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The Lorem Ipsum Newsletter

#21: Beginner Writers vs Expert Writers

Vahur Singa
  Reading time 3 minutes

 

The path to becoming an expert writer is full of myths and roadblocks.

It’s because the quality of writing and writers is very tricky to assess objectively.

At the end of the day, the goal of writers is to engage and educate readers in a way that no one else can.

To fascinate the readers with new learnings and make them enjoy every second of reading.

To leave them wanting more…

But how do you achieve that? Is there a secret mantra that you can start following overnight?

Are there quantifiable steps to becoming an expert?

In this letter, I lay out the characteristics of beginner, intermediate and expert writers.

This will help you:

  • Develop a deeper appreciation for good writing and help you analyze what makes it so effective.
  • Have a sober understanding of your shortcomings to address them effectively.
  • De-mystify the process of becoming an expert writer by providing actionable steps for improvement.

Let’s begin.

Beginner writers…

Don’t understand their readers.

Beginner writers don’t know whom they are writing for.

Therefore, their message is either too advanced or, on the contrary, doesn’t offer anything new to the reader.

To address this, it’s essential to research your niche and create an ideal reader profile – where are they on their journey, what do they know, and what are their problems?

If you keep them in mind, readers will know that your pieces are always worth their time.

Lack frameworks and systems.

Beginner writers shoot out different ideas and struggle to stay on the topic. This results in a message that is disorganized and hard to follow.

Haven’t done the due diligence.

This might be a tough pill to swallow, but some writers simply oversell themselves as experts. They haven’t read the books, learned the theory, or dug deep for actual results.

This shows in their writing style:

  • They try too hard to appear well-informed by making absolute judgments about a field with endless complexities.
  • They’re not confident that their core idea is strong, so they include irrelevant facts and reasonings to appear smarter.
  • They try to emulate the playfulness of expert writers. But because their writing lacks a clear purpose, their playfulness compromises authority.
  • They get extremely risk-averse. They know they can’t handle someone challenging them, so they don’t make bold claims and leave everyone indifferent.

I am not saying this to offend anyone. Quite the opposite.

It’s great to start your writing journey early in your career. People love creators who simply share their lessons and celebrations with their audience.

But it’s important not to oversell yourself and continue working hard.

Intermediate writers…

Write like a machine.

Intermediate writers do everything by the book.

They discover writing education and frameworks and get obsessed with it.

They follow a framework, but their writing can be formulaic, lacking character and intrigue. Every paragraph and word simply fulfil a function.

At this stage, there is nothing wrong with their writing on paper (see what I did there?), but it’s not exciting. It’s distanced from the core purpose of writing – to create a human connection.

They don’t offer unique views. They just repeat general talking points and concerns about their niche.

Intermediate writers don’t have their unique style, and their pieces are interchangeable with hundreds of other writers. Or chatbots, unfortunately.

However, this is not a bad sign because understanding and mastering these fundamentals is a vital stepping stone.

 

Expert writers…

Make it look easy.

Expert writers have mastered the writing mechanics. They have the formulas and frameworks in their muscle memory, but they don’t follow them religiously.

They have a fundamental understanding of how to make their text effective, which gives them a lot of freedom.

Their writing has a free-flowing rhythm and a quirky tone, so you can sense they were having fun while writing. They keep the readers engaged using stories, taglines, and references, but they never blur the reader from what’s important.

That’s how they develop a unique style, which makes readers fall in love with them. As a result, expert writers can persuade their readers without them even noticing it.

But they’re only able to do it because they’ve gone through the necessary steps that preceded it.​

If you use these ideas to analyse your own writing and set goals accordingly, you will get on a speedway to becoming an expert writer.

Of course, this interpretation is not absolute. Writing ability is not fixed, and even expert writers can produce work that falls short of their usual standards.

Messi, too, has a bad day. But Messi at his worst is still better than any of us will ever be at football.

As a writer, you must never stop trying to improve and deepen your understanding of your audience. Writing ability should be viewed as a progression, not a destination.

That’s it for this week’s Lorem Ipsum. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to me.

 

Wishing you success,

Vahur

 

Whenever you’re ready, there are 2 ways I can help you:

  1. For Estonians: If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer or marketer and tired of poor results from social media, consider joining my Content Marketing Masterclass.
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Sven Nuum
Sven Nuum
I don't know anybody who has deep-dived into content marketing and social media like Vahur. The way he writes using copywriting persuasion principles and communicates with his audience is outstanding.
Mihkel Vetemaa
Mihkel Vetemaa
Only some people understand the social media game and how to tap into human psychology to stop the scroll. Vahur is really passionate about content writing and systemizing it. It's surprising how his content always gets attention.
Mardo Männimägi
Mardo Männimägi
He is a charming person who knows how to listen. Vahur has given me great advice on growing my businesses and podcast. To grow on social media through content, you need to think strategically, which he knows how to do.