When it comes to writing, what's one thing you want to get better at? (Bonus: respond to someone else's comment with advice.)
I want to write shorter and more intense blogs! Would love to get tips for this!
Trying to get back to covering topics that are not all about COVID, school, or politics, if that's possible to do in a non-tone-deaf way.
Writing more relatably, and making it more interactive! I think writing, especially for a newsletter, is all the more valuable when readers comment and reply. The community is essential. Otherwise it feels like I'm just sending words into a void 😬
Get to 5k subscribers by year end!
I want to start injecting more humor into my writing. Not everything needs to be too serious :)
Bringing the reader along with you! It’s so easy to think you’ve articulated something better than you actually have 🤣
Always checking myself for this over on the Anthro newsletter!
I want to get better with imperfection. A combination of self-doubt, hyper-critique and imposter syndrome have crystallized to a point where writing feels painful and it's been a struggle. I'm trying to overcome this.
Figuring out how to condense my experience into pithy essays. Like, my topics are, being #altac or #postac after dropping out of a PhD, living in Eastern Europe, uprooted millennial life, post-Communist cities/architecture, and food! I need to organise all this into focused posts. Basically, I want to get better at being Alicia Kennedy or Jia Tolentino :)
Finding my niche topic where I can be the expert.
I have found that I frequently struggle to finish a piece. The initial spark of inspiration won’t carry me all the way through. It’s the going back and writing, re-writing, and putting the finishing touches on a piece that I tend to not find time for. I’d rather start something new instead of finish something old, and that’s not a healthy habit.
Write more and edit less. i have a tendency to continually edit while I write. While it is helpful in the end, I am trying to be more freeform to start and intentionally wait until the next day to go back and edit.
Carve out more time in life to wiggle in writing! I have such a busy life, yet prioritize exercise and meditation over writing because those actions will guarantee optimum health and longevity, whereas writing is a bonus for self-actualization. I appreciate y'all's recommendations for the habit of writing regularly :) THANK YOU.
Saying more with less without losing the impact of the words.
Been writing regularly (once a week) and I've gotten to 175 subs! I'd love to get up to 500 ppl and figure out how to get more ppl to respond in the comments! Any advice?
Finding ways to connect and collaborate with other writers. I've created a Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/substackwriters), but am open to suggestions/other ideas :)
I want to inspire a generation to build a better life through writing
I would love to be better at simply sitting down and focusing. I love getting "in the zone" when I write, but it doesn't happen as often as I would like. I have learned that meditating before I do legal work helps me, so I am going to start meditating for a bit before I sit down to write. Would love to hear other's experiences with pre-writing meditation!!!
Revision!! It's never usually been a problem for me to bang out a first draft of something, see a wacky new idea to its first conclusion, but the ability to go in and tinker, repair, fix, and focus with intentionality is difficult for me; mostly because I have trouble tapping into that fervent well of energy and excitement that comes with a first draft.
My main goal with writing is to help people get through some of the stuff I've had to get through. I feel like a lot of advice is given from the top of the mountain, and I want my writing to say 'I'm in the middle of this too. Here's what seems to work for me'.
Unfortunately, years and years of college has made my writing style kinda stuffy, so my task at the moment is writing more the way I talk. Hitting that sweet spot between academia and everyday slang.
My writing models are Michael Gerber (Hey Dullblog) and Scott Aaronson (Slate Star Codex). Both very smart, highly knowledgeable, compulsively readable.
I'm hoping to upload my first post this week :)
Balancing research with writing — sometimes I over invest in the research side and struggle to produce content, while other times I feel like I can’t deliver value to readers without having gone deep enough in a topic
I want to get better at finding the purpose of each piece, and making sure every sentence and paragraph aims at that core thing. Then being able to write inspiring, long-form articles. I always seem to write short pieces. Longer articles are too daunting/elusive.
Besides regularity, I want clarity.
People have shorter attention spans. As do I when I read. I want to get better at getting to the point.
I want to be able to communicate to my subscribers in a relatable manner.
I would really like to publish a piece every fortnight, if not every week. I'm brimming with ideas, but these are my concerns:
a) My writing explores the eventfulness of my everyday--I'm not sure if this qualifies as an effective writing niche that will draw people to my newsletter.
b) I write the first draft, and I let it sit for a long while, revisiting it routinely and making edits every time I do so. It takes me quite some time to eventually bring the piece to a close. The process needs to move faster for me to be able to publish more often.
c) I'm terribly social media shy. What's another way to announce my newsletter to the world?
Saying more with less : : that is the true power of words
My writing goal is to travel within and discover myself
I struggle with balancing between "getting it done" and "getting it done well." Seems whenever I follow a strict schedule, it means letting things go on the quality side. But if I spend longer or have a longer term publishing schedule, I almost never end up publishing out of tweaking a thing to death. Does anyone else struggle with this?
Your question is helpful. Thank you, azbaby.vn
I want to be in a place where i just write for my own satisfaction. Doesn't have to think about even someone is reading or not. Sometimes its hard to push every week when hardly any new readers are coming. Here i'm talking about publishing them over public, else i'm fine at writing for my own learning's and have plenty staying put in my writings folders private.
I would say "wrapping it up". My blank page syndrome is not as bad as the hard time I have closing a piece. Writing that last paragraph/page/chapter. It always feels incomplete and not as powerful as I would like it to be. Does this happen to you as well? I'd love to read your tips!
I want to tell more engaging stories.
Simply to write something that I can look back on without feeling a pang of annoyance at my sloppiness.
I want to get better at avoiding distractions when I'm having a hard time. When I'm struggling to articulate a concept, it's waaaay too easy for me to get frustrated and reach for Instagram instead of doing the work to flesh it out.
My main goal is to become better at self-editing. As far as rejection goes, I'm not sure that you necessarily get used to it as it keeps coming. That probably depends on the person. I agree with John Harrison's advice but also think that if rejection gets you down, you need to acknowledge that with letting it tow you under. There's a difference. If you can acknowledge that it's difficult, that might help you to understand why and to better surmont the problem. If you don't acknowledge, and it continues to discourage you to the place where you don't write, there could be a danger of suppression. What I'm suggesting is balancing action with some self-understanding.
Actually writing more even if I’m not feeling inspired to.
Getting out of my own head that I’m not a good writer. Silencing that inner dialogue that a piece isn’t good enough to share with my readers or anyone. I write mostly personal essays and about feelings so my writing is vulnerable which I love but it can be scary.
I want to explore writing fiction as well.
My goal's pretty simple. Answer the questions people have affecting their daily lives. But don't tell them what to think. Let the reader draw his or her own conclusion.
...Being more confident and consistent in my writing.
I mostly write personal essays and poem/short stories based on my real life experiences with people and things so it can be hard to be so vulnerable and transparent.
I also like many of us I’m sure lack the confidence at times that I actually am a good writer Lol or that what I’m writing makes sense or matters so I’m trying to gain more confidence in my writing style.
Also trying to not pigeon hole myself into only writing about this or that- gotta broaden my writing horizons. Want to explore writing fiction maybe
Marketing and getting things out in the world/ published.
Focus on writing vs. writing-revising-editing all at the same time. Purchased a Freewrite which helped me realize how much I question what I just wrote. Just need to get words down on "paper".
Writing compelling content consistently that helps my readers.
Definitely consistency. Both in style/regularity. I have been blogging on & off since 2000 or thereabouts (more off recently than on). Thanks to COVID unlocking my desire to overshare and Substack coming along, I'm getting back into the swing of it but definitely finding the time and the inclination can be hard.
I need to get better at writing when I feel the urge and not putting it off. Or at least jotting down some bullet points when I get an idea. Often I will have a great idea, but I am "busy" scrolling Instagram or something. When I finally get around to writing, I can't remember what that great idea was!
Write content that people will enjoy, like, and subscribe to.
Getting the ability to write at any time, without thinking about what to write. And that, while exuding some good craft.
Find something where you do not have to think too long about the content. If you feel strongly or have opinions and insights about something that you engage with regularly the topics will arrive and you will deliver. Often we start to write and pick an area where do not have a lot of content to offer in the first place. You end up detesting the idea of writing because it seems like so much work. And it’s all downhill from there.
I am looking to make technical articles (https://softwaretipsandtricks.substack.com ) more attractive and easier to understand. I know it's a matter of writing style. And I try to improve it.
Isn't it great to know we all struggle with the same issues to varying degrees? No failures, just everyone on their own continuum toward their definition of success.
The compelling, steady growth of https://whitenoise.substack.com/ ! Slow is smooth and smooth is fast :)
Take writing to heart