Keep the magic in your writing

How To Get Your Best Writing From Three Drafts

‘The myth of rewrite, rewrite, rewrite’
‘The myth of rewrite, rewrite, rewrite’
Image by Canva Pro and Scott Hughey

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.

Dean Wesley Smith only writes three drafts.

I’ve adapted his process. Depending on what I’m writing…


Control What You Can Control

Set Writing Goals For Long Term Success

Financial earnings may be outside our control.
Financial earnings may be outside our control.
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

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.

Let’s break my goals into two categories.

  1. Those outside my control.
  2. Those within my control.

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?

The goals…


The Secret Every Bully Needs To Know: Be Careful Who You Tackle

Greco Roman Wrestling builds confidence
Greco Roman Wrestling builds confidence
Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash

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.

Wrestling taught me skills, including how to switch things up.

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…


You’re An Idiot, But I Have No Beef With You

Image for post
Image for post
Yes Sir. I’ll burn that steak right away. Photo by Scott Hughey and Canva Pro

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.

  • As a kid, you probably set your roasted marshmallows on fire. You swore this was because you “like them that way.”
  • If you ever manage to procreate, you’ll teach your children to set their marshmallows on fire, too. …


How Nicolas Cole Optimizes His Openings For 100M+ Views

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Canva Pro and Scott Hughey

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.

Why should we care what Nicolas Cole has to say?

When I came across Cole’s book, The Art and Business of Online Writing, I was…


WandaVision Therapy Session

I Am Groot

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Marvel

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.

But it’s going to get worse.

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…


A Complete Collection

Making 35X My Goal

Making No Money Made No Cents
Making No Money Made No Cents
Image by Canva Pro and Scott Hughey

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.

I wanted to earn money on every eligible story.

Like so many in my early days, I had a lot to learn about writing on this platform. And…


Embrace Your Inner David

An Open Letter To The Guy That Showed Me I Could Be Myself

Image for post
Image for post
Image by Scott Hughey and Canva Pro

Dear David,

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.

That’s when I met you, David. And also your sister, Lisa. You both taught me to be myself.

You…

Scott Hughey (TheWriteScott)

He’s a geek with social skills. Scott writes humor, satire, and pop-culture with a touch of self-help. Find his Amazon books here: https://amzn.to/2LDQxjy

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store