Three Practices That Made Me a Successful Writer

Advice from one of Medium’s largest publication owners.

Adrian Drew
6 min readApr 25


Photo by Windows on Unsplash

At seventeen, I made an important decision. That was, to go against the grain of what’s expected from seventeen-year-olds, decline my offers to go to university, and pursue a career as a writer.

Naturally, I had no idea where to begin; zero credentials, absolutely no experience, and a couple of irrelevant GCSEs.

My decision incited a fair amount of resistance, both from my family and my teachers. I was warned against carving my own career and strongly urged to pursue further education in order to land a stable job.

“What is a stable job?” I asked.

Perplexed, my teachers didn’t really have an answer, since the idea of a stable job is simply a myth. As we know, many people with so-called ‘stable’ jobs found themselves unemployed and destitute when covid ran riot.

That wasn’t for me, I decided.

So, I hopped onto UpWork, applied for a tonne of freelance writing gigs, and landed my first client. The pay was terrible, but I didn’t care. I was getting my foot in the door.

That was the beginning. Since then, I have:

  • Built a publication with over 500,000 monthly readers.
  • Written thousands of articles for hundreds of different businesses.
  • Established a globally-stocked print magazine housing some of the world’s bestselling authors.
  • Charged clients as much as $1 per word for my work.
  • Coached many aspiring writers, teaching them how to mimic my success.

Multiple years and a few hundred thousand pounds later, I’m happy with where I am. In this article, I want to share three tips that’ll help you to get here, too.

Qualifications Are Irrelevant

When my parents were younger, a university degree was incredibly respected. If you had a degree, you were going places, and high-paid work would always have been available to you.

Today, the degree is becoming increasingly obsolete.



Adrian Drew

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