The headline is the most important part… or so they tell me
The headline— it’s all about the headline! It’s how you draw viewers in, and your hook is what makes them stay. And, well, they’re not wrong per se.
But I’ve never been good at coloring inside the lines, and my writing and creativity can’t be molded into the SEO fold, hard as I’ve tried.
The number of clickbait articles I, in fact, click on in hopes of finally reading one that will give actual writing and business advice is absurd. I am a glutton for punishment and perhaps that is why I have acquired a large aversion to writing pieces that are similar.
This article is probably not the way to go about making friends in the writing community, but all the posts and pieces telling you how to grow your blog or business; how to get your writing noticed; how to make money writing; they are all a lot of words and not much else.
It feels infuriating to read a list that has: be consistent or write on it. Perhaps that might be an actual tip for some, but I truly believe for most of us, that’s a no-brainer. And though I know part of this whole online world is also putting in the work yourself, I am eager to learn and hear of others’ real experiences navigating writing as a full-time job and craft. I am keen to understand other writers’ processes so that I might finally understand my own. Still, most of these pieces are nothing more than fluff with no actual blueprint or valuable advice, along with the inevitable coaching sales pitch at the end in many cases.
The only thing I truly glean from these articles: they are more likely to get you seen and maybe ranked— but what will it do for your actual craft? How will it improve your writing?
What happens when you are not keen to spend any time dabbling in SEO or writing for the sake of writing?
Is it worth the time to write articles and pieces that don’t meet the requirements of the online world?
Can you be a fully paid, full-time writer if you aren’t writing the same How I Got 100 Followers in 7 Days, like everyone else?
Can you make it in the online writing world if you aren’t pandering to the public or other desperate fools like myself with clickbait and fluff?
Despite my qualms over the substance of most articles, many of them draw me in not only because the title is catchy (I mean, read my opening line) but also because often the writing is good. The writer’s way with words keeps me reading to the end, even if I walk away frustrated.
It feels like I am often running in circles, unable to make heads or tails of what it is that I am doing. I struggle with how to begin my day. Is it looking for writing work, or is it actual writing? Do I spend time researching marketing, and keywords or do I give up and hope that I simply get lucky?
I know at the core of everything I am and want to be, is my writing.
Some days I don’t know how it will ever be possible to create a life as a writer where I am writing what brings me joy and paying my rent on time. Sure, I self-published a novel, but it remains only an eBook lost in a sea of millions; and contrary to what I thought, and what this whole article is really a rumination on— I am simply not capable of pounding out words or growing a backlist at the rate others do. I have tried and failed to come up with enough ideas where I could possibly produce a solid piece of work every day to be posted online. This article alone has been written, reworked, and edited over a two-week span alone.
I sometimes wish I could be the writer who can get an article done in two hours and be ready to post by the end of the day.
But my creativity does not work that way, and I don’t think it ever will.
I am also not willing to write every story I have within me for the sake of a follower, and oh boy, do I have some wild and crazy stories. However, I believe that you can only tell a story in so many ways; thus, some must remain in my personal arsenal until the right moment.
So, where does that leave me? If I am incapable of writing the same fluff pieces and can’t be bothered with SEO or catchy headlines, is writing as a full-time job even possible?
Of course, it is, but most likely at a painstakingly slower rate which leaves me in a pickle since it seems every time I turn around, the rent is due.
Finding a balance by giving in and keeping true to myself
So here I am, writing from the heart, unable to pander to anyone, not even myself. My first book was intended to be a romance, and in the end, I could not make it so—a questionable happily ever after if there ever was one. My platforms and follower counts are stagnant because I cannot seem to produce with a consistency to the algorithm’s liking.
I am playing by my own rules, but I am also slowly acknowledging that sometimes you have to give in every now and then.
I am taking the leap and doing more to be “seen” around the internet, even if it’s an internal struggle for me. I am posting on Medium, my blog, making Tik Toks, and writing even when I don’t want to. I am trying to get out of the habit of thinking I cannot create if my soul doesn’t call me to. That even though writing is an art, if I want to get to a point where I actually can write whatever and whenever I want, I have to pay my dues. That’s not to say I have to completely compromise what I feel is my artistic integrity, but writing for a niche or attempting a clickbait fluffy article such as this one, isn’t going to be the end of the world as I know it.
It’s a jungle out there. There is talent everywhere you look, the important part is knowing what you want and understanding where you have to stand your ground, and when to let go.
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