Why No One Is Reading Your Writing

I mean not your’s necessarily.

Well maybe, but I won’t tell anyone.

But it can never hurt to take a look at your writing and make sure that people aren’t falling asleep while they read it.

If you really want to make it as a writer you have to make the reader sit up a little in their seat.

Grab their attention and never let it go.

You want your writing to grab them by the cuff of their shirt and force their eyes to their words. Heck, you want to stop just shy of going Clockwork Orange on them.

I’ve written a lot. Probably too much. I’ve been called everything you can call a writer: a hack, a sellout, a terrible writer. I’ve even been called…a blogger.

But my writing has never been called boring.

How do you keep people’s ever shortening attention span from flitting over to the next article or story?

Well, for one make sure the writing is good.

I know this sounds simple but a reader can suss out a bad writer. You have a few lines, sometimes as little as a few words to make your impression.

Readers are a fickle bunch and the Internet has winnowed their interest to the point where if the story doesn’t take hold there are a plethora of other choices. There’s no reason to stick to a poorly written work. Back in the day, had you shelled out ten bucks for a paperback you’d give it a chance since you spent a Hamilton on it.

But now, a new story is just a click away.

Plus, think about the the alternatives. A reader is choosing to read your story over Netflix, Facebook, and Youtube. Your story has to compete with the Internet’s best.

If it’s nonfiction keep the reader informed and entertained.

If it’s fiction tear the readers heart out.

Make them weep.

They’ll remember. It’s why George R.R. Martin gets to write book a decade.

What else can you do?

Well, another reason your writing might be a tad on the dull side is your voice.

What voice you ask?

Your writers voice.

I’ve seen it happen more often than you think.

But this stems from how we learn to write.

We grow up writing essays and analytic work. Oftentimes you’ll spend the first few days, weeks, months, and well years taking on commercial work where you have to write clean, tightly written copy.

But it’s not exactly Shakespeare you know?

So you start your creative journey and start posting creative essays and stories about your life and it sounds like a TPS report.

You have to work a little of your personality into your work. Your voice needs to come through otherwise it’ll just sound like everyone else.

But what if you don’t have a personality you ask?

Well I’m sure you do.

But if you don’t you can fake one. All the best people do.

So, keep plugging away and it’ll work out.

Or it won’t and that’s what Law school is for.

Matthew Donnellon is a writer, artist, and sit down comedian. He is the author of The Curious Case of Emma Lee and Other Stories.

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