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The Value of Becoming a Decisive Writer

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The role of decisiveness should not be underestimated in a writer’s process.

How are decisive writers different?

Are you a decisive writer? Most will say yes, but I wonder how often that’s true.

Many confuse decisiveness with good decision-making. Even if you’re a good decision-maker, you’ll undoubtedly limit your writing career if you can’t act decisively. Decisive writers are confident and committed to their choices, even when faced with uncertain outcomes.

I know writers who craft compelling narratives, but those who act decisively seem more consistent in preparing work for publication. Let’s consider the quality of decisiveness. We’ll examine how it can add value to your writing process and how to develop this quality further.

How can decisiveness add value to your writing process?

Enhance productivity:

Indecision can be a significant roadblock to productivity. Writers who struggle to make decisions often find themselves stuck in a cycle of overthinking, leading to wasted time, missed deadlines, and unfinished projects. Decisiveness helps break this cycle, allowing writers to move forward with their work efficiently.

Boost creativity:

While it may seem counterintuitive, decisiveness can boost creativity. Specifically, when writers are decisive, they spend less time second-guessing their ideas and more time exploring new ones. This can open numerous creative possibilities that might otherwise be overlooked.

Improve confidence:

Confidence is crucial for any writer. Fortunately, decisiveness reinforces confidence in one’s abilities and judgments. As writers become more confident in their decisions, they are more likely to take risks, delve into new subject areas, and continue to improve with experience.

Effective editing:

Editing is a critical phase in the writing process. Decisive writers are prepared to make tough editing choices, such as rewriting for clarity, cutting unnecessary content, or reworking sections that don’t fit. These decisions inevitably lead to a more polished and coherent final product.

How can you become a more decisive writer?

Set clear goals:

Establishing clear writing goals provides a roadmap for decision-making. Whether it’s a word count target, a deadline, or building out a specific theme, clear objectives help writers stay focused. By doing so, they’re more likely to make decisions that align with their goals.

Trust your instincts:

Overthinking can be an aspiring writer’s worst enemy. Learn to trust your initial ideas. Furthermore, your first instinct is often the right one. I’ve seen writers spend so much time reevaluating their work that they lose an idea to unnecessary self-doubt.

Limit options:

Decisions involve choices, but having too many choices can be overwhelming. Limit your options by narrowing your focus. For example, in a nonfiction work, you may have dozens of ideas concerning your topic. If so, eliminate the ones that don’t align with your core message and select from those that do.

Practice decisiveness:

Like any skill, decisiveness improves with practice. Challenge yourself to make quick decisions in your daily writing tasks. Start small, such as choosing a fictional character’s name, creating a working title, or choosing a chapter focus.

Learn from your mistakes:

Obviously, decisiveness doesn’t mean getting every decision right. It’s about making a choice and learning from the positive or negative outcome. Embrace mistakes as learning opportunities, and you’ll make better decisions in the future.

Work with an editor:

As an editor, I’ve had the opportunity to support writers and encourage decisiveness. I provide clear feedback, sometimes help set goals, and encourage risk-taking. These include copyediting and, if necessary, identifying more comprehensive problems in a manuscript or article.

Editors can unquestionably support writers through collaborative efforts that enhance their productivity and creativity. An editor’s support can help produce polished, compelling writing that’s ready for submission.

Are you ready to become a decisive writer?

Decisive writers can undoubtedly achieve greater success in their writing endeavors than those who struggle with indecision. If you’re ready to take your writing to the next level, remember that the power to decide lies within you. Embrace decisiveness, trust your instincts, and watch your writing flourish.

Are you a decisive writer? Most will answer affirmatively, but for writers, the truth reveals itself in your productivity, the quality of your submissions, and your ability to complete one project and move on to the next.

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About the Author: David Cox

David Cox is a Co-owner of Cox Editing Services. As an editor, he writes about the lessons he’s learned from successful writers. The habits and practices that can help aspiring writers become better and more productive at their craft.