Today's guest is Terry M. Drake, author of the self-help book, Live Happily, Ever More...Now! Terry is a Licensed Social Worker, National Board Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Certified Trainer of Ericksonian Hypnosis and NLP. He has spent the last 15 years learning about himself and others, through his academic studies resulting in his MSW and his professional studies, as a family therapist, clinical supervisor and vast training and research into hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming, the law of attraction and positive psychology. Terry is currently a Director of mental and behavioral health programs and a Life Coach, Hypnotherapist in private practice. He is also ready to put his skills to use as an author, speaker, consultant and coach. Terry lives in Wellsboro, Pa with his wife and children.
You can visit his website at www.livehappilyeverafter-now.com.
5 Simple Tips to Help You Create!
by Terry M. Drake
1) Write about what you know.
The process of taking your thoughts and ideas then putting them on paper can be difficult enough, but it is nearly impossible if you don’t know what you are writing about. If you take me for example, my book is a self-help book and written about how I successfully created change in my life and the lives of others, using the same methods I talk about in the book. Or take for example, John Grisham, who is arguably one of the best modern legal thriller authors. John was a lawyer, a lawyer in a small Mississippi law firm, who after hearing a traumatic account of a twelve-year-old rape victim, imagined what would have happened if the father took revenge and killed the assailants. From what he knew and observed he created A Time to Kill and the rest is history.
2) Write with passion.
How are you going to get others excited about your message if you don’t write with enthusiasm? You won’t! You need to be excited about your writing and in turn be excited to share this with others. Passion is a strong and powerful self-energy and when you use it in your writing; you create material that others want to read. Maybe even more important is how your passion creates the internal motivation you need to follow through with your project.
3) Paint a picture.
In my work as a hypnotherapist, when I describe to others what hypnosis is and how they already experience it, I use reading and authors as an example. I consider authors to be the best hypnotists, the reason is that they can take letters and words on a piece of paper and take the reader on a mental journey. This journey is all internal, as the reader imagines what things look, feel and sound like. This is accomplished by paying attention to detail, using vivid descriptions and stories, as well as writing with passion. When you paint a picture for your readers then you create a powerful emotional response, this is what keeps them interested in your message and makes them want to tell others about your work.
4) Keep It Simple!
KISS or keep it simple, stupid is a very helpful design principle. The principle states that simplicity should be the key goal and unnecessary complexity should be avoided. I learned this lesson through feedback and research, which resulted in several re-writes, but once this concept was used in my writing it resulted in a quality finished product. When you keep it simple, you are easily able to convey your message in a succinct and straight forward manner, which makes it easier to paint your picture and pay attention to detail. You may think that complexity will make your writing seem more intelligent or creative, but what it really does is alienate your reader since they won’t fully understand your message and search for the meaning, rather then create their own meaning from your writing.
5) Get feedback.
In order for you to be successful as a writer, you are going to need to learn how to convey your message or tell your story in a manner that others can understand and enjoy. How do you do this? You seek feedback or constructive criticism; you get this from professionals who write in your genre and from people who enjoy reading what you are writing about. When I got my first “brutal” feedback, I was crushed, but it was the most valuable experience I had during the writing and editing of my book. The feedback was what I needed to shape my book into something that conveys my message in an exciting, knowledgeable, passionate and simple manner.
Terry will be on virtual book tour June 1 - July 30 '10. Visit his official tour page at Pump Up Your Book to find out more about his new self-help book, Live Happily, Ever After...Now! Amazon is the best way to obtain your copy, although it will be available to order in your local bookstores.