You ever find yourself reading on thing but writing another. Example: reading novels but writing poetry. Reading poetry but writing novels. Reading short stories but writing memoirs.
Things like that.
Well, if you have, then this segment is for you because we’re going to talk about alignment.
Alignment is basically integrity, meaning everything matches up. If you’re writing memoirs, you’re reading memoirs. If you’re writing novels, you’re reading novels as well. this way, your brain can sync your thoughts with what you’re doing and the sense of what you’re doing and what you’re trying to accomplish comes much easier.
When I’ve written and read short stories at the same time, I’ve found that the form comes a lot easier for me than if I were reading anything else. Also, I achieve a sense of clarity as to what I’m writing and what it should look like which speeds up my learning process and makes it more effortless.
This effortlessness comes about when your mind is laser focused on one thing, that’s what it’s good at. So, if you write horror, read horror. If you write fantasy, read fantasy and so on.
To become good at anything, you need to commit to it and eliminate everything, anything, and anyone else that’s not conducive to the thing you want to be good at. The fastest way to anything is to make a beeline for it without too much adjusting. The same way you dive into a book’s world when you start reading is the same way you need to dive in when you start writing.
Nothing exists but the task at hand, the same way nothing exists except the story you’re reading. When you mind is totally immersed into something, you get the sense you’ve stepped outside of time, like reality fades into the background and all your senses become attuned to the thing in front of you and nothing else. Most people call it zoning out but you’re really in the zone.
So, the basic point is read what you write and write what you read. Dive into it 100% and X everything else out. Why do you think Stephen King is the “King of Horror”? That’s almost all he writes, and he’s been doing it for 50 years. If you want that same level of excellence, then you have to put in that same level of commitment.
That’s my spiel on it.
Till next week. . .