The “What Happens in Tomorrow World?” author and Mind Cafe editor shares his top writing tips
I was so intrigued and inspired by Jordan Gross’s new book, What Happens in Tomorrow World? that I couldn’t help but ask him if he would mind sharing some of his writing wisdom with me and the Coffee Time Reviews readers. This is how the idea for the Author Spotlight series came about.
Many writers get into the craft either by accident or just because they couldn’t avoid or stop writing altogether. Essentially, wanting to be a writer and intentionally focusing all your efforts in that direction is seldom the case, even for established authors.
After listening to a bunch of podcasts that said writing a book changed the person’s life, I decided to get into it as well — Jordan Gross
Haruki Murakami wrote his first novel at the age of 29. At the time, he was managing a jazz club and fell into writing in a random moment of inspiration. Bernardine Evaristo first graduated from the Rose Bruford College of Speech & Drama, before pursuing a PhD in Creative Writing and Goldsmiths, University of London.
This is because the stereotype of the starving artist looms over writing as much as over any other art, and many people who want to become writers always have other backup plans in case they never make it.
Jordan Gross’s writing career reflects the usual path any full-time writer normally takes. His author page describes him as a “solopreneur, podcast host, 2x TEDx speaker, editor, and coach”, and a “Northwestern and Kellogg School of Management graduate, where he studied absolutely nothing to do with writing”. After quitting his job, he wrote and self-published his first book, despite not having written anything since college at the time.
Jordan recalls: “I became a writer for fun. I had quit my job and was casually searching for the next thing. In the interim, I had been working on this series of reflections about overcoming stress and anxiety with a positive morning routine, and after listening to a bunch of podcasts that said writing a book changed the person’s life, I decided to get into it as well.”
His latest book, What Happens in Tomorrow World? was published earlier this month by BenBella Books and is a modern fable that teaches how to deal with uncertainty and the fear of losing control. I was puzzled to learn Jordan wrote this book in four days. More specifically, he wrote it during the first four days of quarantine, once the pandemic hit.
“I dropped all other work when the pandemic hit, and I just wanted to find a way to help people face the uncertainty ahead. So I decided to write,” said Jordan, sharing the reasoning behind his latest book.
Jordan Gross’s Top Tips for Aspiring Writers
When asked about his advice to new writers, I wasn’t surprised Jordan didn’t mention the standard: “know your grammar” or “do your research”, because being a writer is much more about what’s going on behind the scenes and the thought processes that lead to that story in the first place. Sometimes, they take years to flourish and become ready to be shared. It seems Jordan Gross is on the same page on this.
- Consume, consume, consume — read just as much if not more than you write
- Reading and writing are not the only things that help — use other art forms to help develop your style. Watch movies and shows. Go to dancing and singing performances. Everything can be viewed from the lens of becoming a better writer/storyteller
- Your life is a story — if you want to be a writer, you must lean into becoming more and more observational. View your life as one big story, and make sure to share these stories in your writing with us.
His success on Medium has been complementary to his writing career, as the platform allowed him to “try new writing techniques and build and foster a community”. Jordan Gross has a Medium following of 10.8k at the moment and is an editor for Mind Cafe, one of the most popular Medium publications with over 135k followers.
What Do You Love Most About Writing?
“Creating something that’s your own. You have to have something that is yours because when you don’t own something, it can be stripped away from you without warning, and you are left with nothing which leads to anxiety stress, anxiety, depression. But if you have something that nobody can ever take away, then you’ve discovered a real secret,” answered Jordan, when asked what the best part about being a writer was for him.
And reflecting on the one piece of advice he would give his younger self, Jordan Gross gave yet another important writing tip: “Keep a storybook — some sort of collection of experiences of my life that can teach lessons to others. People who can appear in stories, events, places, defining characteristics. I have a note sheet now I use for ideas that pop up, and I just wish I had it sooner.”
Jordan Gross is the acclaimed author of “Getting COMFY: Your Morning Guide to Daily Happiness”, “The Journey to Cloud Nine”, and “What Happens in Tomorrow World?”.
Thank you for reading Author Spotlight, a series of interviews with authors who are happy to share the tools of the trade with our CTR readers. If you’re an author and would like to be featured, get in touch at email@example.com. For any author suggestions, leave us a comment and we’ll try to chase them up.