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Deliberate Practice

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If you've been anywhere NEAR productivity blogs, books, or gurus, you know that deliberate practice is all the rage lately. Deliberate practice consists of picking a skill and working on it, deliberately, consistently, with feedback. A couple of months back, I made a list of skills that writers should have. I've put it on the bottom of this post as well :)

To improve my writing skills, I want to work on each of these skills. But, I can't work on all of them at the same time. So, I decided that this summer, I'll pick one skill per week and work on it, in addition to the regular stuff I do. The regular stuff I'm working on are:

  • Vocabulary - I make sure I look up any new words while I'm reading, and I do the "word of the day" exercise, where I'll tweet the Merriam-Webster's word of the day and use it in a sentence. Sometimes my sentences suck, and I hope you'll let me know when they do :).

  • Communication through writing - this here blog is where I do that. As always, please feel free to send feedback whenever you have any so that I can learn and improve.

  • Learning new things (covers both flexibility and challenging myself) - I'm currently learning Spanish via DuoLingo and how to play the piano via JoyTunes. I do my best to practice every day.

  • Ideas generation - I'm doing 10 Ideas a day, which is fun.

So, this week's skill is descriptions. I'll be working on colouring my descriptions based on the character's mood, previous experience, education, etc. I read about this skill in Self-Editing for Fiction Writers and loved it. I want to be able to do that on purpose. So I'll do things like describe a place or a person from several points of view, or from the same character's point of view but in different moods. I might even post some of them here, but I can't promise anything because it's summer.

Last week's skill, by the way, was time management and goal setting, in case you were wondering :)

Here's to learning and improving every day.

Craft Skills

  • Controlling Language: vocabulary, grammar, knowing which words to use when;

  • Story Sense: the ability to tell a story;

  • Thoroughness: being diligent about research and details;

  • Technical topics: descriptions, genre, medium (length of the story), etc.

Observation Skills

  • Curiosity about people;

  • Understanding what others are trying to say;

  • Listening;

Management Skills

  • Time management;

  • Project management (setting goals and sticking to them);

  • Organisation (what goes where, keeping ideas organised)

  • Problem solving and adaptability;

Personal Skills

  • Determination;

  • Discipline and work ethics;

  • Patience;

  • Perseverance;

Artistic Skills

  • Passion and finding the joy in creation;

  • Fearlessness;

  • Imagination;

  • Wanting to learn and challenge yourself;

Communication and Reach

  • Being able to communicate through writing;

  • Marketing;

  • Networking.


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