7 Tips for an Authentic and Productive Writing Process

Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.
I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.
My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.
Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot…:

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Does this sound familiar?

You’re sitting in front of your laptop, staring at a blank screen.

The deadline for the article you need to write is approaching, and you’re struggling to get started when you should be in the final editing stages.

As you sit there trying to put your expertise in writing, a strange insecurity creeps up your spine. You see yourself changing before your own eyes, transforming from a confident expert into a self-conscious amateur.

It’s your own Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde transformation experience.

I’ve been there.

I used to hate writing

Well, actually, it was more like loathing than hating.

Anytime I needed to write anything I’d procrastinate, pretending that avoiding the project would make it go away. Needless to say, the procrastination led to a flurry of rushed writing at the last minute to meet my deadlines, resulting in less than my best work.

But my real problem wasn’t the act of writing. It was fear. Fear of making mistakes, fear that what I wrote would sound stupid, fear that my writing wouldn’t make sense to the reader, etc.

My insecurities were turning me into a monster

So there I was, a guy with more than 15 years of experience, who has won some awards and is even a judge for three international design competitions, worried about sounding stupid.

It sounds ridiculous, but my fear of screwing up made writing a miserable experience for me.

I even used to try to compensate for my fears. I’d use stiff, formal sentences and large, important-sounding words to try to “prove” I knew what I was talking about. Unfortunately, all that did was make me sound like a pretentious jerk.

It was like I was changing from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde anytime I had to write something.

Then one sentence from my college professor changed everything

I had a job that offered tuition reimbursement benefits, so I decided to take some college classes. One of my classes was a composition class, and the professor gave me the best writing advice I’d ever heard.

“Write the way you talk.”

Wait. What?

It can’t be that easy! Seriously? What a liberating idea! That one piece of advice helped me break free of my fears and relaxed my writing style. No more procrastination. No more using large, unnecessary words to try and impress the reader. I could just relax, be myself, and write.

Now before you get the wrong impression, let me explain something: writing the way you talk does not give you permission to write poorly, or to publish content that sucks.

What it does is help break down the mental barriers of fear and procrastination that keep you from being a more engaging, and more productive writer.

Here’s how to use “write the way you talk” to squash your insecurities and avoid sounding like a pompous idiot…: Leer más “7 Tips for an Authentic and Productive Writing Process”

Key to being happy may not be in genes but in your choices

Working shorter hours did not necessarily lead to happiness, but working a lot more or less than they wanted made people very unhappy.

“It appears that prioritising success and material goals is actually harmful to life satisfaction,” Professor Headey wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Partner choice played a big role. Women were less happy if their partner did not prioritise family goals than if they had no partner, and people with a neurotic partner were far less happy over time. They never got used to their partner’s negative emotions, either – even after 20 years of marriage there was no decline in the effects on their happiness.

Doing exercise and being a healthy weight were beneficial, and obesity was strongly linked to unhappiness, particularly for women.

Professor Headey did not know why many people continued to prioritise goals which did not seem to make them happy. “I think people don’t often sit down and think about what really makes them happy, and then try to do more of that.”


Amy Corderoy | http://www.smh.com.au

Happy, happiness.Happiness … It’s a choice.

The sad sacks and Eeyores of the world are not doomed to gloom forever, according to new research that shows happiness is not dictated by genes.

Instead it found your choice of partner and life goals drastically affect your satisfaction with life – overturning the popular theory that happiness is largely decided by personality traits moulded early in life and genetic factors.

Up until now much research had seemed to show even extreme events such as becoming disabled or winning the lottery had little effect on people’s happiness, and studies of twins strongly linked happiness to genetics.

But in reality, over the course of their life about 40 per cent of people experienced large changes in their levels of happiness, said the study leader, Bruce Headey, an associate professor at the Melbourne Institute at Melbourne University.

The study, the first to track happiness over a long period, followed 60,000 Germans for up to 25 years. Leer más “Key to being happy may not be in genes but in your choices”

Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence

Professor Mylonadis suspects that the reason that our problem-solving ability in management is limited is because our models of problem-solving are devoid of people while actual problem-solving isn’t. As useful as a decision tree might be as an analytical abstraction, the issue is how do you actually define a problem with the help of others around you? Who should these people be? What kind of input should you be asking from them? Which part of that input should you disregard? Which part of that input should you take into account?

He says further, “If you look at engineering or architecture the ability of people to explain the problem they’re working on, and ask questions so they can get feedback is very high without their need to resort to either dogma or trivia. They are helped by reference to blueprints which are a highly codified way of communicating. Our equivalent in management is jargon. Like blueprints, jargon was invented to make our exchanges efficient (we all know what is meant by a “functional organization”.) But the analogy to the blueprint ends when jargon becomes meaningless. It is also a sure way of eradicating any arguments left standing from the onslaught of dogma or trivia.”


Putting More Smart People On A Problem Might Not Be The Answer
by Idris Mootee

Problem Solving Skills Different Than IntelligenceEarly breakfast in a Boston hotel and I’m ready for an executive workshop. There are so many decision to be made in one day and just over breakfast we’re made several important decisions on some strategic issues. I realize 70% of my time on a day-to-day basis are spent on problem solving – organizational, strategic, customers, people and resources etc. It is pretty much the biggest part of any managerial job. Problem solving skills development is therefore critical for young managers.

If you’re a well educated, highly intelligent person and have a well-respected job in your chosen career, it usually means you are a good problem solver both in professional and personal settings. Professor Yiorgos Mylonadis at London Business School research is finding otherwise. His recent research shows that people can be extremely well educated with many years of experience, they may be successful managers who have accomplished great things, but frequently their ability to solve a problem is severely limited. Leer más “Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence”

Knowing and wanting are not the same thing

Have you ever heard of the mere exposure effect? It’s a psychological artifact first studied by Robert Zajonc. Professor Zajonc found that simply exposing experimental subjects to a picture or a piece of music briefly led those subjects to later rate it more positively than other, similar stimuli which they had not been shown earlier. [Más…]

This psychological effect is well known to advertisers. In fact, many advertisers have taken Zajonc’s “discovery” – that people express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them – and use it to rationalize blowing limited resources plastering their names and logos all over the place. Some even manage to piss off potential customers while wasting their money (e.g. advertisers who pollute the experience of a particular environment).


Yup Have you ever heard of the mere exposure effect? It’s a psychological artifact first studied by Robert Zajonc. Professor Zajonc found that simply exposing experimental subjects to a picture or a piece of music briefly led those subjects to later rate it more positively than other, similar stimuli which they had not been shown earlier. Leer más “Knowing and wanting are not the same thing”