6 small steps to improve your writing

The Japanese concept of kaizen—improvement through gradual progression—can make a significant difference in your writing.

Start small.

Some years ago I received a short book from a dear friend. It’s called “One Small Step Can Change your Life,” and it’s written by Robert Maurer, a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. I try to reread this book every year, because it carries such an encouraging message. And what lessons it offers!

Subtitled “The Kaizen Way,” the book presents the Japanese technique of achieving great and lasting success through small, steady steps. How small? Really small.

For example, a single mother who was depressed, exhausted, and 30 pounds overweight was instructed to lose weight by marching for one minute while she watched TV each night. One minute!

The woman became so enthusiastic about her success in achieving this modest goal she asked for more exercise. Maurer and his colleague then helped her build the exercise habit, minute by minute. Within a few months, the woman’s resistance had disappeared, and she enthusiastically embraced a full aerobics workout.

Maurer says kaizen works because it:

So, how can this help you? Maurer offers six steps that I’ve listed here. Under each one, I’ve suggested an example that’s specific to writing.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.