How to Become a Better Writer Through Life Experimentation

And improve your life at the same time!

The publication Better Humans is the 11th most read publication on Medium, according to Smedian, boasting nearly 300,000 subscribers. And deservedly so — their content is of tremendously high value and quality.

Subsequently, their requirements for writers to get published to Better Humans are of comparable rigor:

We have two fundamental rules:

1. We only want advice that the author has personal experience with. For that reason, our authors are either academics, coaches, or aggressive self-experimenters. The good news is that you are, by definition, an expert in your own experience and there are always other people like you.

2. The point of our articles is to change lives. We don’t accept thought pieces, philosophy or news. All pieces should be one part inspiration and one part clear, detailed advice.

No philosophy. Got it.

Better Humans’ aim is to do exactly as they say — help create better humans — and they stand by their mission by providing step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

Most people don’t need inspiration or to be told what to do — they need a guide. Better Humans’ writers provide that guide.

I’ve always struggled with the idea of writers and bloggers projecting expertise onto their readers. Every blogger seems to be an expert, with all of the answers; remarkably, none of them seem to have any questions.

I understand that it’s basic supply and demand — readers come to Medium to learn things, and therefore bloggers need to know — or pretend to know — things worth knowing, and be able to teach their readers how to do the things worth knowing, in order to be worthy of being read.

Presumably, those who actually know, and have done, what readers need to know, are those who rise to the top of the blog chain.

It becomes a rich get richer situation — those that are full of experiences or knowledge worth sharing subsequently become more widely read.

Whereas few are interested in the existential questioning of an existential questioner.

So, how does one become a better writer, in this context? How does one get published to Better Humans, for example, especially if they’re not a coach or an academic?

By becoming, as Coach Tony says, an aggressive self-experimenter.

There are five kinds of articles Better Humans is looking for:

  1. Personal accomplishment turned tutorial
  2. Promising personal experiment turned tutorial
  3. How to do X to achieve Y
  4. Complete guide to the science of…
  5. Complete guide to achieving…

Unfortunately, the only way to write within one of those topics is to have done the thing.

However, if you’re looking for content, the upside is you can do the thing — and then you get to write about it (and receive ancillary, positive benefits thereafter too)!

The only way to write about losing 50 pounds from a 5:2 fasting diet is to do a 5:2 fasting diet (and subsequently lose weight). You get a great How To article, hopefully published by Better Humans, and inadvertently get to lose weight in the process!

They used to say: those who can’t do, teach.

Now, I think the quote goes:

Those who haven’t done, can’t teach.

This is especially true of what I will call “metacontent” — or content about the thing which the person is doing.

A tremendous amount of writers have found great success on Medium writing about how to become better writers.

Their experimentation with how to become a better writer, and their written dissemination of the information thereafter, reinforces their abilities as a writer.

Their credibility as a writer is also reinforced by the fact that the reader — and a lot of other readers — are reading what said writer has to say.

The same is true with digital marketing entrepreneurs, whose products teach customers acquired through Facebook ads how to acquire customers through Facebook ads. Or YouTubers giving video editing or YouTube channel growth tutorials.

So, if you want to become a better writer, then do things worth writing about.

You may change your life in more ways than one.

What life experiments are you currently conducting?


Add Yours →

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