Back with a deliberate practice strategy for fiction writing after a more than 6-month hiatus from The Write Motive.
From hectic work schedule in the earlier part of 2020 to figuring out how to deliver more value through The Write Motive to the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, I realized, there’s no better way to get good at fiction writing than deliberate practice.
After reading Cal Newport’s So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love and Deep Work, it was like I was possessed because I went back to read the first book again and again. Kind of deconstructed the book for my own analysis to solidify and reinforce my understanding.
I got too carried away.
I spent almost 2 months “soaking” in the ideas and concepts, at first thinking of writing one generic blog post… but soon… my ambition took over, deceiving me into thinking that I could write 3 blog series customized for 3 different areas of interest:
- Living a successful, happy & fulfilled life
- Online business & marketing
- Getting good at storytelling & writing
I started and completed with a 7-part blog series for online business & marketing.
Exhaustion kicked in.
I still owe 1 blog series for The Write Motive, which I was excited to return with it as a bang, but it’s dragging out too long.
So screw it.
Instead of grand plans, I will work with humble pies.
Deliberate Practice Strategy for Fiction Writing
So like I said, instead of grand plans that requires way too much time and effort to sustain as daily deliberate practice, my working strategy is, small bites.
This is the humble deliberate practice strategy for fiction writing currently:
#1 DAILY PROGRESS: 1 HOUR EVERY WEEK DAY
1) Read book
#2 DAILY PROGRESS: END OF EVERY READING SESSION
1) Blog my own insights: could be about the story-world, plot, characters, questions, etc
#3 END OF EACH BOOK
Based on #2 & memory, write another blog post about what I’ve learnt as a writer, from a reader’s perspective; why I like this novel or not.
Conclusion: Why Engage in Deliberate Practice?
The purpose of this deliberate practice strategy is not just to enjoy reading or read as many books related to the genre you’re interesting in writing to be inspired.
But to read with a critical eye, learning from the authors how they create their stories, how they practice their craft.
Learn what excites you, inspires you, and learn from things that don’t—as a reader so that we know how to write for the reader.
Ultimately, we’re learning how to pay attention to the way our favorite books, or books that became our favorites, are put together.
A deliberate practice strategy that trains us to become good at storytelling and writing, a key trait to become a master writer, storyteller, novelist.
Let’s get good at our craft.