"Over the past year, I have used half a dozen of my morning posts to describe ideas that I had in my mind that might form a future story for me to publish in book form. I have shown through a number of illustrations how single thoughts can form the central theme of a story and have also included a few pointers on how to develop such thoughts.
I have done this because I receive many dozens of requests monthly from Facebook friends and contacts who have a book inside them that they would love to write but don't know where to begin. Some do not even aspire towards becoming an author; they merely want to write letters better to friends or loved ones or who would love to use their imagination more creatively when they put pen to paper.
I know that many of them possess tons of undeveloped and therefore unexpressed ability, but simply need a bit of encouragement to condition themselves towards making a start.
Where do we start our literary race, wherever we decide to put the finishing line we want to cross to obtain our Challenge Cup (overall objective). To decide this, we need a simple change in the philosophy we apply towards resolving problematic situations. We do this by making things easier from the start, by better using the 'time' we already use; not necessarily by doing different tasks to the tasks we did before, but by continuing to do the same tasks, at the same frequency, and for the same reasons; BUT BY DOING THEM MORE EFFICIENTLY. Being more efficient simply means using up less time and energy and producing better results/outcomes as a consequence.
Most people put off such hidden desires by somehow indicating that 'Oh, I must make a start on that book I always wanted to write, but............'
In this instance, the 'but' is usually the declared reason for it not being the most conducive moment to start yet, because of some other pressing matter that is occupying one's time, or recent traumatic event that is hampering their capacity. The most common excuse is merely suggesting that they cannot spare the time to do what they always wanted to do, because of 'having insufficient time' at their disposal. If that is the case, and lack of time is the issue preventing you moving forward today, then let's give you something to do that will help, without you using up any extra time at all.
I taught Relaxation Training for fifty years of my life, and I advanced in leaps and bounds as an instructor in the discipline once I started using psychology to my advantage.The client's psychology was often being used as an excuse by them to frustrate and stop them taking on board mine. So, I stopped fighting that battle, and instead fought them under their flag, using their logic, their misguided reasons for 'not doing' what the should be doing!
It is easy to acknowledge that the people who need to learn 'how to relax' the most are the ones who don't relax. Such people would invariably excuse themselves by saying, 'I'd love to learn to relax, but I just don't have the 'time' to fit it in.'
I would first begin by giving them an immediate and significant benefit at no cost to them. It took me less than ten seconds and no convincing, to obtain their acknowledgement that one essential thing that humans cannot avoid doing is 'to breathe'. I then indicated that there are 'good' and 'bad' breathing patterns and that the people who are most stressed and need to learn how to relax the most, use 'bad' breathing patterns instead of 'good' breathing patterns. It took another minute of my time to tell them that all Relaxation Training starts off by changing the nature of the trainee's breathing pattern for different tasks, in order to make their performance of the tasks undertaken both easier and more efficient/effective and with using less effort and body energy than before!
I then said that I could teach them in one-half hour of their time the half dozen 'good' breathing methods they can best deploy whenever performing specific tasks; even developing better sleeping practices that result in uninterrupted sleeping patterns being established and waking up refreshed. Such a philosophical approach was enough to convince them that as they all needed to spend time breathing anyway, they might as well learn how to breathe better; and a few good breathing patterns to learn and adopt would be more efficient, less energetic, more effective and better suited to the task at hand. It would initially take up half an hour of their time to learn, but that once they had invested this small amount of their time learning, they would receive a lifelong dividend of hours of saved time daily, than if they had stuck to their bad old breathing patterns. This is an example how to work with someone else's 'bad rationale' and by applying 'good reasoning' to it, produce a better outcome as a consequence of its transformation!
Let me now use the very same principle to any of you reading this post and who would like to write that book or simply become a better writer. I would first suggest that the latter should become your foremost objective, as this objective when achieved will only advance the attainment of the former. So, first do things that will make you a better writer. The thing I want to focus on will enable you to transform your behaviour overnight without the expenditure of little-increased effort, besides providing you with an increased level of satisfaction and make your readers enjoy your words better. It is a known psychological fact that if you can make a person enjoy your words, you are already halfway there towards getting them to accept your ideas.
Where do we start and when you ask? My answer is your daily post on Facebook and make tomorrow the day you fire the starting pistol. Most of you do comments daily on your Facebook Page anyway. Indeed, there are many who must spend half their day at their laptop expressing their views, remarking on where they are going, what they are doing and why. Many of you spend many hours replying to the comments of others.
My advice would be as follows. Continue doing what you are already doing, but do it less often and do it better by applying yourself more efficiently and effectively. So begin by practising and by taking more consideration about what you say and how you say it. You may need to develop your own style; mine is to use my words to match a picture in my mind. The style and method you prefer to use will eventually emerge the more you exercise greater consideration over what you are already doing. I do hope that none of you thinks of me as being arrogant in expressing myself so frankly, but I usually find such to be more effective than pussyfooting around the house or treading on eggshells. We all risk offence from time to time in our lives, but there is an enormous difference in one's motive and effect between accidentally walking across someone's grave that has been covered over by years of grown grass, and deliberately dancing on their grave!
Another example of making things more efficient and effective, by deploying strategies and methods best suited to oneself can be observed in my recent singing practice I have engaged in and have put on my Facebook Page. The simple truth is that I have no pretensions of being a good singer today. I am not doing what I do to please you, but to satisfy me, although it satisfies me more if, in the process of the exercise, some of you find my singing pleasing to your ear. These singing exercises only turn out presentable, not because I have a good voice, but rather that I now know how to make a poor voice sound infinitely better and more presentable by a few 'fixing; tactics and a little re-arrangement here and there.
No! What is good about my singing today, is that it is making me feel good to sing! Each day I practice singing, I care less about whether I hit every note accurately or pace each word as it was originally recorded, or even using the correct word which I have deliberately changed. What I care about is that I sing with 'feeling' and that each day I become less afraid to show my emotions and mood in facial expressions and body gesticulations as I sing my song. In fact, I get as much satisfaction from the overall exercise by deliberately changing a word, altering a note or even modifying part of the compositional structure to make it fit my less than perfect and simply adequate voice. I love 'fixing' things; always have and always will!
Back to writing. Those of you who would love to one day write your book, I would advise that you start by making your first book, a book of short stories. In August of last year, I wrote and had published a book of four short stories in my 'Tales from Portlaw' series of books. The book is called, 'The Love Quartet' and it was well received. If you would like to one day write your own book, you could do much worse than giving this book of mine a read first, as I am sure it will provide you with many valuable ideas about wording, phraseology, imagery and structure.
'The Love Quartet' contains four separate love stories about love that is found, won, defended and lost. It can be purchased in e-book format fromwww.smashwords.com or in hard copy fromwww.lulu.com or www.amazon.co.uk orwww.amazon.com with all book profit going to charity in perpetuity.
Better still, should anyone wish to read these stories for free, they may do so by visiting my website www.fordefables.co.uk and looking up the 'Tales from Portlaw' section or following the link below. 'The Love Quartet' contains the four stories, (1) 'The Tannery Wager', (2)' Fini and Archie' (3)'The Love Bridge' and (4) 'Forgotten Love.'
Just follow the link below to freely access and read at your own leisure" William Forde: February 24th, 2018.