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9 Tips and Advice for Other Writers

  1. Read! Read with breadth and depth – Stephen King calls reading “the creative center of a writer’s life”
  2. Write every day, even if it’s just in your personal journal. Daily prose evolves into prolific prose.
  3. Allow your ideas to spring up organically, rather than selecting genres you perceive as popular and trying to force the material to come alive.
  4. Develop the discipline of keeping an observations journal, and unique story hooks will claw for your attention.
  5. Set a daily word count goal and achieve it, looking for reasons to succeed rather than reasons to procrastinate or fail. Remember that “writers’ block” is a fabrication.
  6. After you complete a first draft, get away from it for several days or even a couple of weeks.  Then revise and revise, declaring war on superfluous language, putting every word on trial for its life, aiming to make each sentence, as James Baldwin said, “as clean as a bone.”
  7. Once you’ve produced the best revision you can manage on your own, let others with strengths in proofreading and editing critique your work without holding back.
  8. Find the wisdom in others’ advice and feedback, but do not allow another person’s skepticism or cynicism to derail you from your love of writing and your goals.
  9. Remember the encouragement that Ernest Hemingway often gave himself while living and writing in Paris as a young man: “Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

Next Steps to Consider

I help individuals and organizations enhance personal and business relationships and results through:

  1. Mindful Content (Books, Blogs, and Resources)
  2. Mindful Executive or Life Coaching 

What do I mean by “mindful?”

Mindfulness is my core organizing and unifying practice for every moment and dimension of life–including self-care, family, friends, community, and professional work. It also fuels and informs my advocacy for anti-racism, feminism, and climate stewardship.

In a nutshell, mindfulness is the continuous observation of moment by moment internal and external experiences, without judgement, focused on the body, feelings, mind states, and the impermanent, selfless nature of all created phenomena.

The ultimate goal of mindfulness is awakening to one’s true nature of pure awareness and happiness, and being liberated from the dissatisfaction found in craving, aversion, and delusion. Some of the most common mindfulness practices include breathing meditation, mindful eating, mindful walking, reciting mantras, and doing a “body scan,” but there are many more.

I’ll admit that mindfulness is tough to do without ongoing practice. Most of us are facing similar pain points that were already significant before the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasing awareness of the United States’ history and present reality of systemic racism: nonstop change, accelerating economic and technological disruption, accelerating climate change, and the collective “noise” of information overload that grows louder each day.

The impact of all of this, for so many of us, has been confusion, distraction, and stress.

Mindfulness can be your game-changer and world-changer. There’s more research (such as this Forbes article) on the benefits of mindfulness than you or I can ever hope to read, but here’s the highlights of why mindfulness is worth doing:

  • Reduced stress
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Increased productivity
  • Healthier relationships
  • Increased happiness and inner peace

I bring extensive cross-industry experience, education, and credentials to these services I offer. To inquire about my background and services, sign up for a free exploratory coaching session, or subscribe to free monthly content, please contact me here. You can also visit my LinkedIn profile and check out this post on my career journey.

Thanks and take good care,

John

Demarco-cta-book-club-widowers

John M. DeMarco is a writer, executive coach, and activist based in Nashville, Tennessee.