By Martin Schmalenbach
What Is “Writing Rituals”?
“Writing Rituals” is a productivity guide for commercial writers and copywriters. By using it’s 5 Writing Rituals, the author, Nick Usborne, claims “you can turn things around very quickly, and achieve a dramatic increase in your productivity. This means you’ll get more writing done faster, and earn more money, every day, every week, every month and every year.”
The Sales Pitch
I’ll let Nick speak for himself:
Few of us write to our full capacity.
I know there are times when I don’t.
I have been a freelance copywriter for almost 30 years now, and still have productivity problems from time to time.
I also know I’m not alone. I have corresponded with dozens of other commercial writers and copywriters over the years, many of whom have the exact same problems.
These productivity challenges apply to people writing copy, web site content, blogs, white papers, business reports, essays, college papers, e-books and any other non-fiction.
I came across Writing Rituals via a recommendation on the ‘warriorforum’ forum. At just $17 it’s priced cheaper than many other manuals. I do a lot of writing for many outlets, AND I suffer way to often from lack of focus and procrastination (is it me, or is it an age-related thing – seems to get worse as I get older!). So buying it made sense for me.
You can see the rest of his sales pitch on his web site, which can be reached through reviewhub.info .
He also has a great little affiliate opportunity. And yes, I’m gladly an affiliate too!
You get 50%, which is excellent, all handled through ClickBank.
And the icing on the cake? Nick provides affiliates with a number of articles to help with the pre-sell process, and these are great articles in their own right anyway!
What You Get
You get a 46 page PDF document, nicely laid out, pleasing on the eye. And no fluff.
The style is relaxed, and very empathetic – Nick clearly appreciates what it is like to have writer’s block for example. It’s easy to read, easy to access, thanks to the page numbering, use of space, and signposting – using a mix of heading styles and relevant graphics to indicate where each section starts & stops.
One of the last pages summarises the 5 rituals in a very useful format. In fact, I’ve printed this page out, laminated it and stuck it on the wall in front of my desk in my study!
I particularly like the story of Nick’s brother, a cabinet maker, and how he achieves what he does. Through this device we quickly get to grips with the rituals, what they are and why they are necessary. And this helps the rituals stick in the mind. Now, if only more writers of eBooks did the same…!
The essence of Writing Rituals are the 5 rituals themselves, which are:
clear your mind – remove distractions.
visualise the outcome.
get fully loaded – get all the information you need for the job, allocate time.
start writing – start anywhere!
stick to the plan
The manual shows you HOW to achieve these rituals. And they ARE rituals and not habits because, as Nick himself points out,
A habit is a repetitive behaviour that we pick up for better or for worse. Some of our habits are good, others are bad.
A ritual is also a repetitive behaviour, but it is conscious and deliberate. And it has a deeper meaning.
For example, Nick describes the use of tools such as mind mapping, to help visualise the outcome. Students of Solutions Focus may take a different approach.
A big part of the philosophy is self-discipline and the management of time and workload. You may want to also use Get Things Done by Dave Allen, and Goal Directed project Management, to assist you here. What I DO like are the little snippets of advice that are the ‘difference that makes a difference’. Perhaps these could be highlighted more, although these may only be MY differences that make the difference FOR ME!
And I just love some of the tips he provides in Ritual #4 – Start Writing – really simple, practical ways to get going. There are at least 4 that Nick highlights, and 1 or 2 of them are ‘off the wall’ – enough to make all the difference!
Nick gives good examples of applying each, and explains how each supports the other, and why following them in the given order can really make a big difference.
Applying It In Practice
I actually followed Nick’s 5 rituals in writing this review. Bearing in mind I have been writing for 20 years, have a number of articles published internationally in ‘learned journals’ as well as popular or ‘main street’ magazines, and use my writing to generate an income, you’d expect me to be able to turn something out quickly. And I can. Just not consistently enough for my liking. I almost always produce high quality material, but sometimes it can take an age until I’m satisfied and the client is too.
So what impact did Nick’s 5 Writing Rituals have on my productivity?
A huge impact! In fact I went away and wrote some other stuff using these rituals, just to check I hadn’t experienced a fluke! I hadn’t. I got to where I needed to be much more quickly in every case, usually between 25 and 50% quicker than usual, and with me feeling so much better about my efforts too – and that’s a big factor in overcoming any prolonged period of procrastination and writer’s block. And I have just had a bout of prolonged writer’s block too, so thanks Nick for helping me out of that one!
I found it very easy to apply these rituals. There are only 5 to remember, and I found that each ritual helped me apply all the others, and develop some self discipline too – I don’t have too much of that at times, despite serving in the military many years ago!
I’d say give them a go, you won’t miss out on anything if you do, and you are more likely to gain a lot instead.
Pros & Cons
There are other eBooks out there that have a lot of depth, or breadth about them. Or are actually pretty thin. I’ve seen some people comment on the fact there is nothing new here, nothing earth shattering, etc. Well, perhaps. Certainly there is nothing here I’ve not come across before. But this is the first time I’ve come across them in such a format that they’ve had a huge impact on me.
Others may think that $17 for 46 pages of nicely laid out text with a fair amount of white space is too much. Perhaps. You have to judge for yourself. My preference is for spacing.
For me, I’d have liked some stuff on how to write better copy. But “Writing Rituals” never set out to do this. It’s a productivity guide – nothing more. You can use these rituals if you are writing a 1 page sales page, or a 100,000 word novel – they are equally valid and useful.
Personally, spending $17 on a well-laid out and structured, mercifully short manual that helps me in a real and practical way to radically improve my productivity is money well spent. I hope it will be for you too, if you buy it. And, as it’s sold via ClickBank, there is the usual 56 days refund policy.
The only fault I can think of, and I had to think hard, is a lack of a contents page. This is usually a hot button for me, but wasn’t so much this time. Maybe it’s because it’s a naturally accessible book, in my opinion? Oh, and perhaps just a little bit more on managing your workload and projects – though the danger then is this is no longer the highly focused eBook that it currently is…
This eBook does “what it says on the tin”, at least, it has for me. If you are looking for how to write knock-out copy, look elsewhere.
If you are struggling at times to get things done with your writing, to overcome the latest bout of writer’s block, and to up your productivity hugely, then this is for you. Buy it, and then USE IT!
OK – that’s nearly 1300 words. I gave myself 2 hrs to do this, not the 6 hours I usually take, to write this review. Now it’s over to you!
Value For Money **** (4/5)
Readability/grammar *** (5/5)
Usability **** (5/5)
Application/practicality ***** (5/5)
Relevance ***** (5/5)
Overall **** (5/5)
Martin Schmalenbach is a relative newcomer to Internet Marketing. Having navigated the sheer volume of material and advice, he is now reviewing the many tools and systems. Read more reviews at [http://reviewhub.info]
You can read Nick’s sale page and get your own copy through the reviewhub.info site.