Wednesday, July 12, 2006

 

A Small Change

In Now, Discover Your Strengths (The Free Press, 2001) by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., the authors note that "the difference between someone whose performance is acceptable and someone whose performance is consistently near perfect is very slight." For example, in baseball if you hit the ball 270 times for every 1,000 plate appearances, you're considered a middling player. If you nail 320 hits per 1,000 plate appearances, you're considered one of the best. In golf, the difference between an okay player and a top player is just five putts per round.

Might it be same for writers? Maybe the difference between a struggling writer and one who thrives is just one query per month. Or one additional phone call to an editor per week, or five intro letters per year. Maybe it's an extra five minutes per article spent creating a sidebar even though the editor didn't ask for one.

How do you make the numbers work for you? What do you do that pushes you or your career past mediocre to excellent?

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