Free Game For “Aspiring” Writers
By Anthony Boyd
This has been my best month on this site thus far in terms of metrics, money and engagement.
Now, I’m not going to post a screenshot of stats and earnings.
That’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m writing this to share some insights so that I can contribute another piece of the puzzle you might need to build the bigger picture of becoming a “better writer.”
Other writers have done it for me, so I’m paying it forward.
I have four insights.
I’ve Been More Intentional With Concentration
I’ve finally gotten around to reading “Deep Work” by Cal Newport. It’s a book about the importance of doing deep work which is tapping into a state of flow for extended periods of time.
This form of concentration is accessed by being ruthless with getting rid of distractions. This means no social media, no email, no text messages, no disruptions.
I’ve deleted social media off of my phone while working. I was able to maintain flow states for longer periods therefore improving quality and output.
I communicate with friends and family on social media(people don’t use text messages anymore for some reason) so I would have to reinstall the app back on my phone after I’m finished with working for the day.
Bottom line is that you have to do what you can to maintain a consistent, steady work flow.
Interruptions degrade quality of output.
I’ve Been Reading More Books
I’m a true believer that books are condensed forms of high-quality consciousness.
This month I’ve been feeding myself high-quality consciousness through books from some of the best authors.
Some people may not agree with this but I think as writers we need to be fed words. I fed myself words whenever I can throughout this month, especially in the form of books.
The months before, I was focused on solely producing words.
But it seems that feeding myself words through high-quality consciousness has helped improve my work. Maybe I’ve absorbed better “syntax”(still not sure what this means) and better delivery through reading.
I’ve Been Saving My Words
This month, I didn’t talk much. I love to talk. But I choose to decrease my out loud word count.
I guess it’s similar to abstinence.
By storing up my words, I not only had more to say in my writing but it also increased the “pressure” at which the words were coming out. I noticed moments when my writing seem to be more passionate in some areas.
Storing up words allowed my words to come out fast and plentiful rather than a pathetic drip.
The One Song Playlist
I was reading this post by Tim Denning. I clicked purely for the headline because I related to it.
But I stayed when he mentioned listening to the same song over and over again. I call this “the one song playlist.”
This month I’ve also been intentional about using the one song playlist. I’ve abandoned it months prior but recently I’ve been using it again.
The one song playlist helps me to write to a beat. I guess it’s similar to the way musicians use a metronome. I don’t know. I’m not a musician. All I know is that it works.
The music I listen to has no words. Just instrumentals. I get my words from books that contain high-quality consciousness. Music can have high-quality consciousness as well, but that’s rare. Ofcourse I can listen to the oldies and goodies but I prefer contemporary, laid back instrumentals.
Personally, these are the only four things I’ve changed.
My readership has been increasing and I’m guessing it’s the quality of my writing and my output.
But neither one of those things would have been possible without being intentional about the above habits and rituals.
Or maybe “it” just “clicked.”
You know what they say about 0.1% improvements adding up everyday.
So if you’re a new writer looking to actually engage and connect this may or may not help.
All I know is that I’m seeing the same themes popping up in these kinds of pieces and I figured you can use the information.
I know everyone has their process and their “thing”-I wouldn’t want to encroach on that. But try these things and see for yourself.
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Originally published at https://www.anthonyboyd.blog on August 25, 2020.