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I'm a sucker for self-help books and love to ponder the psychology around what we do. This is a guest post from Brendan Foley, author of The 5 States of Success– create meaningful success in your career, business and life.
I’d like to share with you five ways that have successfully helped me to write and publish two books using the framework of The 5 States of Success.
The State of Insight – creates CLARITY.
I have always been a fan of people that can deliver brilliant insights. The reader is hugely engaged when we can create clarity and share insights in non-fiction and it is essential in fiction that an author keeps clarity around the characters and plot in their work. A very practical way that I do this is to use a mind map for the book and then mind map each chapter. This combined with an impartial editor is essential to fill in the blanks and overcome your blind spots in clarity.
The State of Connection – creates EMPATHY.
For your work to be successful you must connect with a need that the reader has. Be that curiosity, a need to be entertained, surprised, enlightened, motivated or so on. You must know what sort of reaction you want from your reader. This allows you to connect with them and if you can create empathy then the reader feels like they are in one-to–one dialogue with you. It’s also an essential skill to develop with your support team of proof-readers, editors and PR people. They need to believe in you.
The State of Certainty – creates CONVICTION.
Writing is a lonely business. It is a path that requires huge self-belief and certainty that you will succeed. A hint of self-doubt and the potential publisher and supporter will run. Write with conviction. The conviction that comes from your gut that says; ‘you can do it!’. Turn the volume down on the doubting voice in your mind and trust your gut. It will never let you down. When you speak and write with conviction you give your work strength and your voice and style come through your writing.
The State of Vitality – creates ACTION.
Your vitality, health and well-being is evident in your writing. I can almost tell how I was feeling when I read a piece I wrote a few weeks later. When energized my work will be up-tempo and passionate and the opposite when not. Writing requires you to be physically static so I believe that every 30mins as a minimum you need to get up and move around. I often will get myself into a physical state (body position) that reflects what I want to write about. If I want to write something motivational I might jump up and down and shout a few times to get me adrenaline going. Yes I know, it’s a bit mad! but try it – it works for every method actor so why not writers too? Finally eat and sleep well, your brain needs this to be alert and agile.
The State of Spirit – creates PURPOSE.
This is the reason that people write books. A burning passion to share a story, a need to communicate an experience, a feeling that your work can make the world better, a purpose to what you do. Your spirit is the ‘X’ factor in your work. It’s why nobody else can ever write the way you do. It is your uniqueness. Celebrate this uniqueness – you do not need to write like anybody else. Just be yourself and write with a clear purpose allowing your brilliance and words to transform your world and the world of those around you.
I have had as many lows as highs on this road. While the lows are hard they are your greatest teachers and as long as you ‘change up’ you will look back at them with a smile. The highs are great and keep you going, they fuel you onto bigger and better things. So go for it, enjoy your writing and the adventure will keep getting better.
Brendan Foley is a Life and Business Coach, founder of Seachange Training, author and speaker. The 5 States of Success is available in print and ebook formats published by Mercier Press.
“If you loved Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits, then you will enjoy Brendan Foley’s 5 States!” – Alasdair Verschoyle, Reviewer www.irishbooksdirect.ie
You can find Brendan on Twitter @foleybrendan
Top image: Flickr CC Stuck in customs