The Secret To Deliberate Practice In Creative Writing

Creating a routine for your writing is essential for improving it. The better you get at creating a habit and setting aside time to write, the faster your skills will improve. However, it can be hard to know where to start when trying to develop good habits.

That’s why I’ve put together this list of tips for making sure you have everything in place before you start working on that next big project.

Deliberate Practice And The Secret To Success
1. Deliberate practice involves targeted exercises for skill improvement.
2. Consistent practice with a purpose leads to significant writing growth.
3. Feedback and self-assessment are crucial for effective deliberate practice.
4. Setting specific goals helps in tracking progress and staying motivated.
5. Embrace challenges and step out of your comfort zone to foster improvement.
6. Integrating deliberate practice into your routine enhances creative skills.
7. Practice not only quantity but also quality, refining each piece of writing.
8. Deliberate practice transforms weaknesses into strengths over time.
9. Incorporate reflection to identify areas for improvement in your writing.
10. Deliberate practice is a key component of becoming a skilled writer.

Define Your Goal

The first step to deliberate practice is to define your goal before you begin. Your goal might be something like this:

To write the best story I can, using the tools and lessons I’ve learned from my craft.

To finish a writing project that has been hanging over me for years by the end of this month.

To have a novel published within five years (or whatever time frame works for you).

The second part of defining your goal focuses on what exactly it is that you are trying to achieve, or what outcome/result/purpose you want out of this process. How will your life be impacted if all goes well?

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Stop What You Are Writing Right Now

To start, STOP WHAT YOU ARE WRITING RIGHT NOW. If you’re at a computer, put your hands on the keyboard and take them off again. 

Close the document, shut down the laptop, or open up a fresh one if you have to. Whatever it is that you are writing in has no business in this game. Your job right now is to think about what you just wrote (or will be writing), read what you just wrote, and then read it out loud if possible.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Criticism

Don’t be afraid of criticism. Embrace it. Criticism is a gift that will make your writing better and improve your skills as an artist. It’s important to know what you do well, but it’s equally important to know what you need to work on or change to improve yourself as a writer

It’s common for people who are new at something whether it’s playing the guitar or writing poetry to seek out feedback from others because they want help with their work. 

But when you start receiving negative comments from others about your work and how “bad” or “inferior” it is compared to theirs, even if they’re simply trying to offer constructive criticism rather than praise their work over yours, this can discourage someone from continuing working hard on improving themselves as an artist (and not just in creative writing).

 If this happens often enough over time then eventually there may be no more room left inside them for this kind of self-esteem-boosting energy which could lead them towards giving up entirely when faced with any future challenges encountered along their journey.

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Adopt A Writing Practice

Writing practice is a set of habits you do every day. It could be as simple as writing a paragraph, or it could be as complex as writing a novel in a month. It can be short, or it can be long. If you’re looking to get started on the road to deliberate practice, this is the best place to start.

I have the daily writing habit that I’ve been doing for more than three years now—and I’m still working on perfecting it! My habit has changed over time based on what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. Over time, I’ve come up with this simple structure:

At least five minutes every morning (before breakfast)

At least five minutes every evening (after dinner).

Make A Plan

The most important part of deliberate practice is planning. In this stage, you will be making a plan before you start writing. The plan should include your goals, steps to achieve your goals, time frame, and resources. You should also write down any obstacles and fears that may come up as well as how you would like to overcome them.

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Take Breaks And Then Come Back Later

Taking breaks is also important. You need to give your mind time to rest, and you’ll find that you’re much more productive when you come back to the material later.

If you have a hard time taking breaks, think about how much better off we’d be if our bodies didn’t require sleep every night. We wouldn’t feel tired or sick as often, which means we could accomplish more in less time!

The same thing happens with writing: don’t worry about getting it perfect because that’s impossible. Instead, just focus on making progress each day toward your long-term goal of being more prolific and improving over time (in other words: get better at writing).

-Learn A New Form Every Month

-Learn a new form every month.

-Write a poem.

-Write a short story.

-Write a play.

Write a screenplay, with or without actors and props, then try to sell it after you’ve written it down on paper (or computer). If you don’t like the idea of selling your work, then pretend that you do and write it anyway!

This exercise will show you how much work goes into writing something that happens in real life because your characters have to act out their parts without talking.

Also, help build up your confidence when writing dialogue for fictional characters who are supposed to be saying things that no one else can hear except those people who get paid well.

At scriptwriting jobs because they know what they’re doing when they’re working hard enough which makes them feel proud about themselves and if anything bad happens then we just say: “It’s okay.”

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Polish Your Skills By Writing Flash Fiction

Flash fiction is a short story that can be read in one sitting or in multiple settings. If you’ve ever taken a writing course where your assignments were to write a 300-word story, then you’ve already written flash fiction!

First things first: it’s important to know that there’s no hard and fast definition for flash fiction. Generally speaking, the genre is defined by its length under 1,000 words but many people consider stories shorter than 500 words “micro” flash fiction or even prose poems. 

Flash fiction is usually told in the present tense (rather than past), they tend to focus on one event happening quickly and having an unexpected outcome; they often take place over just one day (or less). 

Some publications will publish pieces as long as 2,500 words if they’re done well enough, but most of these magazines have very specific guidelines when it comes down to word count because their readership expects them not only to be short but also accessible quickly without feeling rushed through reading experience.

So ask yourself whether your piece would work better being longer (or shorter) before deciding what length works best for your creative voice!

Write Short Stories Every Week

You can do this by writing short stories every week, even if you don’t feel like it. The more you write, the better you’ll get at it and the more practice you have, the easier it will be for your brain to retain and recall information as well.

You should aim for a minimum of two pages per week (and no more than four). A page count is more helpful than a word count to ensure consistent progress in your improvement.

The stories don’t need to be complicated or epic sagas; they just need to exist—so take any idea that comes into your head and run with it!

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Keep A Journal

A good way to practice writing is to keep a journal. It can be as fancy or as simple as you want, but it should be something that you use daily.

You may be wondering why keeping a journal is important when it comes to writing. Well, there are many benefits of doing this:

You can practice writing every day by having an outlet for your thoughts and feelings (this will help you become more comfortable with the act of putting words on paper)

Writing in your journal allows you to talk through your emotions and process them in ways that might not be possible with other people

You don’t have to worry about being judged because nobody else will see what’s inside

Rewrite Your Work In Different Ways

Rewriting is an important part of the writing process, and it can help you improve your work. At first, rewriting might not seem like a good use of time since you’re essentially rewriting what’s already been written. 

However, by reworking your material and making changes to the content or style, or structure of a piece, you can make improvements that improve the final product. 

Of course, if you’re just polishing something rather than attempting to improve it through revision then that’s not going to work out in your favor either; but with careful attention and effort put into each rewrite (and even multiple rewrites), this process can become more valuable than simply starting from scratch again every time.

Goals Are More Important Than Time Spent Writing

The first, and perhaps most important point to understand about your writing is that it’s not a race. You’re not trying to win anything, so don’t think of your writing as a contest that has an end date. 

Instead, think of your creative writing as a long-term project a lifelong love affair with language and story, and focus on setting goals for yourself instead of worrying about how much time you’ve spent on the page each day.

Of course, if you want to be published or win awards one day (and who doesn’t?) then time spent reading and learning are necessary parts of the process too! But even if those aren’t your goals right now if you just want to get better at telling stories because telling stories is fun then set some smaller personal milestones for yourself instead.

Maybe write a poem every week for three months; try writing something different from what you normally do each month; read books by genre authors whose work inspires yours, or learn how narrative structure works by analyzing films or plays that use it well.

Record Yourself Reading Your Work Aloud to Assess its Sounding Right Or Wrong. 

I’ve found recording my voice reading a piece of writing aloud to be an incredibly useful exercise. If you can get past the self-consciousness and embarrassment, it can help you to:

To find out if something sounds right or wrong  I have written several pieces that sound fine in my head, but when I read them aloud are quite bad. I had no idea until I recorded myself reading them! It also helped me identify when things don’t flow together well.

Improve your reading skills Recording yourself will help you identify problems with your tone, pace, and expression. You can then work on improving these areas by listening to yourself over time (and keep practicing!).

Improve your speaking skills-This goes hand in hand with improving your reading skills; however, it also involves working on pronouncing words correctly so readers won’t stumble over them while they listen to what you have written down!


Awesome! You now know what it takes to get better at creative writing. Make sure you take some time out each day to practice these skills so that they become second nature. 

Also, don’t be afraid of criticism because it will always be there but when someone tells you something negative about your work, don’t take it personally just thank them for their opinion and keep moving forward with your goals!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to further explore the concept of deliberate practice in creative writing:

The Write Practice: Practice vs. Deliberate Practice: Learn about the distinction between regular practice and deliberate practice and how it can enhance your writing skills.

Farnam Street: Deliberate Practice Guide: Delve into a comprehensive guide on deliberate practice, its principles, and how to apply it effectively to improve your writing craft.

Prolifiko: Deliberate Practice for Writers: Discover insights into incorporating deliberate practice techniques into your writing routine for consistent growth and improvement.


What is deliberate practice in creative writing?

Deliberate practice in creative writing involves focused and purposeful exercises aimed at improving specific writing skills and addressing weaknesses.

How does deliberate practice differ from regular writing practice?

Regular writing practice involves repetition and habit, while deliberate practice focuses on targeted skill improvement through structured exercises and feedback.

Can deliberate practice help overcome writer’s block?

Yes, deliberate practice can offer strategies to work through writer’s block by providing techniques to break down writing tasks and generate ideas.

Is deliberate practice suitable for all writing styles?

Yes, deliberate practice can benefit writers of various styles, whether you’re into fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or any other form of creative writing.

How can I incorporate deliberate practice into my writing routine?

You can integrate deliberate practice by identifying specific writing aspects you want to improve, setting clear goals, and dedicating focused sessions to practice and refine those skills.