One of my goals for 2015 is to write a business book. Actually, it’s been a goal of mine for quite some time now. I won’t tell you how long, because it is actually embarrassing. Suffice to say, it has been a while.
In an effort to not fail at this goal again this year, I’ve been reading a lot and listening to a number of audio courses on what makes for a good writer. My inquiry began with a series of questions. Are good writers born with a special skill set that I’m missing? Are they smarter than me? Are they more creative than I am? Do they have some formula that helps them craft engaging content that others will be compelled to read? Here is what I found out…
Great writers are seldom born. More often than not, they grew into being great writers because they learned how to write well, and most importantly, they practiced. This concept of having a consistent practice has shown up in all my research. It is the one thing that anyone who is really good at something has done – they practice again and again until they get good at it. Take for instance a concert pianist. They first learn the keys, then how to play a song, then they continued to practice, get feedback, practice more, and more, until one day, they embodied mastery. I’m seeing this is true for any area of our life where we want to develop a new skill or develop a new habit – it’s about the repetition.
This has all been so helpful for me. First to realize I’m not “flawed” as a writer, I’m simply unpracticed. Second was to find out there are things I can do to get better. One of those things has been to get input from folks who are really great writers, and have them critique my writing, and give me feedback. At times this takes thick skin as my mind wants to say “I told you that you’re not a good writer”. Then I remind myself that I am in practice, the goal is not to be perfect. This then allows me to simply take in the feedback, learn and practice. To let the repetition help me get better, and not judge myself too harshly for not being great yet.
Are there areas in your business or life where you want to make a change – get better at something or develop a new habit? Are there times when you’ve started to go after it, realized you were not good at it right away, and gave up? Are there new things you’ve wanted to try but believed you weren’t good enough, smart enough, wealthy enough, etc. and gave up before you even began? Do you have some belief that only other people can have that success, or possess that skill, or have that ability? What if that’s not true, and it is simply a matter of learning and practice?
While I don’t necessarily agree with my dad that practice makes perfect – simply because I don’t believe that perfection is a great destination. Practice will however make us better, it will help us have more clarity and confidence, and thus, help us get more of what we want. I encourage you to begin. Time will pass whether you do something to make the changes you want or not. So why not start, and be okay with being a beginner?
Have an extraordinary day.