Fuck stats, make art
The title of this post is lifted from a talk Dave Olson (aka Uncle Weed) gave in 2009. The statement still resonates, because it succinctly emphasizes what's important in the writing you do.
Trying to follow a formula, script or tactic to get more traffic, sales or followers never works in the long run because it screams inauthenticity. Your goals and desires echo in everything you do, even if you think they don't. So if you're focused on going viral or being popular or selling something, it'll show. Copying what others did to gain success just makes you sound like an echo instead of a voice.
What makes the content you create awesome is that it's a story told through your unique lens. It's you, telling a story. It's you not giving a fuck about anything but telling that story (your story). It doesn't matter if it's a blog post about banking software or a video on how to make nut milk, the content will be better if you let your real personality shine.
Your genuine personality, draws people in. Writing to be liked or writing that follows a formula does not.
How to find your unique writing voice
- Stop reading blogs
- Definitely stop reading popular blogs
- Read outside of your niche/area of expertise
- Most definitely stop reading blogs about how to have a popular blog
- Don't write to be read. Write to write, explore, experiment, share, express, inspire
- Stop looking at your stats, likes, shares
- Read what you write and ask yourself, "is this how I actually sound when I'm not conscious of how I sound?"
Hi, I'm Paul Jarvis. I write a weekly newsletter called the Sunday Dispatches where I share articles about working and living online with 35k subscribers: