by Colleen Story
Whether you’re a James Bond fan or not, you can adopt some of his strengths to improve your writing career.
I’ve enjoyed the action and excitement of James Bond in the past, but I became a huge fan when Daniel Craig took over the role. I thought he brought a lot more feeling to the character, and I found myself pulling for him more than I had the previous Bonds.
No surprise that I was excited to see his last movie, “No Time to Die.” Now that Craig’s time as the character is officially over, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the series.
Which brought me to this idea: Successful writers have a lot in common with James Bond.
Don’t believe me? See if you have these characteristics. If not, working to develop them could help you reach your writing goals.
1. You Think Less…Act More
One thing you won’t see much of in a Bond movie is James Bond sitting around thinking.
Writers, on the other hand, are natural thinkers. We have to be to come up with our ideas, and to keep track of characters, plots, settings, and all the rest.
That means that we, unlike Bond, have to push ourselves to act. We tend to be hesitant to submit our stories, try something new in marketing, and get ourselves out there with guest posting, podcast interviews, and live videos.
If you’ve waited more than a couple of months to do something you’ve been thinking you should do, straighten your tie, imagine getting into your Aston Martin, and act…the sooner, the better.
2. You’re Unafraid—You Don’t Hold Back
No James Bond movie is complete without Bond leaping off some high surface to brave a long fall below. I heard an interview with Daniel Craig where he said he “used” to have a fear of heights—but after filming five Bond movies, he no longer does!
Thinking too much before we act often occurs because we’re afraid. Maybe the new website we’ve been thinking of designing won’t look right, or we’ll sound dumb on a podcast interview, or look silly on a video. Maybe we won’t come across well in a workshop.
As a writer, we must be courageous. We have to put ourselves out there all the time, and it can feel like we're leaping out of a helicopter or diving off a bridge. It helps to take frequent risks. Get used to feeling afraid and do it anyway.
3. Stay in Shape!
James Bond is always in top physical form. He has to be, to do his job.
What about you? You’re just a writer, so all you have to do is type on the computer. No reason to worry about fitness, right?
Wrong. Working long hours at the computer is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your health and your creativity. If you don’t exercise regularly and eat a healthy diet, you’ll be at risk for overweight, joint pain, back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, carpal tunnel, headaches, dry eyes, and much more. Say nothing of the mental dullness and slow-thinking.
Make a point to take care of your health. Eat healthy foods, exercise for at least an hour every day, stretch 2-3 times a week (yoga is excellent), and while you’re working, get up once every 30 minutes to walk around.
Also, consider getting a filter for your computer screen to help protect your eyes.
4. Take Advantage of Technology
Where would Bond be with Q? Dead, probably!
Writers don’t need watches with laser cutters or cars that can dive underwater, but we do use a lot of technology to write and market our books.
You may not have thought about it, but you probably use all these and more in your writing practice:
- Word processing software
- Story-writing software (like Scrivener)
- Photo modifying software
- Video software
- Numerous apps
- Cover design software
In today’s world, writers can’t afford to plead ignorance when it comes to technology. The more you learn, the more comfortable you’ll be updating your website, publishing your books, creating your own videos, running a podcast, conducting live interviews, and anything else you need to do to create and market your work.
5. Dress the Part
Bond is always in style. He hunts down the bad guys and performs all the stunts while looking simply dashing.
Writers, on the other hand…well, we typically prefer sweats and T-shirts.
Which is fine most of the time. But it’s important not to forget how to dress up.
Research has shown that dressing up more formally boosts creativity, improves productivity, helps you focus, and supports self-confidence. (Find more details on how dressing the part helps you write.)
You may want to choose one day a week to don some fancy threads. Wear something like you’d wear to the office, and see how it affects your writing session.
You may be surprised.
6. Rely on Your Friends
Every Bond movie has at least one scene where Bond’s friends come to his aid.
Indeed, Bond couldn’t succeed at his missions without the help of his friends.
Writers, too, must have support. That could come from family, friends, mentors, editors, writing pals, or even online writers and readers.
These folks can help pick us up when we’re feeling down, and cheer us on when we experience success.
You may spend many years writing on your own. Eventually, you’ll need to reach out and let others in. Don’t wait too long. Join a writer’s group, attend some conferences, connect online. You'll be glad you did—especially when you need the help.
7. Take Your Lumps and Move On
James Bond doesn’t sail through his movies unscathed. He’s often in fights, and sometimes he’s hurt badly. Occasionally, he’s even tortured. He falls in love and is betrayed. But no matter what—even if he quits—he eventually carries on to complete the mission.
Of course, it’s a lot easier to recover from injuries in the movies than it is in real life. But as writers, we must also learn how to take our hits and keep going.
Your mission is to be the best writer you can be. If you want to succeed, adopt Bond’s commitment to that mission. Don’t let anyone or anything stop you. Know who you are—you are a writer. You will have setbacks. You will get knocked down. You must get up and keep going.
It’s the only way to save the world—your writing world, that is.
Note: To boost your writing productivity today, check out Colleen’s FREE report here. You’ll also get FREE chapters of her writing books!
How do you channel your inner James Bond-like characteristics in your writing life?
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In her latest release, Your Writing Matters, Colleen M. Story helps writers determine whether writing is part of their life’s purpose. Her book on author platforms, Writer Get Noticed!, was a gold-medal winner in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards, and Overwhelmed Writer Rescue was named Book by Book Publicity’s Best Writing/Publishing Book. Her novel, Loreena’s Gift, was a Foreword Reviews' INDIES Book of the Year Awards winner, among others. Her next novel, The Beached Ones, is set for a spring 2022 release.