Good writers borrow, great writers steal – Oscar Wilde.
One of the great lessons I learnt while growing up is not to steal.
Even the bible said “Thou shall not steal.”
I am sure other religions and ethics also condemn stealing.
But, the truth is;
Writers are permitted to steal.
Yes, the best writers are the best thieves.
Do you want to know?
Shakespeare stole his plots from Greek and Roman plays.
Thomas Jefferson practically copied the Declaration of Independence from John Locke.
Copying another person’s content is called plagiarism
I am not asking you to copy someone else’s content and claim it as your own. No, that is referred to as plagiarism and you are violating copyright laws.
One of best ways to succeed as a writer is to watch what other great writers and bloggers are doing and creatively adapt it.
That is what has helped me so far.
I look for great writers and I study the way they write their headlines, introduction, body, and the conclusion of their content and I followed suit.
Is it working for me?
Sure it is.
Can I tell you a secret?
I stole the idea of this post from Jon Morrow.
But don’t tell him.
He is one of the best writers I admire. I am studying his writing style and following suit.
One of the best ways to be far from success as a writer is to think you can be original.
It is possible, but it will take a long time.
I discovered that the more I studied great writers and adapt their style of writing, the more I am finding my own unique voice.
That is the truth!
The first secret to being a great writer is to:
Stand On The Shoulders Of Great Writers
It was Isaac Newton who said, “If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants“.
One way you can succeed faster as a writer or blogger is by standing on the shoulders of great writers to watch what they are doing right and follow suit.
As you do, you will discover your own style and add flavour to make it unique.
This also applies to other life endeavours.
You want to become a great dancer. Look for a great dancer you admire, and watch how she dances.
Try and dance like her. As you take the steps, you will discover unique ways you can add flavour to your dance steps.
It is simple!
Another one is…
Steal their ideas
It will amaze you to know that there are many good writers, but VERY few are great.
I want to be a great writer and that is why I need to stand on the shoulders of great writers to learn.
One way, I can achieve this goal is to steal their ideas.
If you have read Jon Morrow, Neil Patel, and Brian Dean’s blogs, you will agree with me that they are great writers.
I have studied them closely and learnt the way they write.
So, I try as much as possible to look at their style of writings, add my own flavour to create my own unique writing style.
Another way to become a great writer is to be a researcher
Someone said, “If you steal a story, you commit plagiarism. If you steal a hundred, you made research.”
Dumb writers copy and paste stories why great writers steal more than one, reads and digest them to reproduce an original one.
Great writers are obviously great researchers. If you are conversant with Neil Patel, you will know that he puts in a great amount of time to research.
As he writes, he provides examples to make the points clearer.
I have stolen that idea from him.
Whenever I write, I make sure to look for examples for the key points in my content to make it clearer to my audience.
He uses images a lot and that makes his writings less boring.
I copied that style also. I try to look for images that relate to my content whenever possible to produce the same effect.
Jon Morrow, is a prolific writer. I am currently stealing his headline style.
This guy can write great headlines.
Recently, I came across his free book 52 headline hacks and I was amazed.
I love his writings so much and I want to be more than he is.
Do you know that Brian Dean recently analyzed 1 Million Google search result to learn more about SEO and wrote a post about it?
That must have taken him several days of research and analysis.
That is to tell you that it takes a long time to produce meaningful and useful content.
And that is what great writers do. They carry out thorough research to provide answers to their audience problems.
The problem with us as writers is that some of us do not like research.
We want to churn out articles by regurgitating shallow ideas and rewriting them to make it our own.
Great writers are committed to research.
If I want to write my content, I use 3- 4 hours to research and 1 or 2 hours to write a 1,000 + article.
It helps me to create better content than the one that is available everywhere.
This skill will set you apart from other writers in your niche.
I am sure you want to be a great writer. Then, you must learn how to leverage other great writer’s style to develop your own unique style. Start by stealing their ideas, standing on their shoulders to watch what they do and carry out enormous research before you create your content.
As a writer, have you ever stolen an idea, style of writing, e.t.c, from another writer before?.
Let’s discuss it in the comment section below.