I’m not sure I agree with the gist of this article. It gives the impression that there is somehow a magic button out there and if a writer does not find it, that writer is a fool.
Writing is a very competitive business, just like professional sports or entertainment. The odds of any writer being able to “make it” are small, and a reasonable person approaching this profession should have a Plan B for life in mind. Having to enact one’s Plan B may not have anything to do with quality of writing or how well it is marketed.
Take Medium for example. There are a whole whack of great writers here. And they are on Medium to market their skills, so we can’t say they are poor marketers. How many of these writers are actually going to make a living from Medium and/or turn their Medium work into a reasonably well paying gig somewhere else?
I have to shudder at bit at this article’s section of “knowing your audience.” If I followed that advice, I would be writing about things I really don’t like writing about. For example, I’m pretty sure that I would find more success writing about Donald Trump than what I am writing about today: my new system of governance that would never elect someone like Donald Trump.
It seems there are at least 10 Medium writers getting at least a little money from bashing Mr. Trump. Should I be #11? This article seems to suggest I should be #11 because, so far, it seems nobody is interested in hearing about my system on Medium or other internet forums.
So let’s just call me a failure, OK? I can take it.
But I would rather have written something that was in my heart than something to make a quick buck.
I am very grateful for the internet and self-publishing. These days, I can have my ideas out there in the world — and that, by itself, is a satisfying feeling. Thirty years ago, my ideas would have been stuck in my head or perhaps sitting on a dusty shelf where nobody can see them.