Addicted to writer-porn

It's a billion-dollar distraction cult full of bitter people

If you write, have any interest in craft, in freelancing, in building a business around you're writing, you've seen what I'm talking about.

You know the stuff.

  • 5 Rules of Storytelling
  • 7 Ways To Bring Your Characters To Life On The Page
  • 3 Clever And Easy Hacks To Build A Bestseller Plot
  • You'll Never Sell Your Book If You Don't Do These 5 Things... NOW!

That mess.

Usually as the outer layer, top of the funnel wrapper around a content farm.

Just think about that. Calling your writing "content". I know that I'm cynical about the fancy-pants artistes around these parts, but that's a bridge too pessimistic even for me.

The writer porn cottage industry is like that old pyramid scheme of internet marketers. Tier 1 gurus teach Tier 2 gurus how to teach Tier 3 gurus how to teach the oblivious masses how to make money teaching people how to make money.

Only it's writing and publishing advice instead of Make Money Online advice.

"How to get your book published in 30 days with just 3 easy steps... even if you failed high school English!"

Not to say that there's no writing advice worth reading.

Hardly... I follow a few dedicated pros myself who often jog the old insights, or stir the passions with extra motivation.

Same for writing groups. I think some people get something out of them... I guess. From my past experiences, most all of these are...

Full of combative, argumentative... and unlikable... people

This might be a situation where you need to pay for the good stuff, 'cause the free tiers fill up with the worst of the worst.

People attracted to "free" tend to be low-quality individuals.

Quick with the demands... and little value in return.

Most of this stuff trades on the direct marketer's time-tested approach to selling information.

It's simple enough. In your sales materials, your emails, your sales pages, your supporting materials, you associate your product with...

A false sense of accomplishment

Talking about writing isn't writing.

Reading about writing isn't writing.

Watching videos about writing isn't writing.

Paying for courses and private groups about writing... isn't writing.

You know what is writing?

Writing.

This is a moment where you should stop and reflect on how you got to this point.

Why is it that you can so easily confuse consumption for creation?

If you like to blame things besides yourself, look no further than the ubiquitous ad industry.

Everybody's trying to sell you something. All the time. Everywhere.

Understanding the subtle forces of persuasion at work in your life, all around you, 24/7, is a key life-skill in the 21st century.

Sad as it is, the moment you feel yourself drawn into someone's narrative... feeling like they "get you" and tug on the old heart-strings... that's exactly when you have to be most on your guard.

Master persuaders play your emotions like a master conductor plays an orchestra.

The news media does it. So does that Youtuber you follow who sells the $1997 writing courses by promising your deepest desires while playing on you worst fears and insecurities.

Not that I'm against shameless selling. Done well, the persuasive arts are their own masterworks.

And a fella's got to eat and pay the mortgage. This rogue planet is a no-hate zone.

What I'm saying is you've got to be aware. You'd be dumb to drop your situational awareness in a bad part of town.

You need situational awareness for your emotional state too.

My point is that movement beats meditation.

If you're always buying the next thing... or even chasing freebies on Youtube and podcasts... you're living...

The Ultimate Action Fake

A feeling of accomplishment without the accomplishment.

You don't beat the feeling of overwhelm by passively soaking up more knowledge.

Get yourself a baseline, sure. You need to know the fundamentals of your art, no matter what it is.

But once you've got that – and it happens faster than you might think – you don't get better by sitting through more lectures.

You've got to get out on the field and play.

Learn, and then get to work practicing. Practice is where you make the real gains.

The most complex door-stopper novel is written one word at a time

Simple rules create complex results.

That's one lesson of systems theory. Too few people understand this. If you put yourself in the minority that does understand it, you're way out in front of the curve.

You don't need a lot of sophisticated information... complex plotting methods... 50 pages of detailed character backstory...

That's all external.

It's all feeling without substance.

Want to get good? Get the right inner game. You don't get that except through showing up to practice.


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