Several years ago, my grandson, 10 at the time, was trying out for the All County Band in his area. He told me the piece he had to play was difficult. I told him that practice is a powerful tool. Just 10-15 minutes a day will help tremendously.
Obviously, the more practice the better, but my grandson, like so many kids today, has ADHD. Reducing the amount of time on practicing doesn’t make it seem overwhelming – it’s doable.
This philosophy will work for anything, including writing.
What does it take to have a flourishing writing career?
1. Learn the craft and practice it.
To be a ‘good’ writer, an effective writer, a working writer, you need to know your craft. The only way to do this is to study it.
If you’re starting out, take some courses online or offline or both. You should also read a lot of books on the craft of writing. Get a strong grasp of the basics.
We’re all familiar with “practice makes perfect.”
There’s a reason that saying has lasted. It’s true.
Writing coach Suzanne Lieurance says, “Writing is a lot like gardening because it takes constant pruning and weeding.”
You need to keep up with your craft. Even as your get better at it, keep honing your craft. Keep learning more and more and practice, practice, practice
So, what does it mean to practice?
Simple. Write. Write. Write.
An excellent way to improve your writing skills is to copy (type and/or handwrite) content of a master in the niche you want to specialize in.
This is a copywriting trick. You actually write the master’s words and how to write professionally mentally sinks in.
Now, we all know that this is just a practice tool. We should never ever use someone else’s content as our own.
A second way to improve your writing skills is to read, read, and read some more. Read books in the genre you want to write in particular. Study the books.
2. Focus in on a niche.
Have you heard the adage: A jack of all trades and master of none?
This is the reason you need to specialize.
You don’t want to be known as simply okay or good in a number of different niches. You want to be known as an expert in one or two niches.
This way, when someone is looking for a writer who specializes in, say, memoirs and autobiographies, you’re at the top of the list.
I would recommend that your niches are related, like memoirs and autobiographies or being an author and book marketing.
Along with this, focus produces results.
According to an article in Psychology Today on focus and results, Dan Goleman Ph.D. says, “The more focused we are, the more successful we can be at whatever we do. And, conversely, the more distracted, the less well we do. This applies across the board: sports, school, career.”
So, practice and focus your way to a successful writing career.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Cioffi is an award-winning children’s author, successful children’s ghostwriter, and online platform instructor with WOW! Women on Writing. Check out her middle-grade book, Walking Through Walls, and her new picture book series, The Adventures of Planetman.
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