Practicing isn’t just for musicians. Or ballerinas. Or Olympic athletes.
We all need to practice in order to improve. In order to learn. In order to ingrain strong habits within ourselves.
Practice enables us to do things. Even simple things like cooking. Or gardening. Or blogging. Practice also enables us to do things well.
The act of regular practice helps us to get better at innovating within our companies. Practicing innovation skills such as questioning, observing, networking, experimenting and associating, can enable us to effect change within our organizations.
Practice doesn’t have to be complicated or even time-consuming. Any of us can do it. The key to accomplishing anything is to establish a practice routine. Your routine may be weekly, semi-weekly, daily or whatever. The important thing is to carve out time on your calendar to engage in regular practice of the activities or skills that are important to you.
I think we all need to practice practicing. Or, as Aristotle so adeptly put it, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Do you feel your writing getting stale? Or that writing isn’t as fun as it used to be?
If so, here are 5 Simple Ways to Breathe New Life Into Your Writing:
Get out of your usual workspace. New ideas often sprout from new environments. Deliberately mix it up by hanging out at a different coffee shop, outdoor park or ‘drop in’ co-working space. Even in these uncertain times, most of us have a multitude of spots from which to choose.
Write at a different time of day than you normally do. Yeah, schedules and routines are wonderful, but for creative new ideas to happen, we often need to disrupt our normal circadian rhythm.
‘Write’ using a different digital device. Just the feel of a different ‘touch’ under our fingers can allow for content to flow in a lively new way.
Write first; edit later. Rather than immediately editing yourself as you write, just let the words flow. Don’t be concerned with misspellings or grammar issues — just write. Creation and editing should be two separate activities.
Write with abandon. Write more than you need. Just let the words and ideas flow. It’s a wonderful feeling when you find yourself with enough content to fill multiple blog posts, instead of your intended single post.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I am practicing these tips as I write this and, I have to say, it feels a bit radical…simple, even.
At the beginning of 2016, I began a personal experiment. I decided to challenge myself by writing a short daily post on my favorite composer, J.S. Bach.
My original goals were these:
Post daily (So far, I haven’t missed a day!)
Learn as I go
Share what I learn
Some of the other benefits I’m enjoying as a result of regular blogging are:
Learning to write more quickly
Becoming more adept at conducting research online
Making interesting new friends all over the world
Having thoughtful conversations with other Bach-lovers via social media
I was even contacted by American Public Media and invited to do a couple of interviews as to why Bach is my favorite composer. The result is two features being streamed nationwide on APM’s YourClassical.org.
Anyone can be a blogger. My best advice is to start with a topic that you’re passionate about. Set a few goals. Make blogging a part of your routine. It doesn’t have to be daily. A weekly or monthly schedule is totally acceptable.
With regular blogging and creative sharing, you will begin to position yourself as an expert in your topic. If you incorporate your blog within your website, your regular content updates will help keep Google and other search engines interested in your site resulting in higher search rankings.