sly : marketing

How to think

I have been focusing on how to think lately and how to understand what I’m about to do and now doing. It’s probably related to my fear of flying, but it’s mostly related to the fact that I’m writing a novel. My first novel.

The novel is the reason why I am not writing as many blog posts as I used to, and I am not commenting on as many blogs as I used to. And I’m not as involved in marketing as I used to be. At the moment I am focusing on writing the novel. It’s an interesting, but a very different process than writing blog posts.


I don’t know how many times I have been doing my best to stop procrastination, but way too many. I have even written about my four keys to stop procrastination. It didn’t help.

Now, it’s different.

The novel

I have just started to write the novel, so I still don’t quite understand what I’m doing, but I better understand fast, I have set my deadline to 1 February 2011.

In order for me to start writing a novel, I have been through a process, a process related to how to think. And I’ve come up with 10 tips about how I should be thinking in order to do this brand new and different project.

Don’t think of this as first and foremost related to “how to think as a writer”, but I believe that you can use most of the tips, they’re not just related to a specific occupation or a specific project.

I am using every single one of the 10 tips.


If you want to become a writer, you need to think like a writer.

It’s all about positive thinking. It’s about self development. And understanding that you can do it. No matter what we’re talking about. You can do it.

10 tips

The tips are in no particular order.

#1 Goal

If you are looking for success, you need a way to measure what you’re doing and what you are going to accomplish. If you don’t have a goal, you’ll never understand where you are and where you are going.

The goal should be easy to measure. For instance, it could be something like earn $100 a day, starting February 1st. Or like me, write 1100 words a day. Not write a remarkable novel that makes people think. How do you measure a goal like that? You should also make the goal easy to understand.

#2 Deadline

You should always set a deadline for when your work is due. If you don’t, it’s actually a lot harder to finish.

If you set a deadline, it’s a lot easier to know how much work you need to do every single day in order to finish, and it’s a lot easier to stay structured and focused.

#3 Structure

Understand what you need to do and why. You need to place everything in the right order.

#4 Focus

Don’t try to do too many things. The more you focus on what’s important, the more energy you use on the stuff that’s important, the more time you use, the better the results will be.

#5 Just do it

I love this old slogan by Nike. It’s true. Don’t spend too much time thinking about whether you should or shouldn’t do it. Sometimes, if you want it enough, it’s better to just do it.

#6 No limits

When it comes to writing, I try to write everywhere I am, and I try to write all the time. I don’t limit myself to write only at my office, or only when I am at the library. And I don’t limit myself to only write at certain hours. I write whenever I feel like writing and I no longer stay inside my hideout.

#7 Get dressed

I always get a better result at what I do when I am dressed properly. If I am playing basketball, I play a better game if I am wearing the right sneakers, a jersey and a shorts. The same goes for my writing, I need the right clothes. I don’t write in my underwear. I don’t sleep in my underwear, I only wear it underneath my clothes.

#8 Use tools

No matter what you are doing, there are always some tools you should be using. Search for the tools, find them, and start using them. I am using many different marketing communication tools, some are completely free and others I had to pay for. But it’s really important that you use them, I don’t know what I would do without them.

#9 Be different

We are all different, and because we are different, we should also be different. When it comes to writing, I know that I’m no Steven King, no Jeffery Deaver or Lee Child, so why should I try to copy them or be like them? It’s important to learn what they do (learn from successful people), but find your own way of doing things. Find out what works for you.

#10 Breaks

When you are tired, sleep. Never work or do anything but relax when you are tired. Listen to your body.

That’s how I think

When you understand how to think (not just by following what I do, but find out for yourself), the next step is how to remember. And of course, understanding how creativity is born.

Image: law_keven

3 responses to “How to think”

  1. Williams says:

    It’s good you want to know about yourself, what you are doing, what you are thinking. And I think way to think about yourself chosen by you ‘novel writing’ is good idea. Thanks for your nice blog.

  2. Gus_Piano says:

    Interesting post Jens. Good and clear list that will help out everyone who wants it! My favorite’s are #7 and #10. Taking breaks is one things I’ve not always done in the past often and once I started taking periodic breaks, I noticed my productivity increasing. On the getting dressed part, it can be so tempting to just get out of bed, get a cup of tea or coffee and just sit at your computer and start typing away in one’s sleep cloths. Especially on a weekend day. But once I started making the effort to not sit at my PC until after I had gotten dressed, I noticed that my mind was in a better state to focus on the task at hand. Good stuff! Cheers!


  3. Joseph Hipolito says:

    Nice to know about those 10 things for how to think, because there some of my stability are not there..

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