Reading, Writing and Reflection
Sort of the 3 "R"s...although, "writing" and the original "aRithmetic" never quite worked for me.
I was recently asked as part of a Q&A session my 3 tips to be an author. My advice - as a non-fiction author was as follows:
WRITE!! It’s not about getting it spot on right away – but about getting it “on”. It’s much easier to edit or make changes later, or even look at it and try something completely different…but at least you know the first choice didn’t work. Also, I never delete old writing – I save it as I can often find a place to use it later on.
READ – I read a lot. It’s great to see how others explain things, or to grasp their take on concepts. There’s so much information accessible to us now (although you have to be a little discerning!)
TEACH – as a non-fiction writer with a huge focus on the practical, I will often have taught the sessions which form the basis of my chapters. That way I can tell if the theory makes sense and if the exercises are going to work.
You can listen to the full interview here: SPEAK UP AND TALK RADIO - Audrey Tang
And read the complete Q&A here: SPEAK UP AND TALK - 21 QUESTIONS
But on reflection maybe the following could have been interchanged:
SELF-BELIEF - I have only just begun to refer to myself as "an author". I'd printed it (quite small) on my business cards and added it to my website first. Somehow putting "Dr" onto my driving licence was much easier - after all, I'd got the certification.
...and this is where it's important to appreciate that academia can contain us as well as develop us. The real world doesn't always have certificates - it has field-related rewards. (Something I discuss in my next book).
I have a published book, and one coming out next spring and with invitations to interview as an author, as well as questions about how to go about writing - I'm finally beginning to see it as a real title. (Of course in my next book I also postulate that titles are only relevant to the job you are doing at the time - so don't tie your ego up with the name "director" say...but somehow I'm still more comforrtable calling myself a drama teacher although, save the odd workshop, haven't taught drama in 10 years now!)
I have a client who says "I always feel like I'm "trying to be a...." - I asked them what they have been doing within that field. They listed off a number of things which sounded pretty much like they were no longer "trying". They too have changed their website and social media - and with it have doubled their productivity in promoting themselves within their career path.
I'm not the greatest fan of "fake it 'til you make it", but I am certainly seeing the personal value of telling other people what I do! If you're doing it - you're no longer "trying"!!