Pretend You’re Oprah
Pretend every post you write will be read by millions. Every product you endorse will become a huge hit. Every philosophy, diet plan, or dog bowl will be the New New Thing. “But … ” you cry. But nothing, just try it.
I’d also recommend (not that you asked, but because I’m pretending to be an überstar, I’m just going to suggest it and you can do what you want with it, but you’ll probably do it because I do it) to not take 4 years of writing classes, not run focus groups on possible topics, not wait until it’s perfect. Because, my dear, it’ll never be perfect. You have your idea, you write it out, you hit publish. Basta.
“But … ” you whimper. OK, fine. What? “But I don’t have the, well, um, confidence.”
Confidence. Can it be faked?
Sure, but will it shine through? I don’t see confidence so much as screaming in the streets, “I’m fantastic! I’m a superstar!” but rather the belief in one’s abilities. So if you’re truly “unable” to do something, can you be confident about it? Hmm, guess you’d have to fake that. So what to do?
There’s the age-old write about what you know. It’s an attractive solution–it’s also an incomparable confidence builder. If you believe in what you’re doing or writing, it will shine through. Excellent. Choose something, for starters, that you know–and are passionate about. That combination, knowledge and passion, will do wonders.
Keep your audience in mind
Who are you writing for? If you’re writing for your aunt Hildebrand, who’s 93 with cataracts, you might not polish your work. “Ah well, who’s going to read it anyway?” No, millions are going to read it. They’re going to be hanging on every word. They’re looking to you for the expertise, the experience, the advice, the philosophy. Does that mean you should rewrite, reedit, and contemplate a better alternative for each word in the piece? Ah, we’ve come to a fork in the road. Since I’m Guru Guy for the day, I’m not even going to question my advice, I’m just going to give it.
- Just Hit Publish: No, don’t edit much. Just get it out there. First draft, pure draft, out, boom.
- Just Hit Publish … and Come Back to It: if it’s getting traction (or if you can’t stop thinking about it), come back to it and edit and improve.
Traction, popularity, interest. Here’s a good test: are you interested in it? Have you gone back to what you wrote and read it over (and over)? Do you edit a word or two now and again? Yes? Great, that’s a keeper. No? Don’t kill it, let it live out its life.
It’s January 17, 2013. I’ve been writing for 2.5 months straight, 87 days, 89 posts published. I have no intention of stopping anytime soon. Why? Oh, I forgot to mention this: it’s been fun. It’s actually been a blast. I’m pretending I’m a guru, a superstar, that I have a million followers. Is it hard? Oh yeah. Publish to the whole world? Yep. Super secret guru freebie tip for the day: that’s the good news–if it were easy, anyone could do it. I’m not interested in anyone, I’m interested in you.
Here are a few examples of writing with knowledge, passion, and knowledge and passion combined.
- Knowledge: I Lost. Now What?
- Passion: Can We Strengthen Our Memories?
- Knowledge and Passion: How We Stayed in an $8,400 Villa in the South of France for Free
Don’t worry about combining knowledge and passion at first. Just pick one and go with it. You’ll know when you combine the two because you’ll feel those millions of fans getting up from their seats, applauding, screaming, and thanking you for hitting publish. Imagine it. Make it happen. Get the ball rolling. I’m not so interested in your first post, I’m interested in your 30th. Just hit publish.
- Possible: write about what you know
- Impossible: be Oprah
- Repossible: write with knowledge, confidence and with your audience in mind
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