This post comes after a lot of careful consideration, some thought and also in light of the many people who claim to be self-professed ‘experts’ when it comes to articulating words and blogging about it, especially when it comes to music.
Lately, I’ve noticed that there are blogs, websites and parody websites related to the Dance music industry and everyone writes about it. Everyone wants their voice to be heard. Fair enough. People are entitled to their opinions. But, there’s a fine line between being a writer that has credibility and someone who writes controversial jibber-jabber JUST so that people talk about it. Stop and think. What are you trying to prove? Are you trying to show the world, “I’m badass, people should listen to what I say, because I know exactly what I’m talking about..” Don’t you think that it should be about wanting to cultivate a style, a way of writing, so that people appreciate, understand and talk about what you’ve written, in a positive way? Shouldn’t it be about doing what you love because you love what you do, rather than seeking fame and fortune?
My 3 cardinal rules for being a good writer:
1. Articulate – So important. Anyone can write. Anyone can throw words together – but invariably you NEED to reach out to your audience and readers. Let them understand you and what you want to say. Cultivate a style that speaks about you. Seek inspiration, but don’t try and make it sound like you’ve copied another writer’s style. Express clearly and concisely. Not everyone has the IQ of 160. You don’t need to use a thesaurus to use flowery language to impress people. Find a human element. Make the read an easy one. Relate. Let readers feel you’re speaking to them personally. Find a way to express yourself that shows you have an opinion, but aren’t forcing it upon people. Don’t try and sound like an asshole. But moreover – write because you love it. NOT because you want to gain fame. It isn’t easy.
2. Let Your Work Speak For Itself – Another rule I live by. I’ve never compromised on my style of writing. Over the years, I’ve tweaked the way I express myself when I write, but I’ve stayed true to the essence of what I personally believe in – pushing out pieces that are relatable and fun, however,they are to the point and bring out essence of what the piece stands for. Cultivating your style and wanting to be taken seriously doesn’t happen overnight. You work for it. There are times I’ve felt that no one takes what I write seriously, and it’s just another piece that is lost in a sea of blog posts. Part of a cesspool of posts. No matter. Persevere. Work at it. Listen to people who have more experience than you and take their advice to improve your skills. Don’t think you’re a ‘know-it-all’. All your pieces may not have the same wow factor every single time. Don’t let it get you down. Keep writing. Only with time will you reach where you want to be. But don’t let that go to your head. No one appreciates an egotistical writer who thinks his work trumps everyone else’s. Eventually, if you keep working seriously at it – people around you will take notice. And then, let them speak about it. It does happen.
3. Don’t Be A Suck Up – If I had a penny for every person who tried their hand at writing and wrote something that was only full of praises and all fanboi like, I’d be a millionaire. A writer is meant to write what HE feels, not write because you want to be in the good books of others. No artist/agency/promoter is perfect and stop making them out to be. You have no clue what goes on behind closed doors, and if you feel something isn’t right, you should (without sounding like a douchebag) express that diplomatically. No one likes a bashing. And no one appreciates it either. It might gain you temporary praises for being ‘outspoken’ and ballsy, but it might work against you later. At the same time, there’s a fine line between writing something that deserves the praise and being a complete suck up. Gushing about an artist/agency/promoter will be evident, and people will notice. And they know at the end of the day, they can take advantage of you. Don’t fall victim to that. Suck ups irk me to no extent, in fact, I find them mildly pathetic. So stay true to what you feel, but keep in mind rule number 1 – ARTICULATE.
So you might think that this is some kind of ‘wtf’ post, but honestly I’ve had the experience (albeit, I’m still learning), to know what good writing is – and it does annoy the crap out of me when people think that success in this field comes overnight. It takes patience, hard work, plenty of rejections and having to constantly improve to be taken seriously. To write well is an art, and art takes time and effort. I stress again – do NOT think that being a ‘badass’ when you write will get you praises. Write from the heart, and if you’re worried about what others think and hold back – it won’t work. Just be true to yourself, but also remember, it’s not about the fame, it’s about doing what you love and loving what you do – ALWAYS. x