In addition to being an avid reader, excellent writers practice a lot.
It seems that they never miss an opportunity to write.
Whether they have some downtime, or they’re waiting for somebody, you can spot them easily.
How? You can tell a serious writer when they have a notepad out and are scribbling away.
You may be thinking, ‘They must be working on something very important!’ But this is not necessarily true. Even if they don’t have a blog post, article, or novel that they’re working on, they’re constantly pushing themselves to the limit.
The first step, of course, is to physically write. But, eventually, you will reach a point where you are writing mentally.
As you know, when you write with your voice through dictation, you have all these ideas in your head that combine together to produce a clear picture. You then take the next step of describing these pictures in words and saying them in a way that makes sense when transcribed.
It might seem like a complicated and convoluted process, but with enough practice, it becomes easy. In fact, you get used to it like the back of your hand—you don’t even notice it.
You don’t recognize that you go through many different mental hurdles—turning these random ideas appearing at a rate of 1,000 miles per hour in your mind and then processing them into different alternative ways of verbal expression. Then, you open your mouth, and something that makes sense comes out.
It all starts with a willingness to practice, and this is precisely where most writers stumble.
To Become an Excellent Writer, You Have to Stop Waiting
Let me ask you point-blank: what are you waiting for? Be completely honest.
You know that you want to improve your writing. You know that dictablogging can help take your output and the quality of your work to a whole other level.
For example, I started out barely producing 3000 words per day when I used to type out my work. Now, I routinely write 20,000 words or more per day.
You get all of that. But the problem is you give yourself excuse after excuse to skip practice.
I have an 8-year old son.
And believe me, he comes up with every excuse under the sun to skip out of piano lessons and Kumon training.
Writers do the same.
They try to fool themselves with all sorts of reasonable-sounding excuses not to practice.
Whether it’s writing physically with a pen, typing things out with a keyboard, or just opening their mouths and speaking into a microphone, they don’t want to be bothered. They say they’re waiting for the right time.
Well, let me ask you: when is the right time?
Chances are, if you’re like the typical American, there will never be a right time because there are just so many things competing for your most precious asset: your time.
You have all these duties, responsibilities, and obligations. You never get around to finding the right time.
Another common excuse is they’re just looking for the right ambiance.
The idea is if they find themselves in the right place, all these amazing insights will line up, and they will be able to speak at a rate of 200 words per minute, and everything will make sense.
Other people believe that they have to be around the right people. It’s as if these other individuals will trigger them to say the right things at the right time to produce the right quality.
Finally, other writers have a more of a ‘big picture view’ of why they keep waiting. They just feel that they have to have the right set of triggers—along with the right time, ambiance, and people—for them to reach their peak performance level.
These are all excuses.
If you find yourself thinking along these lines, I have some bad news for you: all you’re doing is keeping yourself from taking your skills to the next level.
The Truth: You Can’t Wait for Factors Outside Your Control
If you’re waiting for the right time, ambiance, people, or triggers, you’re basically waiting for things you cannot control.
The truth is you have to step in and make a decision.
You have to make an affirmative choice of putting in the time, no matter how uncomfortable and inconvenient, so you can take your skills where they need to go.
Leveling Up Writing Skills Is No Different From Other Skills
Believe it or not, the ability to write a lot—and well, at the same time—is no different than learning how to dribble a basketball, do a fast break down a hard court, and do a layup. It’s no different than running a five-minute mile.
All it boils down to is practice.
According to the renowned author Malcolm Gladwell, there is such a thing as a 10,000-hour Rule.
To get from bad, to passable, to okay, to good, to very good, you have to put in at least 10,000 hours of practice. Once you reach that level, very few people can touch you. You become an expert.
It’s all about finding the time and sticking with the program.
Unfortunately, people have more excuses than time. It’s as if all these excuses come from out of nowhere, and we just rob ourselves of all motivation to do what we need to do when we need it, so our writing skills can get where they need to go.
Other Common Excuses Writers Give Themselves
You probably have heard at least one of these excuses. I hate to say it, but I suspect you may have even come up with at least one of these.
Please understand that writer’s block is more of an emotional state than an intellectual one.
What I mean by that is there’s nothing physically and intellectually blocking you from writing. Instead, you allow yourself to worry about stuff that you think might happen, or you’re fearful of repeating stuff that happened in the past. In other words, you’re dealing with emotional blockages and not necessarily technical issues.
It’s not your IQ or your innate ability as a writer. You just have these emotional blockages that are preventing you from doing what you need to do.
Another common excuse writers throw out there, so they don’t write, is analysis paralysis.
They feel that they have to wait for just the right type of information for them to finally blossom. They feel that once they come across the right piece of info, it would unlock them, and they would become a writing dynamo. They go from 3,000 words to 10,000, 20,000, or even 5,000 words!
The problem is they end up wasting a lot of time waiting for that piece of information. It’s as if they’re stuck in a loop, always researching, analyzing, and never getting anything of value done.
There is also the blanket statement of ‘I just don’t have the time.’
Believe it or not, if you truly want to do something, you will find the time.
The truth is if you analyze the times that you go through the bathroom, most of the time, you’re there with your mobile device (like a tablet or a phone), and you’re just screwing around. You’re looking stuff up on the internet. You’re reading articles, checking out somebody’s blog.
In other words, you’re doing stuff that is killing time. You can easily shave off at least 15 minutes of that time to go through your writing drills every day.
I hate to say it, but the amount of time you spend doing unproductive things like playing games is not going to help you earn more or build assets in the future.
Why not trade at least 15 minutes of that time to something that will be worth more in time—like your writing skills?
Shiny Object Syndrome
Finally, there is the shiny object syndrome. This is where you decide to put in the work to level up your writing skills.
You’re pumped up, and everything seems good to go. But somebody sends you an email, and you find out that there is a workshop for SEO or social media management. You drop everything that you’re doing and decide to pick that up.
Once you get halfway through that project, something else pops up, and you drop everything.
This is very common, and it’s not a surprise that people who suffer from shiny object syndrome have a long trail of half-baked ideas and half-developed projects.
When they get old and they look back at their career, it’s obvious that they didn’t live up to their fullest potential because they’re always changing course.
Do you really want to wake up one day, turn around, and see the sad trail of the carcasses of your past dreams? Pretty sad stuff.
Stop giving yourself these excuses.
Drop All Your Excuses and Just Write Something Now
Boost your dictablogging skills by deciding to write something right here, right now.
You don’t even have to think through all of this because the more you think about it, the more you crave some sort of structure or ‘big plan,’ the more time you waste. Let things fall into place as you start doing.
So what can you write?
Start With Outlines
These can be hand-written, typed, or verbal outlines—it doesn’t matter.
When you write outlines, you learn how to be a more organized thinker.
There are tons of ideas and lots of insights going through your mind every single second. When you learn how to outline, you’re able to filter these in a short period of time and freeze them into a form that you could actually use later on.
If you don’t feel like outlining, you can always do drills. These are short sprints that use a stopwatch.
Give yourself one minute to just type out or dictate stuff that’s on your mind. These words don’t have to mean anything. You don’t even have to string them together. But as you talk, eventually, the sentences start to take shape, and they make more and more sense.
Eventually, when you keep repeating these drills or dictablogging sprints, every single sentence that comes out of your mouth makes more and more sense.
You become a more disciplined thinker. You also learn how to say the right sentences at the right time, so there’s some sort of overarching cohesion in your speech.
Write Lists Right Now
This is no different than short sprints with random words, but you write lists instead. You can type these out or dictate them—it doesn’t matter.
The more lists you write in a short period of time (like a minute), the more disciplined your logical skills become. You quickly realize that you don’t have much time, so all this information that is flowing through your mind is filtered by your need to make them make sense and order them in such a way that they can achieve something when transcribed or written down.
As important as these writing exercises are, deciding to do things now enables you to overcome your main hurdle.
What’s really holding you back is not substandard IQ, intelligence, or any of that stuff. What’s holding you back are your feelings.
One of the most effective ways to proactively and consistently overcome limiting feelings is to use affirmations.
Use This Affirmation: I Want to Write Something For Me
When you do this, you declare action. You also focus on your desire.
‘I want to write, and it is for me.’
You remind yourself who the real beneficiary is of your decision to drop things and put in the time to build up your skills.
Motivate Yourself: I Just Want to Write Something
When you say the statement, ‘I just want to write something,’ you focus your mind.
You’re not distracted by the things you think might go wrong. Maybe you would say something wrong, or you would string your sentences in a faulty way? Nor are you obsessing about the things that may have happened in the past.
Instead, all you have is right now, and you focus your mind when you say, ‘I just want to write something right here, right now.’
When you do this, you are well on your way to relieving the pressure of perfectionism.
Things don’t have to be ‘just right’ for you to write. You can do it right now, and you won’t break anything. The key is to just do it.
Paint Yourself Into a Corner: I Will Write Something Here and Now
A lot of people think that they are proactive. They think that they are motivated by the things they know that they should be doing.
In reality, most people are reactive. They will only lift a finger to change their situation if they feel that their backs are against a wall.
When you paint yourself into some sort of corner using this affirmation, you can’t help but take action right now.
Why? It focuses on the immediacy of what you need to do. You say to yourself, ‘I will write something right here, right now.’
This sense of urgency enables you to overcome your normal fear of commitment and your lack of focus. All you’re focused on is doing something right here, right now—and that’s all you need!
Everything starts to become clear as you get the words out, whether in typed form or through dictation.
Just Type, Then Dictate
Just type out random words that flow through your mind.
When you do this, your mind will eventually make sense of those words in sequence. They may seem completely unrelated to each other, but your mind is working overtime to make that list comprehensible.
Eventually, you start typing out these terms or words in the form of a focused list or a set of words that have some unstated relationship between them. This is definitely an improvement from just a random listing of words.
Eventually, as you type—and then dictate sentences from what you’ve typed—your mind kicks into gear. The next time you just type, you produce logical lists or sets of information that you can then dictate into something that’s tight, easy to understand, and meaningful.
Write Something Online, Then Scale Up Your Output
Google Docs is very easy to access. Using this amazing tool, create a dictated outline. Just dictate what’s on your mind and manually clean up your outline. When you repeat this a few times, you start training yourself to dictate the outline the right way the first time around.
Once you’re able to do this, you start focusing on tight dictations from the get-go. Since you don’t want to put yourself in a situation where you have to clean up later on, you dictate in a more careful way, but you’re not losing speed.
It’s obviously a balancing act, but eventually, you’ll get the hang of it. After this, you reach a point where you’re scaling up to maximize your words per minute while, at the same time, increasing your output quality.
It may seem impossible at this point in time, but once you get into the flow of things, that sense of momentum starts to take over, you’re able to say the right things at the right time, and it all makes sense at the end.
Write Something Meaningful
Once you have gone through all the previous steps, the next step is to reach a stage where every time you open your mouth, something meaningful comes out. This is how you test the overall quality of your dictation writing.
Now, you may be thinking, ‘Well, this means I would have to slow down,’ Not necessarily! Because when you focus on volume and throughput, eventually, you get the hang of it, and you’ll be able to consistently dictate comprehensible and intelligent sentences at a high rate of speed.
You don’t have to sacrifice volume or output to increase your production’s quality. They can go hand-in-hand.
Write Something, Then Fine-Tune Quality
When you decide to write something meaningful and write a lot of it, eventually, you will have a large mass of text that has uneven quality. Don’t get scared.
Overall, the average quality of your output increases over time. But the good news is that you will reach a point where it doesn’t matter which part of your transcript you edit; there seems to be consistent quality.
At this point, you can dictate at high speed with quality and logic in mind.
You gain the confidence that you really can’t screw up because you reached a level where you can speak really quickly while mentally editing what you are saying, and most of the stuff will make sense. You learn how to trust yourself.
Once you’re able to do this, you will be able to talk with a clear understanding of your quality standards. This will condition the words that you choose and the way you string your sentences together to steadily improve the quality of your output.
Now, does this mean that every time you open your mouth, you sound like Shakespeare, and whatever you say is flawless and perfect? Of course not!
But, eventually, the level of trust you have in yourself as you go through this process increases, and you’re less likely to make mistakes.
Optimize Your Process to Write Something Off Your Production List
Dictation blogging or dictaphone writing has many different moving parts.
When you seek to optimize the different stages of this content production process, the overall quality of your output improves while you preserve your speed.
It seems like trying to have your cake and eat it too, but with enough practice, you can do exactly that! It all starts out with optimizing your thought process. If you reach this stage, you’re obviously thinking in clear enough terms so that 95% of the stuff you dictate makes sense.
But eventually, you will start paying attention to the rough spots of your dictation, and this enables you to tighten your self-editing process, as well optimize your dictation speed. As you already know, if you’ve been practicing dictablogging, your dictation speed varies at different parts of your outline and even within a paragraph or sentence.
When you’re aware of your thought process and how it ties into and feeds your self-editing process, this has a clear effect on how quickly you dictate.
Eventually, you become fully aware of these different moving parts, they start to sync together, and everything makes sense as you hit higher and higher levels of output quality and speed.
Write Something Site Owners Would Want to Publish
As Stephen Covey, the author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’, wrote: one of the key habits of successful people is to begin with the end in mind.
You’re dictating not just because you want to go from 3,000 words per day, to maybe 25,000, to maybe even 50,000 words per day. That is all well and good. But at the end of the day, if nobody would want to publish your transcript, you’ve just wasted your time.
This is why it’s crucial to always keep the purpose of your dictation squarely in mind.
At the end of the day, you want people to publish your stuff. This can be in the form of a book, a blog post, or an article—it doesn’t matter. You want to get published. You want your materials to go through the different editorial hurdles that they may set up in front of you and come out smelling like roses.
The way to do this, of course, is to speak quickly but always remain on topic, and speak in an intentional way. Not only are you conscious of what you’ve just covered, but you see several steps ahead.
Now, this might sound impossible at this point in time. But with practice, nothing is impossible.
If you think that this is hard enough as it is, wait. It gets even more complicated.
Not only should you be on-topic and practice a high level of intentionality, but your materials have to be also SEO friendly. This means when you read through an outline, you better hit those keyword targets.
Challenging? Of course. Impossible? Absolutely not.
Again, the answer is practice, practice, practice.
Always Observe Key Quality Dictation Writing Standards
As you go through your dictations and decide to just write something right here, right now, you have to always keep your eyes on the prize.
This is not just a saying because the prize that you’re looking for has five different qualities.
First, your output must have minimal grammar errors.
Second, you have to use short choppy sentences to maximize readability.
Third, you have to reduce the number of times you speak in loops.
Fourth, you have to choose your words correctly. Just because you can use a word to describe something doesn’t mean that it’s the most optimal choice.
Finally, you need to avoid professor talk. Don’t use ‘thus,’ ‘therefore,’ ‘herein,’ ‘thereby.’ We live in the 21st century. Talk accordingly. You want your text to be approachable and highly engaging. It’s hard to do that when you sound like a professor or graduate school instructor.
Learn to Spot Writing Opportunities
Now that I’ve gotten you pumped up about seizing the opportunity to write whenever and wherever, this is where the rubber meets the road. Know how to recognize these writing opportunities.
If you’re completely honest with yourself, they are everywhere, and they take place at any time. It is all a choice.
But in practical terms, here are four opportunities to look out for.
Write Something Written by Hand
When the inspiration hits you to grab a pen and paper, don’t fight it. When you see a reference that makes you want to scribble something out, give yourself permission.
Similarly, if somebody says something that you just want to put to paper, go ahead and do it.
Write Something That Can Be Dictated
If you’re going about your day—like jogging in the morning—and you come across this large concept, use your urge to break that down into smaller chewable parts into a small outline.
You may not carry around a notepad, but maybe you have your mobile phone! Tap out a few words to break down that large concept into a very basic outline that you can expand later on.
This is the key to writing something that can be dictated at a later time.
Write Something Verbally
If nobody’s around you as you go on your morning jog and you don’t mind looking like somebody who’s talking to themselves, go ahead and dictate.
Usually, when the inspiration hits you, you go into a ‘stream of consciousness’ mental state.
This is an awesome place to find yourself in because the ideas are just so clear, and they fit like tightly designed jigsaw puzzle pieces.
And I’m not just talking about one random idea just crashing around and floating in your mind. I’m talking about several ideas that no matter how fast they come at you, and no matter which direction they come from, they all fit—and you get to see the big picture at every single word.
So let it all out just by dictating while you’re jogging. If somebody passes by, pretend you are using Bluetooth on your phone!
At the end of the day, nobody cares. What’s important is you hone your skills.
Write Something Mentally
If you don’t have access to a mobile device or you don’t want to just dictate as inspiration hits you, make mental notes.
Keep tossing the ideas around in your head, slicing and dicing them, and boiling down until you get the main points down. This is how you can be sure you will be able to remember them well enough to dictate them at a later point in time.
At first, you’re going to beat yourself up because it seems like you came across you came across the very best ideas since sliced bread—it’s that awesome. But by the time you get to your office or to the drive-through, or you finish your jog, you’ve forgotten.
Don’t be too harsh on yourself. Just remember to do it again and again until you remember those big points.
The good news is when you go through this process, not only do you improve your ability to think in a disciplined way, but you also work out your memory muscles.
Fact: There’s Always Something to Write About
Wherever you are, and at whatever time, there’s always something to write about. The only reason why you’re not writing is because of an excuse you gave yourself or an emotional wall you’ve put up.
Here are some exercises that you can try anywhere.
Just Type and Exercise Your Mind
When you type the first thing that comes to your mind, you’re not wasting your time. Instead, you’re exercising your ability to recognize patterns. Eventually, these patterns make sense.
Why? You make them make sense. That’s how disciplined your brain becomes. But you’re not going to get there if you don’t take the first step and just type.
You also end up boosting your creativity and insight because these connections don’t just jump out at you. You have to impose them. You have to shake these terms, mash them together, and do what you need to do until you see the big picture.
As you go through this process, you learn to focus and filter ideas as you type. There are several things going on as you type; you’re not just typing for the sake of typing.
The other good news is that as you go through all of this at a high rate of speed, you boost your typing speed. Don’t be surprised if you go from 35 words per minute to more than 100 words per minute!
Just Type Out Your Outlines
This is a level two skill set. I’m assuming that you followed the first exercise above for a long enough period of time.
Eventually, you will reach a point where you’re no longer just randomly typing sentences. You’re able to string them together into recognizable outlines that have a sense of order.
This organization grows with time until the article or blog post of that outline basically just writes itself.
Just Dictate Your Outline
For level three, you go from typing out your outline to dictating them.
This is a very important transition because there’s a lot of comfort and a sense of security that we get from documentation. The moment we write something down, we feel that we’ve locked in the ideas, and we can go do something else.
But you take a leap of faith when you skip that part and dictate your outline.
This forces you to remember the right things in the right sequence, and you also have to apply it to the big picture. If that isn’t hard enough, you learn to dictate in an efficient way.
Will all this come easy? Of course not.
But the more you just dictate your outlines—day after day, week after week, month after month—it becomes second nature. On top of that, the quality and the word count output of your materials increase over time.
This is all due to the fact that there’s always something to write about. You can outline any random idea that comes through your mind and twist it and pound it like an expert craftsman until it turns into a work of art.
But to get there, you have to practice. And this is where just dictating your outlines comes in.
Keep Dictating Until You Achieve Tight Message Discipline
The final stage of just dictating because there’s always something to write about is level four.
This is where you develop a laser focus on the topic that you’re laying out. You know what happened before, and it’s all intentional. You also know where all of this stuff that you are saying will lead to.
I wish I could tell you that everybody starts at this level, but you have to work your way to this point.
It is doable. And the secret, again, is practice.
Be Clear About Your Goals When You Decide to Just Write Something
It’s easy to think, once you’ve decided to just write something, that you’re just spinning your wheels.
On the other hand, you may feel that you’re just putting this unnecessary burden on yourself. At the back of your mind, you’re thinking, ‘Well, I could be doing a million and one other things. And guess what? They’re more enjoyable! Why am I torturing myself?’
When you remind yourself of the ‘why,’ figuring out and living through the ‘how’ and ‘what’ becomes easier.
There are seven common goals that people have when they decide to just write something.
Goal # 1: Learn to Start Anytime, Anywhere
Not every writer can boast that they can start writing anytime, anywhere.
A lot of us writers are slaves to our emotions. Maybe things aren’t going right in our relationships? Or maybe we just woke up on the wrong side of the bed! Whatever the case may be, our day is toast the moment we sit down and decide to write. You just can’t do it.
Well, if you make it your goal to learn to write anytime, anywhere, you become a much better writer because, at the end of the day, your success depends on consistency, not on you waiting until things ‘feel right.’ That day may not come.
Goal # 2: Just Get it Out
I know a lot of brilliant writers. I have fallen in love with the quality of their ideas. But the problem is a lot of them are just all talk.
I wish they were dictabloggers too, like myself, but they’re not. They talk about the next great novel or an earth-shattering new concept for a blog post, but they can’t seem to get it out.
Make this your goal. Let it motivate you.
At the end of the day, you may not be smarter than a lot of the writers you come across, but it doesn’t matter. You’re able to get it out; they can’t. That’s what gives you the edge.
Goal # 3: Get It Out in a Focused Way
I know some people who are able to get out a lot of stuff. But in many cases, this is all just intellectual diarrhea.
Sure, you got it all out, but is it focused? Does it have an internal logic? Or are you just spouting out your feelings? These are two totally different things.
When you’re motivated by the desire to express yourself in a tightly focused and disciplined way, you are well on your way to success and mastery of your craft.
Goal # 4: Lay It Out Logically
Many writers are emotional creatures.
I know I have an emotional side. But I also know that for my ideas to touch the lives of the biggest number of people, I have to communicate in a logical way.
You have to, first, appeal to the brain, in many cases, before you get to the heart. This is where motivating yourself with the desire to speak logically comes into play.
Goal # 5: Be Strategic
When you achieve the level of a strategic thinker, you have blown most of the competition out of the water.
Most people talk just to talk. They don’t care who gets hit, who feels bad, or about the long-term consequences of what they said.
That’s too bad because if you’re a strategic thinker and you speak in a measured and clear way, you get to shape the consequences of your speech. That’s power. That should be enough to give anybody confidence in the future.
Goal # 6: Maximize Quality
I hate to say it, but a lot of writers just write for the sake of writing. Sometimes, they produce amazing, flawless, or even perfect material. But, most of the time, it’s just fluff.
This is due to the fact that a lot of writers do not seek to maximize quality. They’re stuck in goal # 2, which is to just get it out.
If you want to stand head and shoulders above the competition, motivate yourself by the need and the ability to maximize quality every single time you open your mouth.
Goal # 7: Get It Out the Right Way Every Single Time
This is mastery.
If the hierarchy of goals that I’ve just laid out is like a pyramid, goal # 1 is the base of the pyramid, and goal # 7 is at the top of the pyramid. This is where you ultimately want to go.
You know that you have paid your dues and done the right things at the right time to reach this level of mastery. By this point, you will be able to basically write anything at any time and chart your own course as a professional writer.
This is the point where you achieve mastery. It is definitely a worthwhile goal.
Practicing Is Not Enough
As the old saying goes, ‘What is the formula for success: It is practice, practice, practice.’ That’s easy to say. But in practical terms, it’s very hard to do.
The Real Meaning Of Practice, Practice, Practice
To make this old saying pay off for you, make it part of your daily routine. Don’t think of it as something that you should be doing or something that you do from time to time. Make it part of our daily routine.
It’s as if your day won’t be complete until you Practice, Practice, Practice.
Focus, Focus, Focus
It’s one thing to do; it’s another to do intentionally. You have to be intentional in your efforts at achieving success. Otherwise, you’re not going to produce high-quality materials. I’m sorry to say.
Optimize, Optimize, Optimize
Once you’re able to focus and tightly pull things together, eventually, you will reach a point where things start to become easy. That is very dangerous because, at that point, you’re tempted to just settle for ‘good enough.’
I’m telling you: you should never do that.
‘Good enough’ is never good enough. Settle for the best. Make excellence the cornerstone of your dictation writing process.
Never be in so much of a hurry that you cannot bother with improvement. Always seek to level up your game.
Always Keep the Big Picture in Mind
If you lose sight of the big picture of why you’re doing things and what your ultimate goals are, eventually, practicing becomes a chore.
You start bargaining with yourself. And, before you know it, instead of Practice, Practice, Practice, you start on the road to Delay, Delay, Delay.
That is really is too bad because what is the big picture? The big picture is not making more money. It’s not being your boss’s favorite employee. Instead, it’s all about building an asset.
You are the asset. Focus on that.
You are building up your discipline. You’re also improving your willingness and your desire to go the extra mile to deliver solid value into the lives of other people.
Don’t Just Go Through the Motions
When you’re saying that you’re practicing, it’s very easy to just carve out a small block of time in your weekly schedule to ‘do practice.’ That’s not enough.
Your whole being has to be there.
As I dictate this, my mind and my heart and synced up to try to deliver the most excellent dictation possible. I’m not doing this just to do it, or I’m just trying to tick off an item from my to-do list. Instead, I’m trying to do my very best because I know that every word that comes out of my mouth is a reflection of my character and my values.
Don’t just go through the motions. Understand that there’s a bigger priority out there. This all reflects on you and what’s important to you.
Start Low and Slow, but Scale Up
It’s okay to start low and slow. We all have to start somewhere.
Unfortunately, a lot of people put themselves into this impossible situation where they feel that they have to start out at the top; or, if they don’t produce the very best the first time they try, then it’s not worth it. They feel like such a big disappointment.
Stop playing such emotional games with yourself. Everybody has to start on the ground floor, and that’s perfectly fine.
Start low and slow, but focus on scaling up as you start to figure things out and put things together.
When It Becomes Easy, Start Tightening Up Your Game
How do you know when to scale up? How do you know when to try to innovate and push your limits so you can go to where you need to go?
Well, it’s easy: when things start becoming easy.
When I reached the point where I can speak at a very high rate of speed, and I’m no longer dictating gibberish, it was very tempting for me to just coast. It really was because I say to myself, ‘Well now, I can knock a 6,000- to 8,000-word—even 10,000-word—blog post or series of articles in an hour. That’s a lot of money!’
But I didn’t stop there because I know, at the back of my mind, that when I start to coast, it’s all downhill.
I start relying on what I’ve figured out, and I’ve become lazy or even fearful of figuring out the things I need to know so I can level up my game.
How do you fix this? Well, pay attention to the next part.
Hold Your Work to the Highest Standard Possible
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Why are you writing? Why are you dictation blogging in the first place?
The most shallow and obvious reason, of course, is you want to make a living. I get that. But there’s more to your existence than that.
It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making. It doesn’t matter how highly or lowly people regard you.
You have value because you give yourself value. Focus on that. And the way you measure that is your willingness to strive for excellence.
Be the very best version of yourself. This should be your guiding philosophy when it comes to your relationships, but it should also be your focus when it comes to your work.
Believe it or not, your output reflects on your values, which in turn tells people a lot about your character.
Who do you want to be? Who do you choose to be? Are you a person of excellence and principles?
Or are you just a person who just changes from day to day because you’re just trying to get by? It’s your choice.
The Final Word: Just Write Something
Just like that Nike slogan ‘Just Do It,’ the key to effective writing is to just write something because a lot of things are going on when you decide to just write—right here, right now.
First, you seize the moment. You’re not waiting for tomorrow; you’re not waiting for things to feel right. You’re taking action right now. You’re taking responsibility.
Second, you freeze the moment. You milk every second of time to get maximum value, and this is where you get the power to learn, optimize, and solve problems.
Once you start doing this and you overcome your emotional internal obstacles or walls, you enjoy the flow because things start to fall into place.
Before you know it, you achieve a state of momentum, and you become better and better.
And guess what? The sense of accomplishment and confidence that you get is incomparable.
You can’t buy it for a trillion dollars. It’s just something that you get because you sacrificed enough and you put in the time, and ultimately, you chose it.