"" Rob Parnell's Writing Academy Blog: July 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Success: What to do when you get there...

You've finally made your pile. 

People respect and admire you. 

You've got the cars, the house, the kids' education is taken care of, you're taking your holidays in all the best places and... what then?

Most people don't think past the 'getting'. 

They just assume their lives will be so fulfilled by being rich that it won't matter what they do with their time when they get there.

Common sense should tell you that it's not going to be like that. 

It's human nature to always want more. 

So what's the answer? Well, here's a rough guide to living life AFTER success!

1. Move On Up

You're gonna have to set bigger goals. 

Achieving what you want is good yes but, guess what, only for about 3 seconds. 

Life can only be fulfilling when you're in need of something - when you want something so much it pulls you out of bed every day.

2. Move On Out

You've got to take bigger risks. 

Ask anyone who stays rich and happy, they'll tell you, we all take risks with money - it's how we got rich in the first place, right? 

That buzz associated with risk is life enhancing. 

Some things work, some things don't. How will you know unless you try?

3. Give It Away

There's no point in hoarding all your money to yourself - or even saving it for your kids - they'll only end up like Paris Hilton, or worse. 

Give at least 10% of your money to people who need it, can use it well and deserve to be helped. 

It all comes back in different ways anyhow, so why not?

4. Bring It On

Educate yourself continuously. 

Find out new things and keep interested in everything - the news, politics, science, history, the arts, whatever gives you a kick and makes you excited and happy to be part of this great big beautiful world.

5. Feel the Burn

Become more creative. 

Stretch yourself into arts and crafts you've only ever dabbled in. 

Like films? Then make movies! 

Like music? Write songs and form a band! 

Enjoy traveling? Get a boat. 

Buy a club, start a new business every year - even if you don't want to work there! 

Employ others to help.

6. Play With Money

As often as you like, analyze your investments and savings and move things around to maximize your net worth. 

Regularly liquidate assets and invest in new things. 

Enjoy working with money and stay informed of opportunities.

7. Be Careful

Beware of fair-weather friends - and con men - lots will appear once the word gets out you've got money! 

Always investigate business and personal ventures thoroughly, using lawyers and the like to help you. 

I can only stress that you'll likely end up very sorry if you don't.

8. Have fun

Whether it's ballooning across the Sahara or just keeping in touch with friends - don't forget that you're here to have fun. 

And enjoy the simple things - the love of a good partner, playing with your children and keeping your mind and body healthy.

It's all too easy to imagine life at the top as glamorous but it's rarely what it seems to be. 

Best that you prepare now, before you get there, or the reality may come as a shock.

Plus, preparing for success will obviously help you condition yourself for it - and, I believe, better attract it!

Keep writing!

Rob Parnell
Creating Successful Writers The Easy Way to Write

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Nine Tips to Improve Your Writing Career

There's really only one duty a writer has - and that is to constantly strive to improve.

Ask any seasoned writer and he or she will tell you that getting better at the craft is probably the most fulfilling aspect of writing. 

Because you are effectively getting better at communicating your ideas - and placing your world view into the minds of others. 

To me, this is an almost magical concept.

So - constant improvement - how does one achieve it? Here are nine short tips:

1. Read Like it's Going Out of Fashion

You've heard it a million times before. You can't love writing without first loving to read. 

Read a lot. 

Read everything. 

Analyse writing and writers. 

Study what works, and what does not, wonder why and learn from it all.

Realise too that the published writing you see has probably been worked and reworked over and over to appear effortless. 

Don't assume professional writers get it down perfect every time. 

They don't. 

Their work, too, has been analysed, edited and beaten into shape by themselves and other editors.

2. Study Your Own Writing

Study every word, every sentence, every phrase. 

Are you maximising the effect of your words? 

Could you say the same thing a different way?

Don't just blindly accept your words as perfect. 

Professionals know there is always another way of stating something, setting a scene, explaining an emotion. 

Too many novice writers fall in love with their words, refusing to accept there might be a better way to get to what is true.

3. Learn to Love Criticism

When we start out, criticism hurts - big time. 

We've bared our soul. 

We've agonized over our words and are proud of what we've said. 

Off-hand comments about our work can feel like a body slam, an attack on our capabilities, our character, our integrity.

But that's not what is going on. 

People love to criticize - it's human nature. 

Even the best writers are criticized. 

The point is to learn from criticism and use it. 

Listen to what is being said, make changes if necessary but do it for yourself. 

You are the final arbiter - but don't be blind or sulky about criticism. 

Take it on board.

4. Read Aloud to Others

Reading out loud can highlight the strengths and weaknesses in your writing. 

Especially in the areas of rhythm, wordiness, and dialogue. 

It's a great test.

Read to friends and family, yes, but also read to other writers. 

Let them make comments. 

Enjoy the process.

Try this. 

Read a short piece to a group of friends/writers. 

Make note of how your writing sounds to them. 

Listen to suggestions. 

Make changes, read it aloud again. 

Keep doing this until everyone involved thinks the writing - every word, every phrase - is perfect.

5. Try Different Styles

It's too easy to get stuck in one area of expertise. 

If you're a fiction buff, try writing magazine articles or screenplays. 

If you're a journalist, try free-form fiction. 

If you're a literary type, try writing advertising copy. 

Don't limit yourself. 

All types of writing are good in their own way and experimenting with them can teach you little tricks that help you become a more mature, fully rounded writer.

Novice writers tend to think they shouldn't experiment, that somehow it might taint their art. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.

6. Take Courses, Read More Books on Writing

The process of being taught, of exposing yourself to the ideas of others, cannot be underestimated. 

Even if you disagree with what is being said, it all helps stretch you and give you a deeper understanding of what is good and right for your writing.

When you take lessons in writing, study hard, do the exercises, listen to the feedback, act on it and write some more. 

Your writing will improve the more you do it. 

Don't sit and fret over your writing. 

Just do it.

7. Seek Out Good Advice

I often hear novice writers complain that they're learning nothing new about writing from the various authorities they consult. 

They sound disillusioned as if there's more pertinent information out there if only they could find it.

Odd. considering I've never met a seasoned writer didn't love to debate the absolute basics of word-play, grammar, sentence structure and all the other little things that novices seem to grow weary of hearing.


You can never hear good advice too many times.

8. Give Back

Share your knowledge. 

Teach what you have learnt about writing to others. Too often novice writers can feel there's some sort of clique of professionals who don't want to talk to them or associate with them.

We writers, whatever our abilities, must learn to see ourselves as a community with similar aims - to actively enhance all our writing - to raise the bar and to act for the betterment of all writers.

9. Constantly Want More From Yourself

Stretch yourself continuously. 

Find new ways of expressing yourself.

Writing is sometimes a strange past-time. 

A writing project that begins like an adventure can quickly become an obsession that ends up feeling like some self-inflicted curse!

But all writing experience is good, whether it's fun or not. 

Not all of your writing is going to be fun and fulfilling. 

Some of it may be a hard slog or a nuisance. 

This is okay.

If you want to succeed in writing, it should become your life, your passion, even your reason to be. 

It's a fine and noble way of life. 

If you want it, embrace it, and your writing will benefit enormously. 

Go for it!

Best of luck and - whatever you do:

Keep Writing!

The Writing Academy

Welcome to the official blog of Rob Parnell's Writing Academy, updated weekly - sometimes more often!