Say Something or STFU

Always write with a message.

Every piece you publish should have a message, a purpose behind it. A piece without a purpose is just words.

I need to say up front: I’m not talking about free writing. You should write just to write, but you publish with a purpose.

Why a purpose?

Your readers give you their time; don’t waste it.

‘Purpose’ can be wide and sweeping:

  • To get to know a character. People love connecting with people — even fictional ones.
  • To educate.
  • To persuade.
  • To entertain.

The other week I started an article, but couldn’t finish it. I put it away, as I often do, to let it stew. A few days later it hit me: my article had no purpose. It just listed events going on in my life;it didn’t have any real meaning behind it.

What you publish isn’t a Facebook update about your life; don’t pretend it is.

A lot of people write articles about their life and they do so successfully. Those articles have purpose: to connect the writer to the reader. To tell a story.

Mine didn’t have that purpose. Ultimately, I wanted to educate and persuade, but the way I staged the piece didn’t accomplish that purpose.

I had to rethink the structure; structure serves purpose.

When you struggle with a piece; when you just don’t know where it’s going; when it doesn’t feel right — what’s the purpose? Does your structure support that purpose?

If you can answer the first question and answer ‘yes’ to the second, purpose and structure may not be your problems. Keep seeking the problem. If, however, you can’t answer the first or answer ‘no’ to the second — now you know the problem and can fix it.

And if the piece doesn’t have a purpose?Don’t publish it. If you want to build a reader base the cares, you have to follow the most basic rule: say something, or STFU.

Don’t publish it.If you want to build a reader base the cares, you have to follow the most basic rule: say something, or STFU.

If you want to build a reader base that cares, you have to follow the most basic rule: say something, or STFU.

Colby HeadshotColby is a leader and internet marketer. He’s also the wizard of the web here at Flying M-Inklings. And he owns a miniature poodle; she’s the only guard dog he needs.

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