Uncategorized

How To Become More Serious With Your Writing

Posted on

Answer by David Throop: (a little post about overcoming the obstacles that are in your way as a writer)

How To Overcome Any Obstacle In Your Writing

There are many reasons to get serious about writing.
Typewriter
But first ask yourself, what is it about writing that you enjoy?
Do you get lost in the moment?
Is it something that like David Foster Wallace wrote in his metaphor about two fish swimming by each other, one fish asks, “How’s the water” and the other fish replies “what’s water?”
In other words, is it something that you can just do, or do you have a self-limiting belief holding you back?
You may be putting too much emphasis on the outcome rather than the necessary steps to get there.
Writing is not simple, and every writer – which due to schooling, the Internet and email, we are all writers – has to find a way to overcome the obstacles of momentum, motivation and inertia.
Think Of The Process Like Sailing
sailing from port
You pull out of your slip, cruise through the harbor and set out on the water.
If you constantly stare at the port, it’s going to seem like you’re never getting anywhere.
But, if you look forward, focus on all the little things like wind, setting the jib and steering; enjoy the scenery in front and next to you, once you look back, you’ll be amazed how far you’ve travelled.

3 Authors That Will Help You Overcome Your Adversity To Writing

1) In his book on writing, The Lie That Tells a Truth, John Dufresne opines that when we focus on the end product, it’s difficult to see it through.  He encourages us in his preface that;
“Remember when you were a child, and you were stuck in the house on a rainy day, and Mom sat you at the kitchen table, gave you a pencil, a sharpener, a box of crayons, and a ream of paper, and you went at it?  You drew all day long and never got blocked…”
2) Similarly Austin Kleon writes in his books, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work, that it’s the process that people don’t see when they think about creative work. People enjoy the finished product, but as creatives we should focus on enjoying the process.
He suggests getting out in the world, carrying a notebook and making notes of the sights, sounds, smells, that you experience.  You can use them at a later date.
I wrote a post about this process of stealing and borrowing for ideas on a blog post that you can read here: My Kindle Publishing Lesson: Beg, Borrow and Steal Your Way To Becoming A Better Writer
3) Finally author Johnny B. Truant of  The Smarter Artist Podcast (as well as the Self-Publishing Podcast and Write, Publish, Repeat) claims in his episode titled “Talking About Writing Is Not Writing” – he mentions the work that a carpenter does.  A carpenter doesn’t spend their time talking about carpentry, they’re actively working on the craft.
What I find in all three examples is the need to focus on the process, the daily act of sitting down and writing.
Not one of them is saying it’s going to be easy, or fun all the time, or that you’ll write well on a regular basis.
But, the act of getting down in the trenches, of digging into the words and what you’re trying to say, is one you need to be willing to do.
Be preoccupied with the act of doing, get lost in the moment, knowing that you’ll get there some day and some how.
Don’t worry about the outcome.  That’s a burden that’s too great to carry.
If you focus on the necessary steps, and diligently get lost in the process (an oxymoron for sure!), you can start, produce and overcome any hurdles.
I wrote about how to overcome challenges in 2 simple ways back in September 2015 and I believe they’re timeless little hacks that you can check out here: 2 Simple Ways To Overcome Your Greatest Challenges In Minutes A Day

How can I get more serious about creative writing?

Uncategorized

What is the most powerful tip you’ve gained from reading a self-help book?

Posted on

Answer by David Throop:

The Most Powerful Tip I've Discovered From Self-Help Books
In a recent blog post, I discussed this point specifically.  You can read the entire post here: The ONE Thing You Can Do To Improve Your Productivity – an article that is both a book review and a personal discussion of application.
In summary, the most powerful tip I've discovered is to focus on just ONE thing.  In their book "The ONE Thing" by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan, they discuss the power of focus and motivation through simplification. 
Who are Gary Keller and Jay Papasan? Gary Keller is founder of Keller Williams Realty, the number one Real Estate company in the world.  He built the company in his lifetime using many of the tactics and techniques he discloses. 

Jay Papasan is the Vice President of Keller Williams on the PR side, focusing on speaking engagements and writing.

Some of the reader comments talk about how the book is a resource to help you maximize your productivity by developing simple, straight forward tactics.
"Keller believes in focus, utter dedication to your one thing, and driving to breakthrough barriers to get to your one big purpose"
and
"Simple, yet effective way to see beyond the tyranny of the urgent and focus your efforts on the important."
The authors also discuss the big myths associated in contemporary society such as:
1. Everything Matters Equally
2. Multitasking is Good
3. Success Requires a Disciplined Life
4. Willpower is Always on Will-Call
5. A Balanced Life is Required
6. Big is Bad
 
In essence, the key to achievement is focusing on a single goal and being driven to see it through to completion.  The tactics help teach was to overcome potential hurdles by the simplification of their strategy.  
You can get a copy of The ONE Thing on Amazon for Kindle or Print copy through this affiliate link HERE: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results: Gary Keller, Jay Papasan: 9781885167774: Amazon.com: Books

What is the most powerful tip you've gained from reading a self-help book?

Uncategorized

How can I improve my writing skills?

Posted on

Answer by David Throop:

How To Improve Your Writing Skills With 3 Secret Hacks
Think about writing as sharing an intimate thought with a reader in a way that the reader doesn't realize that you've entered into their brains.  Famed horror writer Stephen King wrote about the power and influence of writing as being like telepathy with the reader.
Good writing works to share your thoughts with the reader without being able to speak with them directly.  It can work to inform, entertain, motivate, even agitate.
There are some basic rules to good writing such as understanding rules of grammar, syntax, punctuation and spelling that you need to study.  It takes a lifetime to master but don't worry; you can get started without having spent a lifetime with volumes of linguistic and grammatical tomes.
The most important thing you need to consider when writing is, who do you intend to read it? Most writers claim that you need to find a real, or imaginary, ideal reader that you are writing for.  Is it someone you love? A teacher or coach you want to impress? Someone you've never met but can imagine a long conversation about whatever subject that's on your mind?
Kurt Vonnegut claimed that he wrote his novels with either his wife or daughter in mind. This technique makes the style personal, reads well, and sounds natural as Prabhu Balasubramanian wrote in his answer to this question.
But to improve your writing skills, there are 3 secret hacks you can use. I've written on these hacks a little more in-depth on my blog, and you can see the full post here: My Kindle Publishing Lesson: Beg, Borrow and Steal Your Way To Becoming A Better Writer
1) Beg An Expert – Find someone who is better than you and ask for help with your prose.  It could be a friend, professor or another writer.
2) Borrow From A Master – Who is your favorite writer?  Borrow from their stories both in technique and style.
3) Steal From The Greats – Is there a passage, theme or idea that moves you every time you read it?  Take what the greats have done before, rework it to your own voice and rewrite it again. Don't just copy it word-for-word, that's called plagiarism and is bad, and often illegal.
Using basic rules of grammar, write with a specific person in mind and beg, borrow and steal, and you'll greatly improve your writing in short time.

How can I improve my writing skills?