I am always amazed by writers who make it a point to have an article or post published every single day. Some of these writers will even go further and write on different platforms, not just on their own sites. This calls for dedication and consistency. This also demystifies the notion saying talent is enough and proves hard work wins every single time. Of utmost admiration is how these particular writers will be able to write for whoever they are writing for, complete their work in good time and still go ahead and do other more imperative activities like spending time with self, friends or family.
How are excellent writers able to manage their time and still remain prominent? They are well aware of the model of Deliberate Practice. This is a concept identified by K. Anders Ericsson, a professor of Psychology at Florida State University.
In this concept, deliberate writing principles are;
- Hard work is more important to success than talent.
- Lack of natural ability is never an adequate excuse.
- The hard work is vastly time-consuming
- The type of work you do is even more important than the volume of it.
- Your work must explicitly address your own weaknesses and deficiencies.
- Your work must have clear objectives and goals.
- You are far more likely to succeed with a coach, teacher or mentor.
- You must be highly motivated.
- The work is hard and tiring.
Therefore, deliberate practice refers to a special type of practice that is purposeful and systematic. While regular practice might include mindless repetitions, deliberate practice requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performance.
Most writers want to become better at what they are doing and scale the heights in the writing world. With close to over 5000 blogs in Kenya, how many among these have become prominent, always unique bringing in new content and have even gone as far to become reference material? For most bloggers, the goal is to possibly make an income from their respective blog. This sometimes limits the capability of writers as the comfort zone fast approaches. It becomes the vanishing phase for most bloggers and overall for writers.
The sad reality is, once writers become prominent, they frequently lose the will to improve. They also lose the stimulus because they are being paid whether or not they improve. Deliberate practice is meant to improve performance and will definitely improve your writing.
Here are some common tips on how writers/bloggers can start Deliberate Practice on the road to becoming better writers.
- Look for a model you like who you can copy their writing style. However, this does not give you the right to write everything as they do because you will end up plagiarising their work.
- Search for keywords your model uses in their writing and use them.
- Seek for a teacher. This could be your mentor or someone who is already a prominent writer. You could view their work and pick out some lessons. This is especially so if you are not able to meet in person.
- Be consistent, always willing to learn and put in the hard work
- Practice in improving your writing skills. This applies to your use of words, the length of sentence, figurative writing, structure and not the length of an article. This can be done by analysing your mentor.
For more understanding on Deliberate Practice, here is a Beginners Guide.