I grew up with big dreams, just like most geeks. First, I wanted to be a robot. Then, I thought “ninja” was the true profession I was born for, but once I hit about 12 it was clear to me. I loved writing and I adored geek culture and all things geek, from science fiction movies to fantasy books and video games. Did I ever think I would end up as a writer? Honestly, no. I had people around me telling me it was impossible and a stupid dream and I should settle for delivering Pizza or some similar nonsense. Well, here we are, exactly, 10, 234 published geek articles later, and guess what?
All those people were wrong.
You CAN be a writer. You know how I know? Well, who are you reading right now? So please let me help give you some advice on how to break into geek writing and internet journalism. It is not as impossible as others around you want you to believe. They just tell you that so they wont get jealous (and trust me, they do get jealous and it is awesome)!
Find Your Voice
I say this to some of my friends who say they want to be a writer and they sort of cock their heads, unsure what it means. Think about it. WordPress has an average of HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of new sites popping up every day. If you want to write in a world that has too many writers as is, you have to have a voice that sets you apart from your peers.
It can be funny or snarky or dry and informative, as long as it gets the job done. But keep in mind, if you write and sound like everyone else, what is going to compel people to want to read you? Nothing, so if you cannot find a distinct voice, work on creating one. Inject a little more humor or YOU into what you write and you might be shocked at the positive reaction you get.
Take the Leap
The biggest problem people who want to write face is themselves and people around them telling them it can’t happen. I will tell you this. I had a geek site I adored for years, and yeah, it took a couple rejections, but I eventually ended up at Neatorama and Unreality and Uproxx and GeeksAreSexy and the list goes on and on, so you KNOW it worked.
The trick was, I had to be brave enough to take that first leap. Remember, the one holding you back is, honestly, probably you at this point.
Dare to be Different
Remember what I stated earlier about finding and toning your voice? Also remember, write well OUTSIDE the box. I will give you an example to help you here. You know The Force Awakens was awesome, and so do I. BUT, you should also be aware, if you were to write another “The Force Awakens is Awesome” article, no one will read it right now because the web is awash in them right now. So you do what I did last week. Was still geeking out about TFA, but wanted a different angle. So you find something in your head that still makes it a TFA piece, but you approach it from an angle no one has yet, as seen here.
Little things like that can make a huge difference in setting you apart from every other geek voice on the web right now. And trust us, there are MANY!
Many Tools Available That Help Mold A Writer
Despite how easy I may have made it sound, realize, it will still be a challenge. If it gets to be too much, maybe this writing thing isn’t for you. But you have to realize, if worse comes to worse, there are a LOT of things out there that can help a writer, tools and sites for writing help that steer you in directions and help guide your hand. So even if you feel like you are getting nowhere sometimes, there are ways to help with that.
The real trick is passion, persistence, and sometimes, knowing the right apps that help ease open the door for you. After all, every little step counts.