Making Decisions As A Writer ‘Review’
Decision is a determination arrived at after consideration
While growing up, there is a particular experience I remember.
That fateful day, my father had beaten me with the roots of the yellow bush flower he was pruning. You see, my dad thought he was a disciplinarian and was punishing me for leaving the house without permission and getting lost for hours in search of mangoes. What he did not know was that the beating reinforced my love for mangoes. If I am beaten like this for the sweet juicy “Sherry” Cherry Mango, well the mango is indeed worthy of the pain that comes with a few strokes of cane. Now every time I see a mango, I am reminded of a time I suffered for its sake.
Essentially, as human beings, we can either make a rational decision or an emotional one.
An example of rational decision making:
If I do this, that might happen
If I don’t do this, that might happen
An example of the emotional decision
I don’t feel like doing it.
We rationalize our decisions after making it not at the moment. In instances like this, we base our decisions on our feelings.
You that you are there shouting “I am very logical, guess what you can’t make decisions without your emotions.
Here are four factors that affect your decision making as a writer:
Cognitive biases: As taught in CXL Institute, you make a decision to write or publish a piece of your work based on the previous bias you have.
Belief biases: This is essentially depending on previous knowledge in arriving at your decisions. When I was writing for XYZ company, this is how it was done. I remember a friend of mine who had been writing for a particular company when she moved to another firm, she did not realize that she was imposing her beliefs of how things were done in her previous place of work. While her experience was important, the mere fact that she was not adaptable to change did cause a lot of problems.
Omission Biases: Considering how we humans love to avoid things to our detriment, people tend to omit information that’s perceived as risky. When writing, ensure that you have all your facts in order before taking that writing decision. Cross all T’s and dots all your I’s.
Confirmation Bias: Many times, we see but we are not looking. People observe what they expect in observations.
Memories: Your past experiences may hinder your future decision making. Memory applies to everything. It shapes your experience from the first milliseconds it comes to your eyes to the brain. Memory controls your experience.
Tell a baby not to place her hands inside a burning flame, she would ignore you. Get her close to a candle with a burning flame and let a little hot wax touch her. That experience would get her to avoid fire completely except that child is me.
Over the years, the transition from TV to mobile as changed the way we now experience things, we can no longer control our experiences. One minute you are feeding off social media, the next you are looking at the weather forecast of San Francisco.
Mobile has changed the way businesses operates and tries to change those experience they present to us. Your writing trends: when it triggers a nostalgic experience, when it tells a truth, when it tells of a similar event, or recreates a new experience from the past we are all familiar with.
Reason: Daily decision making works best with information available. We test and create a hypothesis based on the information we are given to work with. Though sometimes that information are incomplete.
Emotional: Decisions are emotional.
While you can make logical deductions, you can only make simple decisions when you apply emotions. Because decisions are based on emotions. Emotions are unconscious, feelings are conscious. When your potential customers first appears on your website, what emotion is he going to get? If that customer is motivated by what he sees, he will stay and continue to check out for more information, but if he is not motivated, he would stop and decide to go somewhere else.
Think about it, even in a physical shop. I remember a time I wanted to fix my nails, when I got in, the vibes I got generally was that the shop keeper did not think I was worth attending to. In Lagos, that does not hurt much. This is because she had assessed me and decided I do not look like a person who would fix her nails for a N1000. Normally, that price would have been very high as I do not fix my nails unprovoked, but my best girl was getting married and I could not think of anything worse than having my nails undone. What got to me was that she left me for a whole 30 minutes without looking to see if she still had my attention or I was comfortable waiting. I left and have since never visited her shop.
Decision Making= Attention+ Emotion+ Memory.
As humans, we make 35,000 decisions per day as adults, 1 Million decisions per month and 226 decisions about food.
Making decisions is a fundamental part of writing. The decisions you make will determine the success of your writing. If you make them carelessly, you might end up with unintended consequences — a tone that doesn’t fit your medium or audience, logical fallacies, poor sources or overlooked important ones, or something else.
Why are you writing?
Why should your reader be interested?
Whose story is it?
Let me tell you about myself:
There are two kind of people, those who are confident of their emotions and consistently make decisions; there are also those who make decisions but are unsure because they are not confident of the choices they make. And then, there is me.
I think I am a third category of those who avoid making decisions and staying true to their emotions and feelings, and would rather leave fate to decide .
To pick up a dress I like is an hardship because I am indifferent to exerting my decision making process. Yet like everyone else ,I unconsciously make judgement based on how I feel. So know that by avoiding the issue like me, you have also made your decision.