How to stand out as an author

Hack writers will be replaced by AI. If your ideas are pedestrian and your writing is boring, you may as well give up.

All the more reason to stand out. Bold authors get noticed. Timid, workaday writers don’t. And if you don’t get noticed as a writer, you won’t accomplish your goals.

There are basically three ways to stand out.

  1. Say something new. Unless you have a differentiated perspective, you’ll fade in to the background. There are plenty of ways to differentiate yourself: be the first with a new idea, gather unique data, or tell an insider story, for example.
  2. Write well. Your writing should be smooth, believable, surprising, enjoyable — basically, delightful. And yes, you can have fun writing about practical stuff (my books on writing are pretty far from boring). The best way to become a better writer is to practice (try blogging) and work with a good editor.
  3. Build your platform. The more well-known you are, the bigger an impact you can have. There are a lot of ways to do this: build social media followers, produce videos or podcasts, or speak at events, for example.

Ideally, a successful author needs all three of these qualities.

Get to work

If you really want to be an author, you should be working on all three of these areas right now. Where will your new idea come from? How will you become a better writer? How are you building your platform?

There are no “overnight successes.” Authors that have consistently succeeded will tell you how they did all three of these things. If you want to get on that path, the time to take the first step is now.

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One Comment

  1. Any thoughts on why in art, including writing, there are so many bad artists and bad pieces (books, musical albums, paintings, etc.) released/popularized and so many great artists that struggle to find an audience?

    Both populations would take lifetimes to get through.