike oil. you'll strike it eventually.
Before I wrote my last post I started and stopped 4 different times. I now have 4 posts that are half-way finished that I'm not happy with. And truth be told I'm not even really happy with the last #sharkschool post because I wasn't able to complete it in my signature style. I know that. But that's life.
And if I really had balls I'd kick it old school, fire up the diary, and publish it on Steemit. But I don't.
Anyway... I think I had a point in there somewhere.
I had someone in the Discord channel ask me the other day if I spaced my paragraphs as I was writing or if I went back and did it later. I do it as I go.
Some things you should do as you go and some things you should do later. Spacing paragraphs should be done as you go because it'll be much easier for you to edit everything if it's nice and neat.
Word choice, punctuation, and paragraph spacing all contribute to the reader's unconscious experience of your content - arguably just as important as their conscious one. I believe that when the reader glances at the screen and sees your article, the "image" of your content needs to be immediately pleasing.
It needs to glide into their line of vision, hook them by the eyeball and drag them through each line until the end. Space your paragraphs.
How many times to proofread/edit your posts
Here's my writing process:
- Write the main body of the post in one sitting
- Go through and proofread for spelling/grammar/punctuation errors
- Go through again and add links to the post every few paragraphs
- Go through again and add headings to the different sections
- Go through again and proofread for spelling/grammar/punctuation again
- Paste "signature" at the bottom of the post
- Add current Instagram pic to signature
- Find new deep fried meme to add to signature
- Read post one more time for errors
- Write the clickbait title of the post
- Choose tags
- Write clever call to action (resteems) at the bottom of the post
- Publish post
- Upvote post with bots from steembottracker
- Go do something else
As you can imagine, this takes quite a bit of time. You don't have to do it this way but I recommend a similar process if you want your content to be crisp.
Also, notice that I write the title of the post AFTER I write the actual content. I've found that this makes it easier for me to actually write the post as I don't feel trapped within a certain topic.
Obviously I'm a fan of going off on tangents, though I always try to bring them back around to the main point of the post.
Being unpredictable = being interesting
In my previous posts I've talked a lot of shit about why the Trending page is bad. What I really meant is that the content is predictable and unoriginal. This is not unique to Steemit's Trending page. This is basically most mainstream content.
Hollywood movies, network TV shows, cartoons, video games.. they're all the same. They all follow the same format. The same bullshit that we've all seen so many times. I don't know about you guys, but I'm sick of it. I've been sick of it for years. It drive me up the wall to see the same shit over and over and OVER again in a different wrapper.
While I'll admit that I'm probably more sensitive to the trite storytelling that dominates virtually every content medium out there, I don't think my experience is particularly unique. Even if most people don't consciously realize that most movies, TV shows, blogs, companies, commercials, etc are all basically the same, they can still recognize the similarities between them.
Where I'm going with this is that when you're unpredictable, when you do something that people don't expect, you not only cause an emotional response (surprise) inside them, but you also pique their interest.
Again, I'm not saying that you should be unpredictable just for the sake of being unpredictable. But you need to understand that doing something unexpected is a surefire way to get (and hopefully keep) the attention of your reader.
Don't be afraid to be inconsistent and contradict yourself
Human beings are not archetypal figures that say one thing and stick by it their entire lives. Situations change, people change. Sometimes the change can take years, sometimes it happens over the course of a single conversation.
There is a huge "arguing culture" on the internet where everyone always tries to be right. Whether you're on forums, blogs, whatever, people are always pulling out the ACKSHULLY and telling the previous poster why they're wrong.
As a result, people (including me) pump their posts with disclaimers, prerequisites and parenthetical statements that all serve to prevent these faceless know-it-alls from removing the legitimacy of our arguments.
I would tell you to ignore these people. Do what you think is right in the current moment. Don't worry that it contradicts your previous statements or behavior. You're a human being and nothing says that you are not allowed to be inconsistent.
Furthermore, when you are inconsistent and unpredictable, people never know what to expect from you. This gives you power because they will unconsciously devote their mental energy to trying to figure out what you'll do next. They'll weigh their decisions based on what you may or may not do. If you do it right, they won't be able to figure it out.
If you do it REALLY right, then you'll be so unpredictable that even YOU won't be able to figure yourself out.
You must write long-form articles. No exceptions
Ah yes. Long form articles. @YallaPapi's best friend.
Look people, you need to start writing more. I don't know how else to tell you. Nobody wants to read your 350 word posts about nothing.
In fact, on the off chance that I'll actually try and read someone else's post on here, I'll scroll all the way down to the comments just to see how long it is. If it's not at least 1000 words long then I don't bother reading it. Probably the opposite of what you do.
In fact, I'll bet most people who clicked on this article read the first two paragraphs and the last two paragraphs just so they could leave a semi-relevant comment in hopes that... I don't know, we would like their username and generic comment, check out their blog, read all their posts and give them $0.01 upvotes? The fuck is wrong with people?
Seriously, do you want to write for idiots who have chosen that as their "strategy" for "success" on Steemit? I hope you don't. Those people are idiots.
They're fucking morons who should get off their computer and go pick up garbage on the freeway to make themselves productive members of society. Because all they're doing right now is wasting oxygen and contributing to global warming by wasting electricity.
You don't want to write for those people. Not to sound like an Elitist American Jew Rothschild Bogdanoff Mafia Illuminati, but they are beneath you.
Yes, we all bleed the same color and all have roughly the same human experience. And if we were all stuck in the zombie apocalypse together I'm sure I'd find some way to bond with them.
But the fact is that we're not even close to the end of the world. We're on a fucking blogging platform that rewards us with internet points that we can exchange for US dollars after 14 weeks.
Those people are not your audience. They will never buy anything from you. They will never give you a high powered upvote. They have no influence and are not worth your time. Do not pander to them because it will get you nowhere. Ignore them and pretend that they don't even exist. For all intents and purposes, they do not.
When I post something on here, do you think I care about their opinion of my content? Absolutely not. I know that none of them read any more than is necessary to leave a semi-relevant comment.
What really gets me is people who so casually say things like, "Haha this post was really long I only read the beginning but good job! lol please read my blog."
It's like... dude... you see that I obviously took a long time to write this massive thing and format it up the ass. Yet for some reason, you think it's a good idea to actually tell me that you didn't even read it? Do you realize that makes you look like a complete retard? Seriously. The fuck is wrong with people?
If you don't write long form articles, then wyd?
If you want to become well-known, respected, an authority in your field, whatever - then you need to learn to write long-form articles.
You may have heard of these ancient artifacts that people used long ago to gain knowledge. They don't really exist anymore, but back before computers it was the only way people were able to pass information over long distances. They're called "books."
These "books" are little squares made out of hundreds, sometimes thousands of sheets of paper. Printed on these pieces of paper are words - just like the words you're reading on your screen right now.
The amount of words in these books will shock you. Most standard pages contain around 250 words. Multiply that by a 200 page book and you have a book with 100k words (front and back, dipshit).
Do you know how many books exist out there? Millions. Do you know how most people got famous back in the day for being smart or entertaining? By writing books.
So how many words are in your articles again? 300? 500? Maybe you "stretched" yourself and wrote 750 - once.
Patronizing allusions aside, you need to write long form articles so you can show off how smart and/or entertaining you are. That's really all it comes down to. It takes a lot of words to effectively control someone's mind long enough for you to insert your message into their brain. 300 words is not enough.
300 words is a soundbyte that will be quickly forgotten, pushed out of their tiny brains by the next factoid or video of a cat falling off a table. They're not going to read your fucking 300 word article anyway. They're going to read the title and skim the post for the headers.
Some people will actually read the whole thing. If you write long enough, even if you're a braindead gimp who can barely string two words together, then you will develop a following. They'll like your work so much that they'll go back and read everything you ever wrote. They'll google you and find shit you wrote on other platforms as well. Just because they like you so much.
Those are the people you want to write for. Once you get some of those you can start to worry about other groups of people.
Come on, do the thing!
If you perform long enough, eventually you'll develop a certain style. Doesn't matter if you're an actor, musician, writer or whatever - people will recognize you or your work based on its feel.
This is a mixed blessing because while it means that at least people know you well enough to recognize your work, it also means that they'll be expecting more of the same from you in the future. And there may come a time when you feel like creating something different.
They may look at that and say, "Hey, what the fuck man? Why does this look different than what you normally do? Do that thing you did before!"
It's up to you to decide whether or not you're going to let yourself be pigeonholed into performing the same way over and over. Actors face the same problem when they take too many similar roles. Very few actors don't get typecast.
It's up to you if you want to be Johnny Depp or Jack Nicholson.
Commenting - should you do it?
Commenting is a complete waste of time that could be spent on creating your own content instead.
I doubt anyone has ever written that on here before. What aspiring "guru" would basically tell his readers not to engage with his content? Guy would have to be a fucking moron to do that.
Of COURSE you should comment, guys! In fact, the best strategy is to leave a well-thought out comment that shows that you actually read the article. Hey since you're already here, why don't you practice on this post! I mean, you're already here, might as well. I'm also giving away 5 SBD to the best comment in this thread. Ready, set, circle-jerk!
I recommend you change your line of thinking. After all, you only have so many hours in the day to create content. Even if you're a total baller, you're probably not going to be able to sit in front of a screen and type non-stop for more than a few hours at a time. It's mentally draining and exhausting.
Why would you waste your time and mental energy on a comment of a post that literally nobody (except for the guy who wrote it) is going to read? Shit, people probably don't even read the guy's post and you think they're going to read your fucking comment?
Meanwhile, if you had put that time and energy into actually creating a good post of your own, you might actually get somewhere.
Yes, I know that it's commonly recommended on here to leave ten comments a day or whatever on other people's posts to get more exposure but it's total bullshit. The only valuable comment is the top comment.
While I understand that the original intent is probably to encourage people to interact with one another, commenting should not have to be encouraged. It should happen naturally, not because of a financial incentive.
Spend your time on your own work before you allow yourself the luxury of commenting on something that someone else has created.
Once you reach a high enough level, you'll get some haters. A hater is anyone who calls you out by name and publicly states that you're an idiot, fake, not genuine, unintelligent (or worse) and that your content is absolutely garbage. We are all haters - but not all of us are hated.
There's a funny saying in business that's something like, "you're not successful unless you've been sued at least twice." Something like that.
And it kind of makes sense. I mean, nobody is going to waste their time suing some guy who is a clerk at 7-11. But they'll sue his boss who owns 24 of them.
It's kind of the same once you reach a certain level of notoriety. Those of you who have been around here long enough can probably think of at least one or two people who have some haters. These are people who go out of their way to rail against whoever their target is. It's like they get some kind of weird pleasure from being so loud about why this person is bad, or wrong, or must be stopped at all costs.
What they don't realize is that all they're doing is offering free publicity for their "victim." They are giving him/her extra attention and creating awareness in others that they exist. There's no such thing as bad publicity.
I had never heard of @haejin until I saw his name pop up everywhere with people complaining about him. Same with @grumpycat. Why would I know or care about either of them? Do they write great posts that really rock your socks? No.
But people out there take hours out of their day to write long, detailed posts about why either of them is a bad person who definitely isn't invited to their birthday party.
When you have some haters, you'll know that you've finally arrived. Anyone can have fans that enjoy their work, but until you have some haters then you're still a nobody.
And you do want to be somebody, don't you?
Want more #sharkschool?
Sign up for the newsletter: Right here baby.
Join the Discord channel: https://discord.gg/56Pnrwc
Recommended reading for #sharkschool:
- #SharkSchool Lesson 3: Actual Advice Instead Of A Rambling Rant
- #SharkSchool Lesson 2: Develop A Taste For Other People's Blood
- #SharkSchool Lesson 1: How To Find Your Voice As A Writer
- Introducing #SharkSchool - How To Take Over The Trending Page By Being A Bloodthirsty Savage
- Mmmm Yeah Baby, Put It In My Reward Pool
- How To Stop Being Such A Loser
- Why Everything You Know About Investing In Crypto Is Wrong
- Why Steemit Is A Giant Circle-Jerk And How To Make It Work In Your Favor
- How To Get To The Trending Page On Steemit Even If You're An Autistic, Paint Chip-Eating Bork Like Me
- How To Use Steemit To Trick People Into Reading Your Poorly-Written Garbage
- How To Make $10k A Month The Old Fashioned Way
- How To Make More Money Than You've Ever Made In Your Life
- How To Grow Your Personal Instagram Page To 5 Billion Followers
- Watching This Video Will Make You Want To Move To Thailand (And Not For The Hot Estonian Chick, Either)
- All I Want Is A Billion Dollars, A Rock-Solid Six Pack, And To Smash A Different Hard-Bodied Fitness Model Every Night - Is That Too Much To Ask?
- How To Be Successful In Just 100 Hours A Week
- Discipline, Fearlessness, And Other Lies Sold To You By Clever Marketers
- Why Creative Work Is Its Own Reward And How To Get Better At The Things You Hate
Follow, resteem and smash dat mf like button...