Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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File under: Copywriting & Sales Letters, inner game

From a recent Mike Cernovich substack:

“Writers can’t not write. It’s therapy. That’s why people who ask how to write are admitting that they don’t want to be writers. They’d already have a huge volume of work. It might not be that great. It may need an editor. But it would exist.”

That describes me in college.

I was the guy who spent all day reading about writing and writers.

I talked a lot about writing and writers, too.

And I even did a little writing and was a writer at times (like a variety show script for my fraternity, a TV script for a student produced show that was never used, and an adaption for a short story called “The Werewolf” by Angela Carter for a comicbook-style video for a video production class — which, incidentally, is in my Enoch Wars mobile app).

But I wasn’t really “a writer.”

Or, rather, I was one of those writers who was full of crap.

Because I called myself a writer but wasn’t regularly writing with little to show for it.

That’s most “writers” these days as well.

No, I didn’t really become a writer until I got into copywriting.

And even then, I didn’t hit my stride until I started writing daily emails for a few months, and realized the therapeutic benefits in addition to the sales that resulted from simply writing more content than I did before, faster than I did before.

But the sales and business-side is almost secondary.

And nowadays you can’t get me not to write.

That’s the only reason I have been able to write something like 8,000-9,000 pages of content between my books & print newsletter runs. Plus over 7,000 emails to my list (including some that are 6, 7, even 8 or more pages long, which also tend to be some of the best converting ones..), hundreds more emails collectively for clients I’ve worked for and/or other business ventures I partner in or have partnered in, God-only-knows how many sales letters (my Copy Slacker book published in 2019 has nearly 500 pages of my sales letter copy in it, and I’ve written many more sales letters since), hundreds of ezine articles for multiple niches, multiple comicbook scripts for the ongoing Email Players comicbook (that runs through the newsletter each month – I’ve written the stories through 2024’s issues), and even nine novels in my Enoch Wars horror story series — the last of which I’m less than a month away from finishing editing.

Yes, there’s an enjoyment aspect to it.

i.e., If I don’t find it fun I don’t write it.

Which by itself is a lesson for writers..

But what Mike Cernovich said about writing above being therapy is 100% true.

I work out all kinds of mental bull shyt via writing. It’s like wakeful dreaming. And at this point I do it whether I’m getting paid to or not. Like, for example, my Enoch Wars novels which I haven’t spent hardly any time marketing other than very superficially to my list (most of who don’t even read fiction) – and that barely make back the costs I spend on the covers and having them produced into audio books. Doesn’t matter because I cannot not write them. The last couple months I’ve spent 3-4+ hours per day on just tediously editing them, in addition to banging out emails and other content – like Email Players issues, 20+ emails sequences selling those issues, plus some other stuff I have going on for later this year. If I didn’t love writing – if I found the process painful or boring – I wouldn’t bother and would just spank out one email per day and do nothing else with my time like I used to do. But I write fiction because it’s a blast building out worlds and characters and storylines, and seeing the kind of stories I like to indulge in that nobody else has ever written (that’s why a lot of authors write books, because nobody else has written the books they want to read), and all the other copywriting benefits I get from the process.

And that’s the thing about people who spend literally 4, 6, 8+ hours per day writing:

It ain’t normal.

It’s quite abnormal in a lot of ways.

Just like being perfectly comfortable spending 8-9 hours (or more in my case sometimes) completely alone each day writing and/or walking while writing in my mind, thinking up ideas for writing, living inside my head (I don’t know how Stefania copes with it) to prep for more writing is abnormal. That’s why when someone asks about “how to get into copywriting” I already know they’re probably dead in the water. Otherwise they’d just start doing it, figuring it out as they go, making mistakes, and enjoying the process.

That’s how I did it, at least.

I can’t speak for anyone else.

But it’s not unlike how James Cameron started making movies.

He didn’t go to school for it.

He didn’t get permission to do it.

And he didn’t haunt masterminds, Facebook groups, or sit around talking to other filmmakers on social media about making movies for motivation, accountability, and inspiration.

No – he just picked up a camera… and started making movies.

The result?

The only filmmaker whose made three movies that have cracked $2 billion.

You don’t do that by talking.

You do it by doing.

Anyway, I don’t know who needed to hear this.

I literally typed the first draft of this email on my phone, shortly before bed.

(Writing right up until sleep probably ain’t normal either..)

But whoever is reading this finding it useful, I’ll just leave you with a song lyric by the late, great Fred Rogers whose life, work, and success habits I’ve been digging deep into over the last 8 or 9 months especially (this month’s January Email Players issue was essentially all about that).

If children can grasp this then any adult should be able to:

You can make-believe it happens, or pretend that something’s true. You can wish or hope or contemplate a thing you’d like to do, But until you start to do it, you will never see it through ‘Cause the make-believe pretending just won’t do it for you.

Good advice for children.

Even better advice for those longing to be writers.

All right, speaking of writing:

More on my Email Players newsletter here:

Ben Settle

  • Book & Tabloid Newsletter Publisher
  • Email Supremacist
  • Alt-Copywriter
  • Software Investor
  • Pulp Novelist

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