This is Why You’ll Fail as a Writer

Hint: it has nothing to do with marketing

Adrian Drew
5 min readAug 31, 2022


Photo by Harry Brewer on Unsplash

I see it everywhere. Writers, musicians and content creators, desperately trying to figure out quick-fire ways to drive large amounts of traffic to their work, painstakingly scouring the internet for marketing ‘hacks’ that’ll make their mediocre content go viral overnight.

I’ve been there. And it doesn’t work.

At sixteen I remember throwing together a half-hearted article about mindfulness, a subject that I knew next to nothing about other than that everybody else was talking about it. I published the piece and sat, waiting — utterly baffled that it attracted next-to-no views.

And at fourteen, four of my closest friends and I met up at a local rehearsal studio with our instruments, rushed to write as many songs as we could, released our first album as a band and waited impatiently for our fanbase to grow. Yet nobody, to our absolute amazement, was even remotely interested in hearing our music, having us play at their shows or signing us to their record label — no matter how much time we spent trying to generate publicity.

Why did I fail in both of these instances?

The answer is obvious. The problem wasn’t that I was bad at marketing, that the industry was too saturated or that I needed to get better at promoting myself on social media.

The problem was that I, like many others, just wasn’t good enough.

The Untold Truth That Nobody Wants to Hear

Nobody wants to be told they’re not good enough — but if we’re searching for ways to increase our exposure, and that’s all we’re doing to drive our progress forward, we’re basically making the assumption that we don’t need to work on improving any more.

If the only thing left for us to do is draw in readers, our content must be pretty damn great. Because if it wasn’t, we’d be far too busy making it better than to worry about marketing.

The problem is that we’re all far too focused on trying to find quick and easy formulas for success — ways to ‘hack’ the system and build an audience instantly. We want to know how to write articles that’ll bring in massive amounts of views…



Adrian Drew

Owner of Mind Cafe | Let’s chat on Instagram: @adriandrew__