Many self-proclaimed successful writers will tell you that you need to pick one or two particular topics to focus on. This is horseshit. My four published articles (which I remind you have earned me an enviable $0.06) each focus on radically different topics about which I have at most a passing interest.
“But Oliver, to be a successful writer shouldn’t you focus on topics about which you are a subject matter expert or have at least meticulously researched?”
Hogwash. Look at Bret Stephens at the New York Times. On a daily basis, he unapologetically writes half-baked garbage in America’s most respected newspaper regarding topics to which he dedicates at most 20 minutes of disinterested Google searching.
Hell, Boris Johnson’s used his role as European correspondent at The Times of London (for which he was fired from for falsifying quotes) as a springboard to the British premiership.
Take my word for it, you absolutely don’t need to be an expert about anything to be a successful writer… in fact if anything it’s probably a hindrance.
Many established writers will tell you that you need to write regularly to make it in the big leagues. This obviously nonsense. Aim to write at most once a month. If you pick up the pen more often than that, you will face the real risk of repetitive strain injury.
Practice and Technology Aids
Yet again those coastal elites will tell you the best writers develop outlines before completing a final draft and make use of newfangled technology like spellchecker.
Take it from this future Pultizer prize winning author: Outlines are for cowards who insist on following the Ikea instruction pamphlet when assembling furniture.
The same goes for using technology when writing. The most stirring prose is composed by nothing more than paper, a pen, and an honest righter. Spellchecker is for accountants and snowflakes.
Now all that is left is to ask yourself whether you would like to do the same — because you totally can.
If a skinny guy from the Isle of Man with no grammar or spelling skills can make $0.06 in 30 days, then you can too.
Remember to be helpful and enjoy the process more than the money.