Angela Duckworth summarizes the basic requirements for deliberate practice (K. Anders Ericsson) as:
- A clearly defined stretch goal
- Full concentration and effort
- Immediate and informative feedback
- Repetition with reflection and refinement
Angela Duckworth, Grit
As a writer, I try to write every day.
How can I make these writing sessions deliberate practice?
A clearly defined stretch goal
- Productivity: Set a word-count goal for each hour or day. Track your word count in a spreadsheet. Track the amount of time you spend writing.
- Style: Identify and define a style of another author you are trying to imitate. (It must be clearly defined.) Write towards that style in your own writing and compare it to the original.
Full concentration and effort
- Remove all distractions both digital (social media, email, etc.) and physical (find a quiet place).
- Schedule a time block on your calendar.
- Set a timer.
- Turn on music.
Immediate and informative feedback
- Mentor/Teacher/Coach: Share your work with an expert who can provide experienced feedback.
- Editor: Hire an editor to read and suggest corrections.
- Family: Share your work with your wife or read it to your kids to get their reaction.
Repetition with reflection and refinement
- Write every day.
- Re-read what you wrote the previous day and make corrections.
- Use Neil Strauss’s three-draft method of revising.
- Keep a writing journal.