Part 2: Are You Going for the Gold in Your Writing? Strive for Your Personal Best

by Kendra Bonnett on August 12, 2012

catnav-alchemy-activePost #60 – Memoir and Fiction, Writing Alchemy – Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler

Today’s post is Part 2 in response to a reader’s question asking us why she would need another book about writing.

Olympic goldOn Sunday, the Olympic flame was extinguished. One more time, we congratulated the victors, felt the pain of the losers and heralded the prowess and accomplishments of all the world’s greatest athletes. Now the athletes, spectators and media are heading home. We’ve turned off our televisions or gone back to our regular programs. And London is left to clean up and get back to normal.

As I consider the achievements. The world records broken. The personal bests. The medal counts. I can’t help but wonder a bit about what it must feel like to win an Olympic medal. Any medal. Let alone the gold. And let alone the 18 golds Michael Phelps has won.

I’m an Olympics junkie. Summer and winter equally grab my attention. And I’ll let you in on a secret. Since my teens, I’ve dreamed of being an Olympian.

Every four years (and more recently every two years) I’ve measured my age in terms of the sports for which I could still be eligible. When I was young, I dreamed of being a world-class skier. I’m fearless on the slopes, I thought, I could do that. Later it was kayaking. Then orienteering.

Alas, now I’m of an age where pretty much the only sports left are curling and dressage.

It’s silly, of course. My Olympic dream is just an idle fancy. It’s fun to fantasize, but I know that I’ve never had the single-minded dedication and drive to turn what little bit of natural athleticism I have into world-class achievement. I didn’t (and don’t) have the passion to give the time and put in the practice.

Do You Strive for a Personal Best Every Time You Sit Down to Write?

But that’s sports. I have other passions. I’m sure you do too. Foremost for me is writing. But passion isn’t enough. Alone it doesn’t push the runner to the front of the field or enable a tennis player to ace her serve. And it doesn’t turn writers into authors.

We need world-class technique…tools and methods that put our talent and instinct to the best use. We need coaches and teachers who share their experience and correct our form. We need practice, and that practice must be focused and goal-driven. To that end, I’ve always considered each story, magazine article, essay, book, marketing brochure, white paper and book review to be practice for the next piece I’ll write. My mistakes serve as lessons; my successes as personal bests that raise the bar and provide me with a new, higher starting point from which to grow.

cover-mb-1Matilda and I believe that achievement, personal bests…even gold…are within reach of most writers with passion, persistence and the tools to put them to their best use. We wrote Writing Alchemy: How to Write Fast and Deep to provide the technique and tools to get you to your goal faster and give you the satisfaction of achievement.

Our Deconstruction technique for pre-writing will help you drill deeper into your subject and transform your style. You will literally approach your writing as one in control of the process.

The tools we’ve adapted from the best social science research will have you:

  • Gaining deeper insight into yourself and your characters (even understanding motivation)
  • Bringing greater emotional impact to your scenes (which gets readers engaged)
  • Deciphering the real meanings behind people’s words (including the games people play and the scripts they follow)
  • Depicting vivid, sensory-rich details that will help place your readers inside the story (as you slow to smell the roses, you’ll find that your readers will appreciate the fragrance)
  • Setting scenes in terms of their time and place in history and society for greater context

Get the Book with the Built-in Coach

So that just leaves the coach. But Writing Alchemy has you covered there too. In serving our mission to help you become the best writer you can be, Matilda and I are giving you FREE membership in the Association for Writing Excellence (AWE). Click here to discover all that you will get with your AWE membership.

And Wednesday, August 15th, we’re conducting our first AWEsome webinar (open only to Writing Alchemy readers who register).

Plus, today you can save $5 off the regular price for Writing Alchemy AND receive free membership for life in the Association for Writing Excellence. You get it all for the price of a paperback book.

The 2012 Olympics may be in the record books, but NOW is your time to Go for the Gold.

TWEET THIS ARTICLE: #writing Combine passion with technique, coaching and practice to be the best writer you can be. http://bit.ly/Nkc9MU

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