As humans, we all have ‘animalistic’ tendencies; to eat, to sleep, to go after a mate, and most importantly, to be a success, in any sense of the word. We are all creatures. But unlike animals, humans are emotional and irrational; we judge, we criticise and we want what gratifies ourselves.
Everyone’s a Writer
It’s an old saying that everyone, no matter what level of intelligence he or she holds, has a story within them. We all have something to say. A story of profound events within our lives, a regular, hilarious day at home with the kids, a dream of such magnitude and un-forgettability that it’s worth putting pen to paper; there’s plenty that each of us could say.
A small minority of the most successful authors out there can profess to be the best writers with the highest level of technical knowledge when it comes to the written word. What about the rest? They had an idea. They took that idea forward, focused on their goal and made a success of their lives. The idea came first, they dealt with the rest later – learning how to write for their audience, reading their own work, editing their work, re-editing their work, getting friends to edit it, finding an agent to edit it before eventually publishing. Or, in more modern times, finding a target audience, learning how to engage that target audience and self-publishing.
As many a self-help author has re-iterated, it’s not about how well you can write, it’s about how passionate you are with your idea and how you make others passionate about your idea too.
Avoid Critising Others
You may wonder what criticising others has to do with writing. In fact, many a writer both published and unpublished has let him or herself down by criticising the actions of others, whether that be in person, on paper, on social media or in interview.
As Dale Carnegie, author of How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936) would say, “When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity.”
Of course, there are writers in the world who make a living from critiquing the work of others’ and while an author’s pride may be hurt when reading a bad review, if one is a good critique writer, the author should be influenced and motivated to do better.
This Carnegie book has sold a mere 30 million copies and has been updated several times but never re-written. Carnegie, more than anyone, knew the power of words and the impact they could have on a person, both positive and negative.
Writing isn’t just about skill. It’s about how well you portray your ideas and influence the audience; giving them what they want, not just what you think they need. Success will follow.
“If there is any one secret of success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own,” writes Carnegie.
We are all creatures, let your writing creature be free.
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