Stop Trying to Be Someone You’re Not for Clicks and Reads

The readers can tell when a writer is putting up a smokescreen

Jason Weiland
4 min readJul 13, 2020

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Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

I did something I’m not proud of doing.

I wrote an article yesterday that turned out great, and because I have been working on my headline-writing skills, I thought I would try something confrontational. When I first submitted it to Better Marketing, the headline was “It Is Your Fault No One is Reading Your Writing on Medium.”

If you know me well at all, it doesn’t sound like something I would publish. I don’t make it a habit of getting in others’ faces and telling them they suck.

It’s just not me.

Even after I submitted it, I felt uneasy in the pit of my stomach. I felt like the headline went against everything I stood for, and when it got rejected, I was relieved. I had a chance to go back and change it to something that sounds like my voice. It’s still a hard-hitting piece but I softened it around the edges.

I should know by now that, at least for me, it never pays to go against what I stand for.

What is Wrong With Trying Something New?

I’m not saying it’s terrible to go out on a limb and try something new. Writing is all about testing the boundaries and seeing what works.

But there are certain principles and fundamentals that make us a unique human. These are essential things people know about you that make up the image they have of you in their mind.

“Oh, Stuart is incorrigible. He will say anything to make you cringe!”

It also makes up the foundation of who you are to yourself, your morals, and your beliefs. I hated that headline because I care enough about others that I would never want to make them feel embarrassed about something that is clearly very important to all of us.

I would never call anyone a shitty writer, except myself, because that is part of who I am.

So there is nothing wrong with going in a different direction with your writing, but make sure you can be comfortable with this new “you” before you stick your neck out.

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Jason Weiland

Mental Health, Tech, and personal essays from a guy who never tires of writing about his life - jasonweiland.substack.com