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079 A Brief Introduction to the Art of Catching Hell
27th July 2015 • Rough Draft • Rainmaker.FM
00:00:00 00:07:20

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There are about 100 ways to become a better writer. For example, you could …

Read 100 books. Listen to Ira Glass This American Life. Cultivate a sick sense of humor. Think like a psychologist. Rack up rejections. Write like mad.

But did you know catching hell can help you sharpen your copy chops, too? Yep. Starting a little controversy can do that.

Rocking the boat forces you to defend your ideas, examine what you can stomach, stretch your world and test the waters.

Let s explore these ideas.

In this 6-minute episode you’ll discover:

  • The unique role critics play in a writer’s life (hint: you are fortunate if you have critics)
  • What people who don’t like conflict need to know about controversy
  • The one thing you can’t do as an online writer (ever)

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The Transcript

A Brief Introduction to the Art of Catching Hell

Voiceover: This is Rainmaker.FM, the digital marketing podcast network. It’s built on the Rainmaker Platform, which empowers you to build your own digital marketing and sales platform. Start your free 14-day trial at RainmakerPlatform.com.

Demian Farnworth: Howdy, and welcome back to another episode of Rough Draft, your daily dose of essential web writing advice. I am Demian Farnworth, your host, your muse, your digital recluse, and the Chief Content Writer for Copyblogger Media.

And thank you for sharing the next few minutes of your life with me.

There are about 100 ways to become a better writer. For example, you could:

  • Read 100 books
  • Listen to Ira Glass This American Life
  • Cultivate a sick sense of humor
  • Think like a psychologist
  • Rack up rejections
  • Write like mad

But did you know catching hell can help you sharpen your copy chops, too? Yep. Starting a little controversy can do that.

Rocking the boat forces you to defend your ideas, examine what you can stomach, stretch your world and test the waters.

Let s explore these ideas.

The Unique Role Critics Play in a Writer s Life (Hint: You are Fortunate If You Have Critics)

Solitude is sacred domain for writers. It s where they contemplate and churn out their ideas. And unless you re J. D. Salinger, those ideas will eventually see light.

When they do enter the critics.

Don t cringe or snub your nose at critics. They serve a function: challenging what you write.

But here s the deal: if critics aren t paying attention to you then you ve got your work cut out for you.

Listen: You want critics to pay attention to you. To feel threatened by what you write. It s a sign of their recognition of your authority

An authority they d love to take down.

That s where you, my friend, roll up your sleeves, lick your knuckles and put up your fists. Even if you think you ll lose. Because the tussle that ensues will teach you more about who you are and why you think the way you do.

I m not advocating an air-tight fundamentalist mindset

I m advocating for you to grow as a writer, which means examining why you think the way you do and evaluating whether what you think is correct or not.

In the public square is where ideas are refined. Improved. And sharpened.

You ll lose some fights, win others, all with the goal of gaining wisdom. Wisdom to know when to shut your mouth and when to speak up. When to confront critics and when to ignore them.

But you ll never reach that place unless you catch a little hell. How much hell you can take depends on how much you can stomach.

What People Who Don t Like Conflict Need to Know About Controversy

I confess: I don t like confrontation. I don t like bringing attention to myself. And I have a certain level of hell I can stomach.

That s the thing: it differs from person to person. Some people love to catch a mountain of it. Others a mole hill. You won t know if you never try. So that means you have to

If you force yourself to catch hell you are expanding your borders. You are crossing from the known to the unknown.

I can t think of a better way that creates opportunity for good things to happen to you. Catch a little hell and people who didn t know you yesterday can t stop talking about you today.

When you stir the pot you discover what people respond to. Think of it as an experiment. You are looking for something new. Something that strikes a nerve.

Hiding behind garden-variety advice on a blog whether you re dishing out gardening tips or financial tactics for example, is a guaranteed way to keep your feet planted on the ground and smack in the middle of the crowd. In obscurity. What you need to do is defy gravity. You need to rise above the noise.

But you ll never know how to do that unless you test the waters. And catching a little hell is great way to do that. In the next episode you ll discover five approaches.

Until then, take care.

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