You Can’t Be Remarkable By Following The Herd
I’ll start by saying that I’m not a remarkable writer. But please don’t stop reading right there.
I never pretended to be a good writer, let alone a remarkable one. That was made quite clear to me after reading “The Purple Cow”, by Seth Godin.
I thought I had it all figured out by writing one story a day on Medium, at least for 30 days. Actually, I was partly right.
When I started writing one story a day back in January, it was a valid strategy.
But quickly enough, everyone started writing about the benefits of writing once a day, and all of a sudden, it stopped being interesting because everyone was doing it.
It wasn’t remarkable anymore, it was the norm.
Writing one story a day is hard. Really hard. When the mass starts doing it, without exceptional talent, we’re stuck with so much clutter to filter through. And I believe that’s what Medium is trying to make easier for us the readers.
And I’m guilty of this myself. I’ve written 230+ posts in less than 4 months. At least half of them are actual stories, and the other ones are replies.
I’m not going to pretend all my stories are great. Some are not even good. Out of all of them, maybe 2–3 could be considered “remarkable”, but that’s pretentious of me to say.
So I’m calling attention to all of us writers on Medium: let’s try to be remarkable once again. Writing one story a day was remarkable once, nowit’s time to figure out other ways to be remarkable.
I don’t have all the answers to that, and frankly, even if I did, it probably wouldn’t work for everyone. And that’s a good thing. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be remarkable. It would be the norm. It would be boring. Like writing once a day.
So what I’m saying is to figure it out by yourself or with a small group of people. Dare try a different model. Go out of the norm. Be remarkable.
I’ll share 2 ideas I had. I don’t know if they’re remarkable. I may or may not try them. All I know for sure is that if I keep writing one story a day, I’ll just be another boring writer with nothing remarkable to say.
Write One Carefully Thought-Out Story Per Week
With the new focus on quality content on Medium’s part, it only makes sense to put out something very very strong.
One of my favourite writer on Medium is Zdravko Cvijetic. He never wrote one story a day. If you read any of his stories, they’re all insightful. That has worked incredibly well for him. He had the #1 viral story on Medium.
There’s value in everything he writes. It’s not just a re-worded version of what someone else has written. They’re practical stories that really do make you more productive.
What I’m saying is, instead of spending 30–120 minutes per day writing one story and publishing it, spend that same amount of time researching and crafting ONE story over the course of the week.
Pretend you would sell that as part of a chapter in a book. It has to be solid.
Write One Story A Day Per Publication
That one is completely against what I mentioned above, but wouldn’t that be remarkable though?
I write for different publications depending on what my message is. If it’s startup-related, I send to The Startup. If it’s more personal or about self-improvement, I send to Thrive Global. If it’s more story-driven, I send to The Ascent.
How remarkable would it be for me to publish different stories in all 3 publications every single day?
Sure, I’d have to have something insightful to say, but if I pull it off, doesn’t the make me stand above the average?
Nicolas Cole claims he writes 10,000 words per day (if I’m not mistaken).It’s a much more incredible amount then any of us do.
Because of that, he’s a remarkable writer.
Going forward, I’ll do my best to be a remarkable writer.
If you’ve seen your stats decrease over the past 5 weeks or so, it’s likely because, like me, you stopped being remarkable. When writing once a day was unique, it was remarkable. It’s not anymore.
Each of us has to figure out a way to be remarkable again. It’s not by following what others are doing that we’re going to stand out as writers.
I urge all writers to figure out what makes them remarkable.
Let the ideas above inspire you. Try them, but come up with your own too.
Figure out what works for you. “Fail” a few times. Heck, “fail” for a month trying to figure it out. It is not by following the mass that you’ll be remarkable.
You can do this!
Thanks for reading and sharing! :)
First published here: https://medium.com/@danny_forest/how-to-be-a-remarkable-writer-aa62f2a84593