Improve your Writing with NLP

If you are new to the game of writing then this book is for you.

Improve your Writing with NLP ISBN: 978-1845908614

Improve your Writing with NLP

By Judith E Pearson

RRP: £16.99

Crown House Publishing (30 Oct. 2013)


Purchase Review

This timely new book details the Nlp strategies that can transform a tentative novice writer into a passionate, productive dynamo, adapting the resourceful states, beliefs, cognitive strategies and behaviours of highly accomplished writers. If you are new to the game of writing, if you feel intimidated by a blank page, if you have ever started a writing project but run out of steam, then this book is for you. Your guide is Dr. Judith E. Pearson, an Nlp Trainer and author of three books on Nlp and over 200 published articles and reviews. Through the magic of Nlp you'll discover the thinking patterns and cognitive strategies of accomplished writers. You'll learn the writing process from beginning to end - from romancing your idea to ruthless editing and revision - and you'll learn strategies for overcoming writer's block. The secret to great writing lies in learning how to alternate between three mindsets: Dreamer, Realist and Critic. The author will tell you exactly how to get into each mindset and how to apply it. This book will teach you the Nlp models for creativity, tenacity and meticulous attention to detail. Read this book and you'll know how to write persuasively, hypnotically and prolifically.


Useful for anyone who wants to write well

As someone with extensive NLP experience, who writes articles and wants to write a book, the opportunity to read and review ‘Improve your writing with NLP’ was a ‘no-brainer’.

When the book landed on the doormat I immediately started reading.
Then, part way through reading, I stopped. Finishing the book was a weekly objective that I continually delayed. Then, armed with the knowledge that I needed to write this review, I took the book with me on a trip away, and read and read and very quickly reached the end.

I tell you of my experience because I understood the reasons for the delaying tactics when I restarted reading and arrived at Chapter 5. I realised I had limiting beliefs about my ability to write a book. This chapter told of the fears - fear of failure, fear of making mistakes, fear of criticism and/or rejection, fear of inadequacy, that hinder writing progress and suggested ways to tame them. The limiting belief “who am I to write a book?” had stymied me to the extent that I stopped reading.

The strategies in this chapter helped me see the possibilities, build strategies so I could progress. So, for myself and people with similar limiting beliefs, who are reading the book as a support to writing, I would recommend you read Chapter 5 before Chapter 1.
After this, taking the conventional route of starting at the beginning is a logical approach to reading the book.

The book starts with acknowledgements, a foreword and contents.

The introduction is entitled ‘What does NLP have to do with writing?’ This chapter frames the books purpose, gives the authors background, and establishes her writing credentials. It then moves on to explaining how NLP can enrich the writing process. It explains what NLP is, and specifically how NLP can help the writer by having a resourced mindset. The chapter then explains the connection of NLP presupposition on writing and being a writer. The NLP success formula is applied to writing.

Chapter 1 asks “How does it feel to be a writer?” The NLP logical levels are applied to this question. The author does it in order to help handle ‘imposter syndrome’ so a writer and writing is chunked down into the six logical levels of environment, behaviours, capabilities, beliefs and values, identity, spirituality. The approach of using the NLP logical levels is in itself valid. Each logical level is packed full of suggestions and ideas of what can be done to help enhance each level. In hindsight I realise that this was where I lost my enthusiasm for reading the book. The amount of things that were recommended to do, that I wasn’t doing, resurfaced the limiting belief ‘Who am I to write a book?’ Even looking back at the chapter writing this review dipped my writing confidence.

Notwithstanding, there is a plethora of useful information in this chapter. Each chapter has a worksheet and I will use this chapter’s worksheet to utilise the information for the time being, and maybe review the chapter when I have progressed further, the dragon tamed.

Chapter 2 is ‘Get organised with the POWER process model’. This chapter uses a model - the POWER process to examine the mechanics of writing. POWER stands for Preview, Organisation, Writing, Evaluating, Revising.

Chapter 3 is ‘Get the right mindset with the Disney Creativity Model.’ Dilt’s Disney Creativity model is used to examine the mindset of writers. The three perceptual positions, Dreamer, Realist, and Critic and how they fit with the POWER model are explained.
We look at the cognitive components of Disney Creativity model and the Creativity Cycle.

Chapters 4 to 8 explore the three perceptual positions and how they can be used to support writing and the writer.

Chapter 4 – ‘For the Dreamer: Romance your Idea.’
The author applies the Dreamer state to support writing – how to access the state physiologically to access ideas, how to capture the ideas and ways to develop ideas by using mind maps and storyboards.

Chapter 5 ‘For the Realist: Blast past writer’s block’.
This is a chapter that I will be returning to when I write. The author quotes William Stafford “there is no such thing as writers block for writers whose standards are low enough” The message is - the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect.
This chapter looks at how to reframe writers block to manage limiting beliefs that are getting in the way. It identifies how to access the realist state physiologically and then suggests tips to get around writers block.

Chapter 6 ‘For the Realist: Get on Task and Stay There.’
This chapter focuses on how to continually feel motivated to write. It starts with a discussion of reasons that motivate people to write, and the importance of identifying the personal overriding reason to write. The New Behaviour Generator technique is introduced to help get hooked on writing. The second technique we meet is ‘Making writing irresistible with the NLP Godiva Chocolate Pattern’. Another technique offered is the Mind to Muscle pattern. We also asked to Walk our Future Time Line to develop Positive Expectations. We are shown how to use Flow and to meet our future self – the published author.

Chapter 7 ‘For the Realist: Write for your reader.’
This chapter focuses on getting into the head of the writers readers. How can we write for them, build rapport with them if we don’t know who they will be?
To help us find our answer we are asked to identify and describe who our intended reader is. The NLP Perceptual Shift technique is offered as a way to help us take the reader’s perspective. We are then offered 20 ideas of how to open and grab the reader’s attention. Another way of building rapport with our readers is by choosing words that match sensory modalities, that is, use a mix of visual, auditory, kinaesthetic, olfactory and gustatory words – a combination of modalities. How we can pace and lead our readers is explained. The importance of stories and how to use them effectively is discussed with some suggestions for drafting memorable, meaningful stories. Finally the chapter covers closings – ‘leave readers with something to remember.’ After giving us some ideas, the author practices what she preaches and closes with a positive personal story of the impact of effective writing.

Chapter 8 ‘For the Critic: Evaluate and Revise Expertly.’
Here we put on the hat of the critic to evaluate and revise. The author presents a process for doing this - ‘Performing Top Down Analysis’. This is an editing process that is a sequence of steps working from the overall structure down to the smallest detail. The meta-model is used to help us clarify meaning and to identify deletions, distortions and generalisations that may be in our writings. We are then invited to take a sceptical readers position.

Chapter 9 ‘Get Feedback and Cope with Criticism.’
“The ability to handle feedback and criticism rests on two strategies. One is to respond resourcefully to criticism. The other is to recover quickly from a mistake.” (Page 110)
Firstly the author suggests how to get feedback on one’s work and at what stage.
When you have received the feedback the next stage is being able to respond resourcefully to it. The NLP Responding Resourcefully to Criticism Strategy is introduced as a way of managing this stage. For the second strategy, recovering quickly from a mistake, the author presents a six step strategy to help us deal with this potential issue. A final thought from the author, via a true story, suggests that getting a second opinion to any criticism won’t hurt.

Chapter 10 ‘Write Hypnotically’
We are introduced to Milton H. Erickson and his unique skills. The chapter explores the theories behind hypnotic language and methods for writing hypnotically.
The author offers ‘Sound bites of hypnotic language’ - ways we can use hypnotic language in our writings. Then we explore ways one can take ’writing into the hypnotic dimension.’

Chapter 11 ‘Write prolifically’
This final chapter explores how to write prolifically. As there is no specific NLP techniques to write prolifically, the author recommends using the NLP approach of modelling excellence, so by learning what prolific writers do, one can copy the methods that are acquirable. The author shares her experiences which contain many of the best practices of prolific writers. The first recommendation is to make the writing environment efficient and the author offers a number of suggestions of how to do this. Secondly the author advises planning ones work, and details what would be in a good plan. The third recommendation is to manage time. Fourthly, ‘keep the ideas flowing’ and finally ‘write to fulfil a larger purpose’.

Following the chapters there are two Appendices. Appendix A is Worksheets for Chapters 1 to 10. Appendix B. is a writer’s guide to the NLP Meta model. The final chapters are References, Copyright Acknowledgements, Index.

My Feedback


I would recommend this to anyone who wants to write, be it a book, articles, a blog.

The book is packed full of useful pertinent information for the writer. I have been conscious of applying the advice and suggestions in my writing so I know I have acquired new information and learning.

The worksheets are excellent in that they condense the key elements of the relevant chapter. I can see myself using them for any writing I am doing, long or short, as they are time effective, succinct aide memoires. I will revisit chapters when I am at a particular stage, to motivate, inspire, support, discipline as required.

The author selects NLP techniques that are appropriate to the situation, and explains them (and NLP in general) in a clear and straightforward way, so they are accessible and usable by anyone, no prior NLP experience or knowledge is required.

The author recommends books in the course of the chapters, which is useful if further support or knowledge is required.

How might the book be improved?

1. More pictures/diagrams/colour – for visual interest
2. An invitation or more ways to help take writing less seriously, more lightly, for those of us who see writing as a serious role, to be undertaken by serious, expert people.
3. The worksheets to be more accessible/user friendly. The current options are to type out the worksheets, or scan, and print, or write in the book.

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