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7 Surefire Ways to Become a Successful Writer

7 Surefire Ways to Become a Successful Writer

Whether you’re a blogger, a book author, an editor or an aspiring writer, you’d want your writings to be understood and recognized. It’s not really about the recognition but how much your writing can deliver your intended message and how it really can influence other people.

In this article you’ll discover 7 unquestionable ways on how to become a successful writer. These are the ones that get the best results, so don’t take them lightly.

1. Be willing to evolve

You’re not a model just because a friend took some photos of you on the beach that one time. And you’re not a writer just because you published an eBook, a few articles, or some blog fodder. The flat-out truth is that getting from A to Z in terms of professional writing includes a lot of hard work and personal transformation.

Every book you write is like a journey, whether fiction or not.

Every writing assignment, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is an opportunity to learn something new.

Every brainstorming session and every headache endured adds to your overall wordsmithing quality.

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2. Define successful in your own terms

How do you define a successful writer?

For some people, it means being able to write coherent sentences to get a point across, or perhaps sell a product. For others, it means being able to pay the rent and survive on writing skills alone.

You cannot be successful at anything you do not define. There are many different kinds of writers and many shades of success. Come to terms with what it means to you, and be as specific as a detective novel writer:

  • Money – If being successful involves getting paid for your writing, then define how much. Is successful making $30,000 a year or $100,000? Selling 300 copies or 3 million? The only limits are those you impose on yourself.
  • Recognition – We all crave recognition throughout our lives. If writing is something you want to become known for, then study the writing of those who have already earned their place in history.
  • Community – If you measure success by the amount of lives your writing touches, then define that as well. How many fans? How many likes on the fan page? How many “readers” will it take to reach your version of success?

3. Write until your imagination bleeds

Basically, in order to be a successful writer, you’re going to have to settle into the idea that a rather hefty word count is required.

How many words do you think most aspiring writers pump out before they reach success?

If writing itself is laborious to you, something you must force or strong-arm yourself through, you may want to choose something else. How often does a successful swimmer swim, or drummer drum?

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4. When you’re not writing, read successful writers

Writing is the yin and reading is the yang. Or perhaps it’s the other way around. You get the idea.

You can’t have one without the other. And in order to have balance, both must be equally present.

For every sentence that you write, you should be reading one. Continuously expose your mind to the writing that you consider to be worthy of success. Find “successful” writers to follow and model in your niche. Speaking of which…

5. Personalized replication

You’ve got to have a writing model. It’s as important as defining success.

Regardless of your niche or writing style, pick a master from within that category and attempt to recreate one single page of their best work.

If you’re into blogging, go find one of the best blogs of all-time and then re-purpose it. Go buy a big circulation print magazine and re-purpose the articles in your own way and words.

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Every success coach worth their salt will tell you that you can study and then replicate what the masters are doing. Just make sure that when you do, you personalize it so that it’s original content.

6. Have a second or third pair of eyes

Every successful writer out there has a proofreader or editor in their lives. It’s important because writers write. Proofreaders proof. Editors edit. That’s how it goes.

We may be great when it comes to proofreading other people’s writing, but not our own.

Writers can bring a piece only so far and then it should be handed off to another pair of eyes that can see it from an outside perspective.

7. Establish an online presence

These days, being a successful writer involves an online presence in one way or another. No matter what kind of writer you are, set up a website and publish content for the online realm to consume.

If making money as a writer is important, then be sure to set up a “freelance writer” profile. There are countless people online willing to pay you to do the research and typing for them.

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Furthermore, building communities of readers in the online world is incredibly wise.

Summing it up

So, let’s recap the 7 ways to be a successful writer:

  1. Realize that you must evolve into success. This provides powerful insight.
  2. Clearly define your version of success so you can claim it.
  3. Write more than unsuccessful writers do.
  4. Balance your writing life with your reading life for optimum results.
  5. Replicate the masters and personalize it.
  6. Make friends with a proofreader or editor.
  7. Set up a website or freelance contractor profile online.

Of course, you will experience some challenges on the road to success, but they are just a stepping stone to your writing success!

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

How Do You Change a Habit (According to Psychology)

Habits are hard to kill, and rightly so. They are a part and parcel of your personality traits and mold your character.

However, habits are not always something over-the-top and quirky enough to get noticed. Think of subtle habits like tapping fingers when you are nervous and humming songs while you drive. These are nothing but ingrained habits that you may not realize easily.

Just take a few minutes and think of something specific that you do all the time. You will notice how it has become a habit for you without any explicit realization. Everything you do on a daily basis starting with your morning routine, lunch preferences to exercise routines are all habits.

Habits mostly form from life experiences and certain observed behaviors, not all of them are healthy. Habitual smoking can be dangerous to your health. Similarly, a habit could also make you lose out on enjoying something to its best – like how some people just cannot stop swaying their bodies when delivering a speech.

Thus, there could be a few habits that you would want to change about yourself. But changing habits is not as easy as it seems.

In this article, you will learn why it isn’t easy to build new habits, and how to change habits.

What Makes It Hard To Change A Habit?

To want to change a particular habit means to change something very fundamental about your behavior.[1] Hence, it’s necessary to understand how habits actually form and why they are so difficult to actually get out of.

The Biology

Habits form in a place what we call the subconscious mind in our brain.[2]

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Our brains have two modes of operation. The first one is an automatic pilot kind of system that is fast and works on reflexes often. It is what we call the subconscious part. This is the part that is associated with everything that comes naturally to you.

The second mode is the conscious mode where every action and decision is well thought out and follows a controlled way of thinking.

A fine example to distinguish both would be to consider yourself learning to drive or play an instrument. For the first time you try learning, you think before every movement you make. But once you have got the hang of it, you might drive without applying much thought into it.

Both systems work together in our brains at all times. When a habit is formed, it moves from the conscious part to the subconscious making it difficult to control.

So, the key idea in deconstructing a habit is to go from the subconscious to the conscious.

Another thing you have to understand about habits is that they can be conscious or hidden.

Conscious habits are those that require active input from your side. For instance, if you stop setting your alarm in the morning, you will stop waking up at the same time.

Hidden habits, on the other hand, are habits that we do without realizing. These make up the majority of our habits and we wouldn’t even know them until someone pointed them out. So the first difficulty in breaking these habits is to actually identify them. As they are internalized, they need a lot of attention to detail for self-identification. That’s not all.

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Habits can be physical, social, and mental, energy-based and even be particular to productivity. Understanding them is necessary to know why they are difficult to break and what can be done about them.

The Psychology

Habits get engraved into our memories depending on the way we think, feel and act over a particular period of time. The procedural part of memory deals with habit formation and studies have observed that various types of conditioning of behavior could affect your habit formations.

Classical conditioning or pavlovian conditioning is when you start associating a memory with reality.[3] A dog that associates ringing bell to food will start salivating. The same external stimuli such as the sound of church bells can make a person want to pray.

Operant conditioning is when experience and the feelings associated with it form a habit.[4] By encouraging or discouraging an act, individuals could either make it a habit or stop doing it.

Observational learning is another way habits could take form. A child may start walking the same way their parent does.

What Can You Do To Change a Habit?

Sure, habits are hard to control but it is not impossible. With a few tips and hard-driven dedication, you can surely get over your nasty habits.

Here are some ways that make use of psychological findings to help you:

1. Identify Your Habits

As mentioned earlier, habits can be quite subtle and hidden from your view. You have to bring your subconscious habits to an aware state of mind. You could do it by self-observation or by asking your friends or family to point out the habit for your sake.

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2. Find out the Impact of Your Habit

Every habit produces an effect – either physical or mental. Find out what exactly it is doing to you. Does it help you relieve stress or does it give you some pain relief?

It could be anything simple. Sometimes biting your nails could be calming your nerves. Understanding the effect of a habit is necessary to control it.

3. Apply Logic

You don’t need to be force-fed with wisdom and advice to know what an unhealthy habit could do to you.

Late-night binge-watching just before an important presentation is not going to help you. Take a moment and apply your own wisdom and logic to control your seemingly nastily habits.

4. Choose an Alternative

As I said, every habit induces some feeling. So, it could be quite difficult to get over it unless you find something else that can replace it. It can be a simple non-harming new habit that you can cultivate to get over a bad habit.

Say you have the habit of banging your head hard when you are angry. That’s going to be bad for you. Instead, the next time you are angry, just take a deep breath and count to 10. Or maybe start imagining yourself on a luxury yacht. Just think of something that will work for you.

5. Remove Triggers

Get rid of items and situations that can trigger your bad habit.

Stay away from smoke breaks if you are trying to quit it. Remove all those candy bars from the fridge if you want to control your sweet cravings.

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6. Visualize Change

Our brains can be trained to forget a habit if we start visualizing the change. Serious visualization is retained and helps as a motivator in breaking the habit loop.

For instance, to replace your habit of waking up late, visualize yourself waking up early and enjoying the early morning jog every day. By continuing this, you would naturally feel better to wake up early and do your new hobby.

7. Avoid Negative Talks and Thinking

Just as how our brain is trained to accept a change in habit, continuous negative talk and thinking could hamper your efforts put into breaking a habit.

Believe you can get out of it and assert yourself the same.

Final Thoughts

Changing habits isn’t easy, so do not expect an overnight change!

Habits took a long time to form. It could take a while to completely break out of it. You will have to accept that sometimes you may falter in your efforts. Don’t let negativity seep in when it seems hard. Keep going at it slowly and steadily.

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Featured photo credit: Mel via unsplash.com

Reference

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