How To Discover The Truth In Your False Positives

Darrin Atkins
3 min readFeb 18, 2024

Some mysteries are really worth solving on your writing journey

Photo by Drea Castelo on Unsplash

The other day I had to think about taking a test. I won’t go into the details, other than to say it was something personal.

Before I even purchased it or looked up the details, a person gave me some advice.

“You need to be careful because you’ll probably get a false positive," she said, and then provided the reasons why.

Well, that sentence of hers made me ponder the nature of the universe and the point of doing anything at all.

What is a false positive? My personal understanding is that you get a test result that says something but in reality that result is not accurate. You can also have false negatives too, but that’s a story for another day.

This experience of mine regarding the chances of false positives got me thinking. For example, there are moments in my life when I feel something is going to happen, or should happen, and then it doesn’t occur and so I have to wonder why.

Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

False Positives In Writing

I think I get a bunch of false positives when I write a story and then consider the possibility of success with it.

Does this happen to you, that you think you have a great story idea with content that will connect, but then the story falls flat?

I think that this kind of thing is a false positive in writing. Maybe the story looked good in draft form. Maybe it was long enough. Maybe the writing was superb. But your belief that it was going to be great was not enough for it to do well.

How To Overcome False Positives

What do you need to do to not experience these false positives or dashed dreams of success? Well, I have a few ideas.

  • Intent. What is your intent for the story? If it is just to make money because other similar stories found success, then that could be a factor.
  • Enjoyment. Were you having a good time writing this story? Believe me, readers can pick up on this.

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Darrin Atkins

Medium writer and content producer. Tips and ideas for writing success. Suggestions for you to make more money this year. Ways to get inspired to write more now