Approach Your Writing Through the Lens of What Works for You

A simple lesson learned in an unexpected place

Diona L. Reeves
4 min readApr 26

Photo by Mitch Gaiser on Unsplash

When the pandemic hit, only a few months had passed since my last day as a full-time employee.

As I contemplated the future, I dabbled in the stock market. Nothing too extensive, just an effort to learn about the different approaches to trading, followed by a brief run to make something stick.

One trade stands out. An IPO I’d been tracking started out strong, and I bought it at the right time. I didn’t invest a lot in the transaction, but it was enough to cause a slight jump in my portfolio as the price increased. I was excited — not just by the money but by the possibility. Had I finally stumbled into something that would allow me to write without worrying so much about my financial future?

Unfortunately, I held onto the stock a bit too long. I kept it overnight, which was fine, but I failed to dump it early enough in the opening rush. I got too caught up in the rush of the moment and ignored the internal nudging to get out. The little money I made vanished.

The feelings of failure were immense. Like the articles I posted on Medium that received little to no traction, or the essay I submitted to a publication that was eventually rejected, this foray into the world of trading only fueled my negativity. Still, I slogged along, determined not to give up. I never found my groove, though. I was hesitant to continue day trading, and it didn’t occur to me that trying another approach might be worthwhile.

Eventually, my desire to focus on my novel and freelance work overtook the drive to find a profitable way to trade. I shifted gears, dedicating my time to writing instead of the fluctuating market. Although I had gleaned a massive amount of knowledge about the market itself, I was ignoring the possibility that a style better suited to my strengths could bring success.

I see the same misguided trajectory in how I approach writing. Scattering my efforts across different genres and platforms, learning the tricks of the trade as I eye my audience numbers and earnings… If this were all it took to be successful, wouldn’t that be great?

Diona L. Reeves

Author of The Prescott Diaries. Writes articles on productivity, the writing process, and this thing called life.