- Michael Thompson
A few weeks ago, a friend shared an article on Facebook by
Miyah Byrd entitled “How A Late-Night Ugly-Cry Session During Quarantine May Have Saved My Marriage.” It was tremendous. I rarely finish an article — let alone ones that run for eight minutes. From start to finish, however, at every turn, I was right there with her.
This isn’t the only time something like this has happened. In fact, it takes place all the time. I read something and think to myself why didn’t this get more attention.
If you scan through a lot of articles, one thing becomes crystal clear: The world is full of extremely talented people.
There isn’t a shortage of articles regarding reasons why people aren’t reading your work. I agree with a decent amount of the information the authors have laid out in these posts. A few months ago, Adrian Drew shared some insights that were particularly good.
You don’t need a great title, but you do need a good one. You also need to hook readers in the first few sentences while clearly weaving in stories, twists and turns, and a conclusion that pulls it all together.
If you expect to make it as a writer, these things aren’t nice-to-haves, they’re mandatory.
But what about the people who are already doing these things and their work hasn’t yet reached the masses? There are plenty of people who write strong titles, have engaging introductions, and are above-average storytellers.
As with most things, the answer is easy to write, but hard to do.
If You’re Late to the Game, You May Have to Drive Around a Bit Until a Spot Opens Up
“Why did we park so far away, Clark? There’s nobody here!”
“Because when the lots are all full and everyone is fighting to get out, we’ll be the first ones to leave too.”
Twenty thousand articles are published on this very platform every day. Unlike Clark Griswald, who arrived early to Wally World in the film National Lampoon’s Vacation, you do not get to pick where you park.
The lot is getting pretty full.
Some people get lucky. Upon arrival, they’re given a backstage pass. The owners take one look at them and say to themselves, “Hey, we like you. Come on through.”
Most people, however, will have to drive around a while until a spot opens up.
This may not be fair. In an ideal world, the best work wins, but that’s not always the case. No matter the platform you’re on — or business you’re in — early adaptors will always have a massive advantage. People who arrive late, even if it’s not their fault and they’ve been playing the game for a while, may have to wait a little bit.
The good news is that if you love writing, waiting this out shouldn’t be a problem. Your passion for this sport will always be your greatest asset.
Your future as a writer comes down to one thing and one thing alone: how you choose to act while driving around for a spot to open up.
Some people read articles about how to make their work pop. They’re told it’s good to find hot topics and tailor not only their work but also their worldview to fit in.
This may work in the short run. But is this the type of writer you want to be? One who writes to fit in so they can one day maybe stand out?
Or would you rather be yourself?
The best art always comes from those who can’t not make it.
Every day on this platform, I read good stories by not only quality writers but strong people. Despite not getting a lot of views on their work, these people make the decision to wake up and put in the work while having the patience and resolve to wake up tomorrow and do it again.
This is how you get your words to rise to the eyes of more readers.
You bet on yourself.
You stop reading the how-tos.
You dig in.
You chose to tighten your words until one day the world opens up to you and the owners say, “Come on through.”
Get the basics right. Then lean into yourself. It could be you are doing everything right and the only thing stopping you from having people read your work is time.
Parking spots always open up to those who are patient and lean into being themselves.