Alright, so this segment is going to be more about mindset than practical techniques to improve your writing. Like Tony Robbins said, “Business is 20% mechanics and 80% psychology.” But, in this case, business is writing.
So, let’s get to it.
Writing really comes down to two things: Organizing your thoughts in a way that makes sense (even if it is madness) and practice.
Lots and lots of practice.
The thing about practice is is that it gives you something all the theory in the world never could, experience. Experience gives you something called psychology which changes your mindset about the thing you’re doing.
Example: A dancer whose been dancing for twenty years has a very different psychology about dancing than someone who’s never danced but has all the same theoretical knowledge as the experience dancer. Though both have the same amount of vast knowledge and theoretical understanding, only on has the correct psychology when it comes to dancing: The one that’s been doing it for two decades.
The reason Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, and other big-time writers are big time is because they have the correct psychology when it comes to writing. Not because they’re better, not because they have more knowledge of the craft, and not because they’ve studied the craft. It is because they’ve had practice. Lots and lots of practice. And they have experience, lots and lots of experience. Which means they have the correct psychology ingrained into their bones.
Now, you don’t have to write for fifty years to develop the correct psychology. You can develop it much faster, but you have to be willing to take the steps necessary for such a swift and decisive process. Here they are:
- Read books about the craft
- Read books in your genre
- take writing courses
- use writing prompts
- use thesaurus’ and dictionaries to broaden your vocabulary
- listen to lectures on writing
- go to writing workshops
- hire/talk to a creative writing coach
- hire/talk to editors/watch youtube videos
- Write, write, write.
All of these are self-explanatory and pivitol if you want to be a master writer in three to five years instead of ten to twenty. There’s going to be a lot (and I mean a LOT) of upfront work put in before any reaping of results even occurs, but, when those results occur, it will be worth it. And you’ll be that much more psychologically developed as a writer.
Now, onto clarity and focus.
These two things are influenced by many factors in your life such as health, fitness, the people you hang with, etc. I’ve talked about getting rid of the distractions if you want to be a better writer, but I’ll go a little more in-depth here.
When it comes to having clarity and focus, you need to be able to exclude everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) else that isn’t what you’re doing. You need to be in a distraction-free zone. No anime, no phone, no social media, no Netflix, no anything except the white screen and the keyboard.
It take about and hour, maybe and hour and a half for you to get into a really deep state of focus (being in the zone) and anything that distracts you for even a second knocks you out of that state. Now, I’m not going to go into health and fitness because I’m not a nutritionist and I don’t want to give wrong info (especially since the right info is at our fingertips).
If there are things like eating pizza, hanging out with friends, going to parties, etc. that you don’t want to sacrifice for writing, fine. Do those things. But, when writing, you need to forget about all that, force it out of your mind, and place your whole being into the white screen and all ten fingers on the keyboard. This is how you get into the zone, this is how you create your best stuff, this is how you become a best-seller.
Best-sellers are not the best writers, they are simply the writer with the most focus and clarity when writing. They know how to organize their thoughts and they have the correct psychology (which can only come from theory and experience combined) when it comes to writing. So get out there and become a best-seller!
Alright, that’s my spiel on the subject.
Till next week. . .