An interesting book crossed the writing.ie desk recently. Called The 5 States of Success it outlines how to create meaningful success in your career, business and life. This sounds like something we could all do with so we asked its author Brendan Foley to write a short piece for us on how this could apply to writers. This is his article…
My name is Brendan Foley. Recently I launched my second book The 5 States of Success- create meaningful success in your career, business and life. It’s available as an ebook and paperback and is an amazon.co.uk #1 bestseller. The audio book launches in March 2012.
I’d like to share with you The 5 States of Success for writers, five ways that have successfully helped me to write and publish two books. My hope is that they may help you too!
A state is a way of being; something that affects how you think, feel and behave. To have success we must get into the right states of being and from this place we can create really great work. I’ve adapted my 5 States to the specific needs of writers and authors.
So, let me introduce you to the 5 States of Success:
1. The State of Insight – which creates CLARITY.
2. The States of Connection – which creates EMPATHY.
3. The States of Certainty – which creates CONVICTION.
4. The States of Vitality – which creates ACTION.
5. The State of Spirit – which creates PURPOSE.
1. The State of Insight – creates CLARITY.
I have always been a fan of people that can deliver brilliant insights. The reader is hugely engaged when we can create clarity and share insights in non-fiction and it is essential in fiction that an author keeps clarity around the characters and plot in their work. A very practical way that I do this is to use a mind map for the book and then mind map each chapter. This combined with an impartial editor is essential to fill in the blanks and overcome your blind spots in clarity. Connecting logic and creativity is essential when writing. This unification of left and right brain is best achieved by using brain exercises before writing so that both hemispheres are engaged and the result is insight and clarity.
2. The State of Connection – creates EMPATHY.
For your work to be successful you must connect with a need that the reader has. Be that curiosity, a need to be entertained, surprised, enlightened, motivated or so on. You must know what sort of reaction you want from your reader. This allows you to connect with them and if you can create empathy, then the reader feels like they are in one-to–one dialogue with you. It’s also an essential skill to develop with your support team of proofers, editors and PR people. They need to believe in you. Developing empathy is all about emotional connection and is developed by practicing active listening and tuning into others. These and many other exercises are outlined in The 5 States of Success.
3. The State of Certainty – creates CONVICTION.
Writing is a lonely business. It is a path that requires huge self-belief and certainty that you will succeed. A hint of self-doubt and the potential publisher and supporter will run. Write with conviction. The conviction that comes from your gut that says; ‘you can do it!’. Turn the volume down on the doubting voice in your mind and trust your gut. It will never let you down. When you speak and write with conviction you give your work strength and your voice and style come through your writing. When you physically bring your awareness to your gut this can really help the process as you activate deeper and more ancient abilities.
4. The State of Vitality – creates ACTION.
Your vitality, health and wellbeing is evident in your writing. I can almost tell how I was feeling when I read a piece I wrote a few weeks later. When energized my work will be up-tempo and passionate and the opposite when not. Writing requires you to be physically static so I believe that every 40mins as a minimum you need to get up and move around. I often will get myself into a physical state (body position) that reflects what I want to write about. If I want to write something motivational I might jump up and down and shout a few times to get me adrenaline going. Yes I know, it’s a bit mad! but try it – it works for every method actor so why not for writers too? (if you write intimate scenes this approach may not be quite appropriate!!) Finally eat and sleep well, your brain needs this to be alert and agile.
5. The State of Spirit – creates PURPOSE.
This is the reason that people write books. A burning passion to share a story, a need to communicate an experience, a feeling that your work can make the world better, a purpose to what you do. Your spirit is the ‘X’ factor in your work. It’s why nobody else can ever write the way you do. It’s your uniqueness. Celebrate this uniqueness – you do not need to write like anybody else. Just be yourself and write with a clear purpose allowing your brilliance and words to transform your world and the world of those around you. To do this you need to understand you values and to have a clear mission about what you want your work to do.
For me The 5 States of Success is more than a book, it’s a movement. It’s a way for me to spread an idea that I believe is deeply needed at this time. It’s all about meaningful success. Which is the opposite of the Celtic Tiger madness. It’s about the spine tingling excitement of doing something that you love. It’s about truly making a difference in the world and inspiring others to do the same. The world has never needed your creativity as much as now. So write on and most of all ENJOY your writing!