Three Lessons Writers Can Learn From Poker 

Every aspect of life is an avenue for learning. You may be pursuing a lot of interests — chasing your dreams, cultivating your skills, or earning money professionally. But no matter how unrelated these endeavors may be from each other, you can still pick up and transfer life truths along the way. This is especially true for those working with the written word, and this article will take a look at how playing poker can help you become a better writer. Here are three lessons writers can learn from poker.

Be consistent and disciplined

Talent and skills are simply not enough. If you want to be successful at anything, you have to be disciplined. In poker, no matter how skilled you are, you have to develop your game. Good poker players know to eliminate distractions and focus in order to develop strategy and perform consistently well.

Similarly, if you wish to be successful in writing, you have to do the work. You may be fueled by your willpower to succeed, but if you do not back that up with good writing habits, your motivation will soon run out. To do that, make sure you allot time for writing every day until it becomes an effortless habit for you. You can simply do minutes of free writing or journaling, as you can build your content once you have cultivated the habit.

Learn to accept defeat

Winning is an exhilarating experience, and once you have had a taste, you will feel like anything is possible. Sometimes, you might even be so sure that you have a game or a project in the bag, only for things to fall apart very quickly. In poker terms, this is called a bad beat, or when a particularly strong hand ends up being the losing one. But one way to make the most of your losses, no matter how big or small, is to accept that failure is an integral part of life. It humbles you and pulls you to stand and dust yourself off before you try again.

In poker, you cannot win every hand. Ask anybody who has ever played the game, and they will say that you have to lose first before you can win and improve. Losing helps you get better, but if only you accept and learn from what you did wrong. Likewise, no writer is ever immune to criticism and rejection. In fact, successful writers view failure as a necessity. Use the emotions you feel after every rejection as fuel to keep on writing. The faster you fail, the faster you can figure out why and improve yourself.

Practice educated decision-making.

Life has a way of presenting you with crossroads at every turn. However, you can only decide wisely if you have gathered enough accurate information about a situation. Needless to say, you must also be open to dissecting new ideas when the need arises. In that way, you can rely on facts and your intellect rather than simply following your impulse. Doing so consistently cultivates your self-confidence and nurtures your ability to take calculated risks.

In a poker game, you must weigh the presented facts before you settle on a decision. Although a game is never 100% certain, if you make an educated decision, you can be more confident about your choices and easily accept whatever the outcome is. Meanwhile, there are several decision-making processes you have to face in writing — from your genre, audience, and writing style, to your submissions and applications for publishing. You have to plan out your moves, depending on your goals, and decide using the information at hand.

The skills developed and habits learned from poker can seamlessly be transferred in everyday life, especially in becoming a successful writer. The real-life market might be tough, and you might have competition as you make your way to the top, but with discipline, humility, and decisiveness, it is definitely possible to turn your aspirations into reality!