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You Don’t Need To Become A Better Writer

You Don’t Need To Become A Better Writer

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Editor’s Note: This post is written by my mentor, Jeff Goins, and was originally published on his blog. You can follow him on Twitter of like him on Facebook.

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don't write better

Photo Credit: kevin dooley via Compfight cc

Every day, I get a message from a writer who wants to be “better.”

They want advice on how to improve their craft or what it takes to get an agent or how to break through their creative blocks. But often what they really want is affirmation that they’re good enough.

And they’re missing the point.

You don’t need to become better; you need to be bolder.

In order to get the kind of attention your words deserve, you need to earn our trust, to give people permission to be themselves. And the best way to do that is to go first. To tell that story of abuse. Confess your fears. Admit you were wrong.

Only when you go there, when you risk utter humiliation and rejection, will we listen to what you have to say.

Until then, you’re just wasting your words.

Writing isn’t about being good

It’s about telling the truth.

“Good” is about what other people think. It’s about badges and accolades and pleasing the masses.

Trying to be “good” gives other people permission to hold you back, to keep you from being who you are: a writer.

Yes, you a writer. One who writes. Not necessarily one who is published or praised. But someone who uses words to create change. And you don’t need to become “better.” You need to start telling the truth.

When we tell our truth, we tap into the part of the unconscious self we’re afraid of, the part people need. You may think of this as your soul; whatever the name, it’s what creates the kind of connection people need, the kind that changes lives.

Good isn’t good enough.

Good won’t get you where you want to go. It won’t get you published, and it certainly won’t earn you a raving fan base. Only honesty can do that.

The problem is most writers seek first the approval of others and then chase their art — when it ought to be the other way around.

If you are going to say something worth our attention, something we haven’t heard before, you must be yourself. Write from the heart even, no especially, when it scares you.

Because that’s the stuff worth reading.

Good will come (eventually).

If you do this over and over, if you keep practicing not in safe places but out in public where people can see you fail, you will get better.

You will stop making those same stupid mistakes you made in high school. You will find your voice and the confidence that comes with practice.

In other words, you will be good. But not my good or your parents’ good. Your good. The only kind that matters.

Question: How have you believed the myth of “better” when you should’ve been bolder? Consider leaving a comment below.

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-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. lynda ndubueze says:

    you are really an inspiration to me. Your page alone has brought out a dying light in me. Thank you so much i promise to keep in touch to tell the world i can make it.

  2. Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy says:

    Infact, this blog has always been what it was and even better, as it keeps inspiring readers at all time. It creates in them the spirit of writing and confidence. And the power of will – the power to take the risk for eventual success.
    This time post emphasizes not only on publicising ones pieces, but also, to change ones words into speech too. More importantly, being honest in both art.
    Above all, kudos to mine sincerely for this awful inspiring blog where I fuel my spirit whenever I found it dulling.
    Am learning…………………………

  3. Thanks for this article. Its been challenging, but I've been the kind of writer to always express my thoughts, and tell the truth (or at least my opinion of it). Have been doing this a lot on my facebook page before I started my blog, and trust me I haven't gotten a lot of fans. But still I've been keeping at it, in a way its all I find I can do. Your article just encouraged me to keep on.

  4. Great message from you. It is an holistic solution to my fears.

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