3 Reasons Why I Hate the Phrase “You Have to Work Hard”, Especially When It Comes to Writing

Here’s a bit of a “hot take” as the cool kids say. I hate the phrase “You have to work hard.” Especially when it comes to writing.


Besides the fact that everyone and their mother parrot it without any feeling behind it, I have 3 other reasons why I don’t like it.

1. You can work hard and still not get what you want in life.

Being successful isn’t about hard work. It’s about:

  • knowing exactly what you want (having clarity)
  • deciding that you will have it no matter what
  • taking appropriate risks to get it
  • persevering
  • self-belief

Knowing what you want is where most people trip up. If you had true clarity on exactly what you want, everything else would be easy. Especially if you made the firm decision that you would get it no matter what.

2. If you think something is hard, it’s going to be hard.

I love a bit of woo-woo and manifesting, and I know that you get what you think about. (That’s a bit simplified, but let’s just stick with it for now.)

In fact, here’s an article I wrote about it on Medium:

Manifesting Isn’t Bullshit

If you think something’s going to be hard, it’s going to be hard.

Why set yourself up like that? I’m not saying you have to think of writing as easy (although, why not?), but don’t think of it as hard.

You want to enjoy what you’re doing. You want to feel excited about it, not dreadful.


Writing isn’t hard.

It’s writing. On the internet.

I’m sitting in a chair right now at my kitchen table. My dog is sleeping next to me snoring away. I’m looking out the window at the trees as I type these words.

When I think of a job that’s hard I think of:

• the contractor who remodeled our kitchen

• the trash men who come every Monday and Thursday

• dudes who work on building railroads

• the guys who I saw dig up the road and then repave it with their big trucks and small tools

That stuff is hard work.

Typing on your laptop is pretty easy in comparison.

To Sum It Up…

I know what people mean when they say writing takes a lot of hard work. They mean that you have to type a lot of articles and get attention before you become successful.

It might take 1 year, 3 years, or 5 years…who really knows?

But that’s not hard work.

It’s just typing on a computer and persevering when it doesn’t seem like anything is happening. That’s not hard work. It’s mental work.

The more mental work you put in, the faster your “hard work” will pay off.

And if it doesn’t? Be OK with it.

Because this should be fun. Not hard.

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