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

Lesson 10: What Do I Do With My Material?

If you spend a few weeks—a few months—even a few years—collecting material, you will soon have quite a pile of it. So, what do you do with it now?

You don’t have to do anything at all with it, if you don’t want to. Collecting is a practice; it builds your content-mind as well as providing you with material. If you don’t like any of the stuff you’ve collected so far, be satisfied with knowing that you have been strengthening your writer’s mind.

Chances are good, though, that there is some material in that pile you will want to use. In order to find that useful material, you will need to engage with what you've collected  Read More 

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Lesson 8: Learning Through Practice

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.  Read More 

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Lesson 9: Training Your Content-Mind

The goal of writing practice is to train your writer's mind.


We can think of the writer's mind as having two main parts: content-mind and craft-mind. Content-mind provides us with ideas for things to write about and material to use; craft-mind gives us the words and sentences we need to get what we want to say into the minds of readers. When we train both parts of our writer's mind, we can fulfill the basic requirement for good writing: Have something interesting to say, and say it as well as possible.


Many people who want to write get stuck because they can't find the things they have to say. Exercising the content-mind will provide you with lots and lots of material.


If you've been doing the basic freewriting practice on a regular basis, you have likely noticed that there's much more inside your mind than you realized. Nonstop, private writing is a great tool for bringing all that "stuff" out onto the page so you can see whether there's any material you can use in a piece of writing. Freewriting, by itself, will give your content-mind a good deal of exercise. Read More 

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