• Katlyn Roberts

The Secret To My Incredible Success As A Writer

Updated: Jan 28, 2020

Hello, yes, thank you. I am an authority.

Tis I. That writer you followed a while back on Medium. You may know me from my recent smash hits, The Statues in Egypt Used To Have Eyeballsand If You’re Not a Freelance Writer Now...

Or you may know me as “that profile pic with the braids”.

But you know what else I am? An expert. On whose authority? On the authority of the $613.11 Medium just transferred into my bank account after only one month* of writing here, baby! (I wrote one article back in October but that one doesn’t count.)

Does that sound like a lot of money to you? Read on, Padawan.

Does it sound like chump change and frankly a little laughable? …Just… get outta here. Go maintain your email list.

Wanna know how I made all this money? Money I’ve absolutely cashed and am currently fanning myself with as we speak? Easy. Just follow my super-simple, fool-proof, write-like-you-know-what-the-eff-you’re-talking-about steps:

1. Overcome your fear of showing your writing to anybody.

This sounds hard, but it’s actually very simple. Just, like, stop worrying about it.

You know how some people go to therapy to learn skills to face their fears and address past traumas and all that? And you know how every hero in every book or movie ever made goes through a gatekeeping process, faces some challenges that seem external but are actually internal, gets help from a wise mentor, faces some more trials, considers quitting, and then conquers their fears and does the cool thing that changes their life forever?

That stuff’s not real. (Therapy’s real).

I don’t even relate to that stuff and neither should you. Real life is about just fucking doing it. (Go to therapy if you can, therapy’s great.)

2. Let the luck of the draw determine what you’re going to write about.

When I can’t think of what to write, I literally go over to this here Random Noun Generator, decide how many nouns I want (I usually go with 4), and press “generate”.

If my next article isn’t an idea that was sparked by one of these four nouns-


-then you know I’m either kicking myself for not being creative enough, or I’m angry at myself for not having come up with a “niche” or a “personal brand” yet.

Hold me to it, guys. What are we without our quirky creative methods?

3. A personal brand is a pair of golden handcuffs.

Stephen King’s personal brand is horror. Margarett Atwood’s personal brand is feminist dystopian horror. Sylvia Plath’s brand is real-life horror poetry.

So how are you going to define your horror?

My biggest earner was a joyful, romping story about statues coming to life in Ancient Egypt, so now I’ve gotta figure out how to pull more of those out of my ass. But if you started out writing about the darkest, most traumatic moments in your life, you can’t follow it up with perky stuff and stories about healing or butterflies or whatever.

Your pain is your brand now.

Don’t blame me, not my rule. Personally, I think you should count yourself lucky. If history is any indication, you’re gonna blow right past me and my optimistic drivel.

4. That article is never gonna be perfect. Post it and don’t look back.

…Except to edit that one little typo in the second paragraph. And that other one near the end.

And, FUCK. The title is all wrong. Gotta change that.

(To read the rest of this article, check it out where it was originally published in The Writing Cooperative.)

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