The unsexy way to become more successful… #writing #success #habits #improving

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If you are wondering about the value of incremental change – read on.

It might not be sexy to do things ‘slowly but surely’, but it certainly works better than a flash in the pan!

I love this post from James Clear… Had you ever heard of ‘Habit Creep’? Neither had I (it is a term he coined).

Read his post to find out more (he explains things so well).

http://jamesclear.com/habit-creep

Every small step you take towards improving your habits will make a long-term difference. Trying to make changes too quickly may end up backfiring, but making incremental changes will make a difference to your life. I have been finding this out through trial and error, and it is good to read such something that confirms that I am on the right track!

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What can YOU do about being a better writer – My Top 10 Tips #writing #success #transformation #writer #habits

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I have read so many great posts lately about how to be a better writer. My recent posting of a James Clear article helped to crystalize quite a few ideas for me. There are so many obstacles that could get in our way to becoming the writer we want to be.

So here are my top ten tips for sidestepping those obstacles and becoming the best writer you can be. And best of all – they are all completely down to you. They don’t rely on you being ‘appreciated’ or ‘discovered’ or ‘supported’ or a ‘bestselling author’. They are just about you being able to tap into your own resources to become the best writer you can be. Some of that other stuff may come, but the important thing is that you give this your best shot. Because if you don’t start and keep persisting, you will never get there…

  1. BE CONSISTENT: Be consistent – just do it. Don’t get distracted or derailed by trivialities. Set up habits that you can repeat every day – habits that will help you to make progress on whatever you most want to achieve.
  2. EMBRACE BOREDOM: Expect that you will sometimes be bored or uninspired. Embrace it and harness it – it is part of being consistent. When you do something regularly – when you show up EVERY DAY – then you can’t expect that every day will be extraordinary.
  3. ACCEPT THAT SOMETIMES IT WILL BE HARD: Find ways to get things done – even when it is not easy. Don’t expect things will always come easily. Some of the best things come after you win a hard-fought battle
  4. TURN UP EVERY DAY: Be someone who turns up every day and just gets on with it – no matter what. Let yourself be serious about what you do (a dilettante would only show up when they feel like it).
  5. CELEBRATE INCREMENTAL WINS: Take note of the small wins you achieve each day – they will help to buoy you up during the times when things are not going so well. I find a ‘Success diary’ works really well
  6. LEARN FROM OTHERS BUT DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO THEM: Don’t expect that your writer’s journey will be the same as anyone else’s. If someone you know is having huge success and you can’t seem to jump the first hurdle, don’t let it demotivate you. You are a different person and you will have your own journey. But if you are true to yourself and give yourself every opportunity to succeed, then why shouldn’t you get there in the end?
  7. DEVELOP GOOD HABITS: Set yourself realistic goals and then work on developing the habits to get you there. Instead of telling yourself you intend to write a great novel (which is pretty daunting), tell yourself that you will set aside x hours to write every day. That novel could still emerge – one day at a time. It will never be written all at once, so don’t expect that of yourself.
  8. GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO WRITE: Do you sometimes feel guilty when you take time out to write? Perhaps you should be cleaning the house, playing with the kids, taking the dog for a walk… The list could be endless. But remember, if you are a writer, then you need to have time to write. It needs to become a part of your schedule. You are not just being indulgent, you are doing what you are supposed to do. So don’t feel guilty – write!
  9. NURTURE YOUR CREATIVITY: Don’t overanalyze your writing until you have finished the first draft. Allow yourself to develop your stories and let the creative juices flow. There will be plenty of time for agonizing and reviewing and editing and reworking later. But first, harness your ideas.
  10. EXEMPLIFY PERPETUAL MOTION: This is a bit like number one, but with a different spin. Think about the cycle of your work. Start – Continue – Don’t stop… Your writing will be a constant force. You will sit down and start something – just start it and see where it goes. You will keep at it, adding, expanding until you have developed it into a story you are happy with. You will aim to finish something that you can share with others – to prove you are not just talking about being a writer, you are actually doing it. This may only be a chapter or a short story, or it may be an epic novel. Whatever it is, know that you can finish it… BUT and this is the important bit, don’t think the end of the story is the end of your effort. It is just the beginning. Don’t lose heart, just keep on polishing that gem and starting some new ones.

I hope these tips help you to improve and perhaps even transform your writing habits. I would love to hear how your journey progresses, so please leave me a comment!

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Do you want to get better at what you do? #writing #improve #writers #habits #outcomes

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Do you want to transform your writing habits, your outcomes, your attitudes?

I have been reading some really good posts lately, including this one from James Clear. Most of his messages are very simple, yet at the same time very important.

His latest post summarizes a few of the things he (and many others) have been talking about lately in the blogosphere. It’s about how we can get better at what we do. How we can make better decisions, develop better habits, start to feel more like we are achieving something worthwhile. I think there is something here for everyone, so have a read.

http://jamesclear.com/stay-focused?

Are bad habits undermining your chance to be a great writer? #writing #success #habits #achievement #behaviour #permission #writer

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I have been thinking (and writing the odd blog-post) about the importance of taking yourself seriously. If you want to get good at something you need to make good decisions about how you spend your time. If you want to achieve a goal, you have to focus on the path you will take to get there. Allowing yourself to succeed means allowing yourself to make good choices, to focus on the right incremental changes to get you where you want to be.

I read an article yesterday that really articulated something to me. It was about habits. If you want to end up with false teeth by the time you are 60, then by all means don’t spend time brushing your teeth every day. But if you want something better than that, then taking care of your teeth will need to become a regular habit. It won’t just happen if you remember it every now and then. It needs to become a personal rule.

“I will not go to bed until I have brushed my teeth”. That sort of rule.

I want to be a writer – the sort of writer who writes books that people want to read. As far as I can see, there are two main things I need to do to achieve that.

Firstly, I have to write good books – and that is a huge topic in itself. Too much to tackle right now. The thing I want to say here is, if I don’t give myself time to write (plenty of time), then it won’t happen. (And not only time to write, but time to edit, check, read, think, rewrite, etc…) To do that – I need to establish a writing habit. Not just to write when I feel like it, or when I feel ‘inspired’, but to turn up to write regularly. Every day if possible.

“I will not go to sleep until I have spent one hour writing” could become my mantra. Something like that. (Nothing wrong with sleep deprivation – surely?)

Secondly, I have to find the readers who will enjoy my books. To me this is even harder than writing, but I know it is something I need to do. There are SO MANY books out there – all I have to do is find my audience. Then to give those readers something they want so they keep wanting to read my stories and my books find their intended home. To achieve that, I need to develop a different set of habits. I need to learn about promotion and reviews, and communicating with potential readers of my books. Hard, but it won’t happen unless I turn up every day and start working on it. So every day (well, most days), I say to myself

“I will not go to bed until I have done something towards building my author profile.”

Preferably five things (my success diary (on facebook) is doing a great job of keeping me on track). It might be a facebook post, a blog post, sharing and commenting on other people’s blogs, tweeting or building my website. There are plenty of things that will help – I just have to keep showing up.

I have posted before about this and I will say it again – make time for your writing. Give yourself permission. Not everything will work, some things might even fail dismally. But if you are not in there having a go, then you will never make it.

I wish you success at creating some good habits to help you on your way. Check out this article for some more inspiration. http://www.psnews.com.au/sa/PDSApsn309story2.html

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Change your habits one step at a time – best way to make real progress #motivation #improvement #writers #writing

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Best advice I’ve read all week on how to become more motivated and achieve long-term success.

http://jamesclear.com/identity-based-habits?__s=ddcrar5q9ajdaih1nbgo

I have been trying to make small changes in my life – as James suggests. For example, one of the best motivators for my writing has been keeping a success journal. Because I am mapping every small and large win on facebook, I can see I am making progress. It makes it more likely that I will turn up!

I also have a pedometer – perhaps I should start to use that more reliably?

How do you keep motivated? What habits do you want to modify? Try small changes and reward yourself when you keep it up.