The Mastery Path for Writers: a new way to learn the skills you need

Lesson 8: Learning Through Practice

June 16, 2014

Tags: 2. A Writer's Skills

Practice puts brains in your muscles —legendary golfer Sam Snead

Athletes and musicians who want to become great devote countless hours to what the expertise researchers call “deliberate practice.” This is not just fooling around, or playing a game with a friend. Deliberate practice is highly focused and intentional. It’s designed in such a way that we can learn a new skill or improve one we already have. Anders Ericsson, an expert in skills acquisition, says deliberate practice “entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all.” It’s deliberate practice, not innate talent, that makes some people great at what they do. (more…)

Lesson 7. The Skills Writers Need

May 2, 2014

Tags: 2. A Writer's Skills

Although just putting words on paper, as with freewriting, is easy, writing so that other people understand your words, and are moved by them, is not. That’s because writing, like hitting a 95-mph fastball over the Green Monster, or singing a Puccini aria, is a complex skill. Like any complex skill, it is made up of a large number of component skills. I group these skills into two main categories: content skills, and craft skills. (more…)

Lesson 6. The “Be a Writer” Practice

May 2, 2014

Tags: 2. A Writer's Skills

If you want to be a writer, you need to be a writer.

That sounds like a Zen saying, doesn’t it? Let me explain.

So many people say they want to be writers; few of them actually do it. There are many reasons why a desire to write doesn’t translate into producing finished pieces of writing. One of the main reasons is that most people don’t know what writers actually do. (more…)