Welcome, Matt. I think I understand where you’re coming from. As a writer, you want it to be perfect, so there’s a lot of procrastination. As a human, you want some positive connection, but that’s counter balanced by the fear of rejection. And as a younger person who is into UI, your perspective and programming lingo are probably foreign to at least half the people on Medium.

I hope you are open to some feedback and will keep writing, regardless of how many views and green hearts you get.

  1. Pretend your readers are not experts in your subject: I’ve been doing web design for over fifteen years, can do some basic coding, and mess around with CSS to get maybe 90% of the look I want before I go to my real programmer. But I still had to look up the definition of Onboarding.
  2. Stories are what drive human beings. The most interesting part of this story is the tipping point, the events that caused you to change your behavior (overcoming fear). That’s the crux of almost any story — what makes people do the things they do and how it affects their story arc. Check out this story on writing by Luke Trayser: https://medium.com/words-for-life/write-cliffhangers-to-hook-readers-ce0dae4eb44#.u1napzylj
  3. Add a human element, even to technical writing. It seems like the really top writers in this area are able to tie in high level concepts with basic human emotions or life situations. Check out the work of Tobias van Schneider. He’s really good at making his work accessible to a lot of people.
  4. Never stop editing you work. If you’re writing out of anger, don’t publish it that night. Look at it the next morning with fresh eyes. Sometimes, you might want to wait a few days, just to get some perspective. After you publish and someone highlights your work, or makes a comment, you’ll probably go back and reread part of your article. I promise you, you will find typos, or want to fix the tone or nuance behind a word or a phrase. If you really are a perfectionist, go ahead and make those small changes — it’s a relief to get them out of the way. (Just don’t rewrite large sections. You’ll be better off writing a whole new article because you probably have changed your perspective enough over time that it’s too much work. It’s like the hassle and cost to make major changes to a web site originally done by another programmer.)
  5. Write your own truth and don’t worry about what anyone else says. Everyone struggles with feedback and making unfair comparisons with other writers. There’s always someone who has more followers, or more hearts, or more book sales. Here’s one of my favorite pieces about that very subject, addressing people who have ten times more followers than me who have the same insecurities:

P.S.: Holy crap, I wrote the above story on May 24 and it contains the following paragraph:

What happens if the SVR (successor to the KGB) hears the radio broadcast and decides it‘s an excuse by the Americanskis to launch the dreaded first strike, so they tell Putin to be on extra red alert to fire his missiles? And then President Trump tweets “push the button” to his personal assistant before any discussion can take place.

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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