"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
Information & inspiration to hone your craft and increase your cash...Since 2009

Saturday, August 19, 2017

How Being "Self-aware" Increases Success as a Writer!

Welcome back, readers!
It's great to return from my break. I hope you've enjoyed your summer so far.
Today's post provides tips to enhance your writing career that won't require a great deal of mental muscle or money.
As always, I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.
If you're on board, let's get busy.

  "What you don't know can’t hurt you,” states a popular adage.

Perhaps in some aspects of life this may ring true: the secrets to your mom’s meatloaf recipe; your “real” current weight; the hidden mysteries to what your future holds--being in the dark about these things definitely won’t doom you.

But, when it comes to writing survival and success, “Knowledge is power.”
That's right. Self-awareness can serve like a compass to navigate your writer’s journey with fewer detours, offer less road blocks, and help you truly go the distance.

Additionally, the more you learn the more you’ll earn.
Let’s examine how self-awareness can enhance your creative career and your bottom line:


  • Establish your U.S.P. and maintain a competitive edge
  • Align your projects with your goals, passions and values
  • Become more purposeful
  • Save time and money due to “false starts”
  • Become more focused and strategic; thereby increasing your productivity
  • Make more informed decisions
  • Exercise greater objectivity
  • Partner with the best people

Here are a few examples of how self-awareness shows up in my writing life and makes me more successful and prolific, as opposed to just operating randomly (and blindly).

Some people thrive under pressure. I'm not one of them. Though I can handle "heat" I prefer not to. With this in mind, in order to produce at my best level and avoid unnecessary stress, I always work in advance of clients’ and editors’ deadlines.
Since I don’t like to spend a lot of time interacting on social media, (I consider myself more intellectual than social), I place XTRA effort on creating quality content on my blog. This in an effort to work smarter, not harder. How? As a result, fans and followers of my blog share my content in their vast “circles” and serve as “publicists” for my brand, in the absence of my own social media efforts. (By the way, thanks so much to those of you that do.You rock!)

Choosing the right clients and editors to work with can go a long way in terms of productivity, peace of mind, and profitability. Based upon past experience and previous projects, I recognize exactly which personality traits and work styles offer the most compatibility and the best prospects for collaborative success. Knowing this allows me to have less trial and error and greater client retention.
DON’T OPERATE IN THE DARK…Sadly, I witness so many passionate writers and bloggers that are clueless as to their true strengths and weaknesses and how to use this information to their advantage (surprisingly, even writers who have been writing for many years).

Blogs with little or no growth
Blogs with few or no comments
Goals unmet
Their refusal to take classes or read books that can increase
their creative I.Q.
Not hiring an editor before publishing their books
Focusing on the wrong genre

Don’t let this be you. To realize your full writing potential, below are 8 key areas you should know like the back of your hand (in no particular order):
    1. Your physiology and your most productive times (Are you an owl or lark?)
    2. Your stressors
    3. Your limiting beliefs and fears
    4. Your target audience (and their pain points)
    5. Your motivators
    6. Your competition
    7. Your creative “super powers”
    8. Your needed areas of improvement

    With this is mind, here are a few timely tips to help you know more, grow more, and operate from a place of greater wisdom and clarity:

Keep a journal.

Journals are great for documenting experiences, lessons learned, creative challenges, and future goals. Study it over time. Reflect. Assess. Observe patterns. Discover what has worked in the past and what didn‘t. Revisit. Revise.

 Get a second opinion.

Many times we lack objectivity in evaluating our own work. That’s why it’s smart to have a critique group, an editor, or a writer you admire to provide creative input. Even the Bible states: “The wise seek counsel.”

 Pay attention to what editors pay attention to.
Do they comment on your punctuation? Your grammar? Your flow? Do they praise your prose?
Is there commonality in their comments? Start here.

Here's how world-renowned writer, Warren Adler (War of the Roses author) views the role of self-awareness in his career: "When my self-awareness tells me I cannot fulfill my aspirations, I will quit cold."

In conclusion---

Don't let your ego get in the way of your excellence. You're better than that.
If your goal is to be "known" by  larger audiences, it's crucial that you get to know yourself better first---to offer them the best of you.

Thoughts here? Agree or disagree?
How has self-knowledge guided or influenced your career?  

Image credits: Pixabay.com


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  2. Know thy self. That is a tall order, isn't it? We can easily understand what makes others tick (or make our best stab at it), but when I comes to what makes us tick that takes some doing. Your suggestions are great.

    1. Jennifer brown banksAugust 24, 2017 at 10:57 AM

      Hi Clee
      Great to hear from you on this. Thanks so much.

  3. Having read this I thought it was very enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both
    reading and posting comments. But so what, it
    was still worthwhile!

    1. Jennifer brown banksAugust 24, 2017 at 10:58 AM

      Appreciate your feedback.

  4. Personally, i assume the same concept for self awareness. I appreciate the article. Regards