How To Get Your Best Writing From Three Drafts
There’s a deeply held belief among writers that the real magic happens during rewrites and edits, but what if that belief is holding you back?
Back around 2010, Dean Wesley Smith wrote a blog series on Killing The Sacred Cows Of Publishing. Dean is a New York Times bestselling novelist who has written over 200 novels, nearly a dozen non-fiction books, and hundreds of short stories.
His is a voice worth listening to, especially when it comes to this non-traditional writing hack.
I’ve adapted his process. Depending on what I’m writing…
I started writing on Medium this past January 10th with several goals, many of them terrible.
It doesn’t matter that I’ve met those goals. My approach to Medium has been calculated, and I’d like to think, both sustainable and effective.
I’ve also been just a little bit lucky.
The goals I couldn’t control were the ones I was the most excited about. How much money would I make? How many followers would I get? How quickly would I get accepted into publications? And lastly, how much money would I make?
I still smile, remembering when I went from bullied to respected.
See, in middle-school and early high-school, bullies mercilessly picked on me. They saw me as a socially awkward and lanky kid, and they were right. It wasn’t until I gained confidence and the ability to protect myself that this stopped.
Wrestling changed everything, especially when it came to my nemesis, a football player named Jodie.
I didn’t take up wrestling because people picked on me. For some reason, I thought it would be fun.
Even though I started in 10th grade, where most of our good wrestlers had been…
To the gentleman at table #5:
You’ve just ordered a 12-ounce ribeye steak. It’s usually a fine choice. The high-fat content makes the steak tender and juicy, cooked in its own juices. When prepared properly, you’ll find it perfectly seared and exploding with flavor.
Except, you ordered it well-done.
I immediately knew several things.
Online readers skim most articles before actually reading them.
The job of your article’s introduction is to give readers something to latch on to. Fail to grab attention early, and they won’t stick around to give your writing a chance. However, introduce your topic with these proven rhythms, and your readers will want to hear what you have to say.
These techniques are why you’re still reading my article, and they’re how an online gamer became one of the most-read online writers in the world.
When I came across Cole’s book, The Art and Business of Online Writing, I was…
Hi, Wanda. You don’t know me but you should have heard of my good friend, Groot, by now.
We’ve both been watching the Westview anomaly with interest. We’re big fans, Wanda Maximoff. Groot, especially, wanted to reach out to you during this, your most troubled time of grief.
Bad enough you’ve lost, well, everything. Nearly everything.
Groot and I fear your children may be next. Them, and what is left of your sanity, once you see the John Byrne homage to Vision in episode 9.
Yes. Groot, like me, is an avid reader of the comics. He can’t stop talking…
I’ve only written on Medium for two months, but I’ve met all my goals so far.
Soon, I’ll write the mandatory article about those specific goals. You're apparently not allowed to achieve milestones without a self-congratulatory piece. It’s in the terms of service somewhere, I bet. (Far be it from me to break that trend.)
However, today’s topic is that a few days ago, I acknowledged an unspoken goal and immediately made it happen with some help from a writer's network.
Like so many in my early days, I had a lot to learn about writing on this platform. And…
Nobody who’s met me since early highschool believes I was once quiet and shy.
You might not believe it either. We haven’t spoken in years.
It’s true, though. Do you remember the geeky, introspective, quiet, and lanky high school freshman that went on that ski trip with you? Your parents and mine were friends.
Back then I saw myself as innovative, confident, full of life and fun. That image of who I should be was as clear as it was unattainable. I was miserable until I learned to be myself by, ironically, watching someone else be himself.