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Zen Copy

Why Your Writing Fails


There are millions of writers.

Writers of all colors and walks of life.

Canon 550d - Pencil Colour In fact, due to the Internet there are more writers than there has ever been in all of history.

Most of these writers rarely, if ever, get read. Maybe they’ve tried their hand at publishing a book, or they have a blog that doesn’t take off, in any sense of the word. They’ve taken course after course to make their writing better. They’ve studied copy writing and other techniques because experts tell them it’s what they need to do to “make it.”

It’s entirely possible that some of those writers are just like you.

Maybe they believed that if they just wrote and worked hard to be a better writer and then put it out there every writing thing they ever dreamed would come true.

And maybe they thought, “I’m good and getting better, so surely I’ll succeed.”

And yet, here they are, the beginning of yet another year without much to show for it.

And now, they’ve fallen to their knees and lamented to the apparently unlistening heavens – “Why, oh why, have I failed?”

Really, why do writing projects fail?

Why does your writing fail?

And conversely, why do other writers have seemingly instant success when that writer doesn’t try nearly as hard or write nearly as well?

It’s enough to make you want to take your proverbial pen, stab that damn writing bug that lives inside you, then throw the bloodied pen away.

Are you on the verge of quitting?

Are you trying to convince yourself that 2013 is the year you’ll pull your writing head out of the clouds and come to your senses so you can live happily ever after without that pesky writing bug eating away at your insides?

Well, good news.

You don’t have to quit.

Read on to learn why believing in the wrong things are what turns many potentially truly successful writers into dejected, cranky, unhappy wannabes.

People just like you.

cranky 3/4

image by sharyn morrow via Compfight

Mistake 1. Always Focusing on Writing More

Do a quick Google search on how much you should write per day to be a success and you’ll get countless answers. And all of these experts will tell you if you don’t write so many words, or pages, or whatever per day, you’ll never succeed.

No, no, and Hell No.

In fact, you don’t even have to write every day to be a success. What?

It’s true. You are your own best judge on how often you should write. Some people thrive on writing every day and others will do much better when they write only once per week or less.

The cold truth of this is – if you are constantly trying to write more in an effort to fit some predetermined threshold set by some “expert” you are more likely to experience frustration and self-disappointment than you are to experience more success.

Hint: give yourself permission to get off the write-write-write treadmill. It only leads to soreness and stiffness that slows you down. Don’t use this as an excuse to simply be lazy with your writing but do pay attention to what pattern works best for you.

Mistake 2. Presenting Your Content in the Wrong Way

This is a very common mistake.

Everyone is Tweeting so you have to, too.

Everyone is writing an eBook so you have to, too.

Everyone has a blog so you have one, too.

Just as there are clothing styles, there are also writing styles. Trying to wear a certain clothing style just because it’s the in thing when that style does not in the least suit you, your personality, or your lifestyle, is never a good decision.

Your writing is just the same. You and your writing might fit well on the short and precise Twitter platform but fall short on a blog where you have to write in a completely different way.

How do you decide what’s the best way to present your writing?

Hint: as writers we often read what we like to write. If you find yourself spending hours on Twitter, not as a waste of time, but because you just love those 140 characters of wit and wisdom, that’s probably a good outlet for you. But if you love reading white papers that are pages and pages long because you love that deep dive and comprehensive coverage of a particular topic, then work on presenting your writing in that format.

Mistake 3. Doing it just because it Worked for Someone Else

There is so much writing out and about these days that if you don’t find a way to stand out you’re in grave danger of disappearing. And standing out isn’t that awfully hard – all you have to do is bring the full you to the table.

And you need to understand specifically what you stand for, as a writer-person. What unique aspects of you can you leverage and bring into your writing? Since you are the only you, no one can complete with you on that level.

Hint: write 3 specific sentences about what is great in you and your writing then make sure to bring that into your work. Forget about doing something because it worked for someone else. Learn from others but don’t try to recreate what they’ve already done.

So, now what do you do?

These above 3 mistakes will ultimately make your writing fail. So, armed with this new understanding, what can you do now to stop failing and actually become successful?


For starters, pause your routine long enough to determine when and where you’re making the above mistakes.

If you’re a blogger because it was the thing to do, but really hate blogging and reading blogs, then look at what you’ve written and imagine what mode of presentation would be a better fit for you.

Should it be an eBook?

A year long set of Twitter tips?

A downloadable course?


Next, find the best place for presenting that type of information.

A website that offers similar courses?

Do you need to set up a new Twitter account?


Find the what that you love, then the path that best fits that what.

Put your time into a style and path that suits both you and your writing and stop trying to be something you are not.

That is the secret to creating writing that succeeds.

pencil image by @Doug88888 via Compfight

About the author: Karen, zencopy creator, is a top 10 bestselling amazon author, creativity coach, and an online content specialist with a masters in psychology and passion for learning and teaching new topics.

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