Tuesday, December 19, 2017

3T Writing Tidbit

Many writers, because of the nature of the field, are introspective. Accessing the muse requires the ability to delve deep into one's mind, past the conscious and into the murky depths.

But to sell books we have to be as outgoing as salespeople.

Conflict is the meat of a good story, but in reality, it's hell on sleeping. So early in my career I took a closer look at introversion versus extroversion.

This isn't a treatise on my journey. That would take books. But I did want to dig out and polish four gems for you.

Specifically, when an introvert tries to pitch a book or give a class, what stands in the way?

Overemphasis on what went wrong. We tend to view our errors from a deep, root level, which in turn cranks them way out of proportion. Don't believe me? Imagine you making that horrendous mistake. Now picture your best friend doing the same thing. Not quite so awful, right? Treat your errors as if they belonged to another person. Practice compassionate objectivity.

Delay in response is natural. We learn deep, which means whenever we have an event in the outside world, we read it into long-term memory. We also try to fit new facts into our existing framework. So if the least little thing changes in our class or pitch from how we practiced it, we can't just wing it. We have to analyze the whole situation, basically pinging the thing against our entire mental hard drive. Yikes! That takes time--especially since some of our hard drive is really on backup. Build in time buffers within your presentation or practice saying, "I'll get back to you on that."

We're at the mercy of our environment. If someone coughs during our class, we notice it. If our pitchee's eyes glaze over, we notice that. We're not only more sensitive to what's going on around us, we have to stop to analyze how it affects our presentation, and try to adjust for every little thing. Hone in on your personal/core truths. They'll relax you and focus you on your message, not the environment.

We've all heard, "Nervous? Picture the audience naked." Yeah, that doesn't work, and here's why. Our imagination is too good! We spend what mental energy we have building a picture of naked people...he has a tattoo there??...to wretched excess. Before you go into your pitch or stand before your class, take control instead. Do the superwoman pose. Tell yourself you're in control. Building yourself up is much better for you than knocking the other guy down.

Published since 2009, over the years I've accumulated various items of writing wisdom. The Third Tuesday Writing Tidbit showcases these items in no particular order. Click here to see all 3T Tidbits.

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