NICOLAS COLE

Writer

Featured In Forbes: Leaving My 9-To-5 To Become A Full-Time Writer

Podcast FeaturesNicolas ColeComment
nicolascoleforbes

It is beyond humbling to have my story featured in Forbes (click here to read the article)

Whoever said writing is a dying craft got it all wrong.

I remember when I first started writing on the Internet, way back in 2007 as a gamer. The whole world of blogging and content writing at that time was still very, very new, and everyone was trying to find their footing. I just happened to find mine by writing about World of Warcraft and being a ridiculous teenager.

I took a few years after that to study, first journalism at the University of Missouri and then creative writing at Columbia College Chicago. I spent a lot more time reading and writing short stories. That was a big transition for me, taking an early interest in writing blogs about video games and refining it into a more widely accepted form of expression.

When I came back to writing on the Internet in 2015, I stumbled upon Quora. Quora took everything I had thought I'd known about writing and flipped it on its head. Instead of writing things in isolation, I started writing in public again. Every single Question on that site was a writing prompt, and no matter what came out onto the page, I shared it. I let people read that day's work, and told myself whatever the feedback, I would try again the next day.

When people say they want to be a writer, they talk about it as if it's this elusive sort of title—you wear artsy clothes and hang out at coffee shops and carry around old English classics. But it's that context that has made so many people think that writing is dying. How does that fit into our fast-paced world of today?

It doesn't.

Writing isn't dying. Writing is changing, just like every other art form has changed over the years. And if you want to be a successful writer, or successful at whatever it is you love, you have to be willing to learn and adapt to the demands of today.

I still read the classics. If anything, it's what separates me from a lot of other digitally-minded writers. I study Nabokov, and Hemingway, and Dostoevsky. But I also study viral bloggers, and today's best-selling authors. I feed my brain with both, and then think hard about how I can forge a space of my own.

In the past 4 years, I have reached every single writing goal I have set for myself.

The next one?

I want to write and publish a New York Times best seller, independently.

Everyone who has supported my writing, and follows my content on Quora, or my blog, or my Inc column, thank you. You're the reason I push myself to wake up and write something new, every single day.

We've taken it pretty far—a lot farther than a lot of people ever thought.

I want to take it a whole lot farther.

My next book is going to be called How To Leap, and will be coming out in July, 2017.