Episode 89: The Power of Deliberate Practice – Interview with Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hello, hello word nerds! I’m so excited to share this DIY MFA Radio episode with you. Today, I’m speaking with Anders Ericsson and his co-author Robert Pool about their new book Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise (affiliate link).

In this book, they delve into the subject of expertise and try to figure out how some people can achieve excellence in a field through deliberate practice. This is a timely topic, especially in light of our new Storytelling Superpower Quiz here at DIY MFA. After all, what makes one writer amazing at their craft and another writer mediocre? And what can you do to improve your skills and increase your odds of success? That’s what today’s episode is all about.

Today, I speak with Anders and Robert about what deliberate practice actually looks like, and how writers can use similar techniques to master their craft and take their writing from average to awesome.

In this episode Anders, Robert, and I discuss:

  • The biggest myths about talent.
  • How to beef up your brain.
  • The ceiling of achievement.
  • The components of deliberate practice.

Plus, Anders’ and Robert’s  #1 tip for writers.


PeakAnders Ericsson is a Conradi Eminent Scholar and Professor of Psychology at Florida State University, where he studies how people become experts in various fields like music, chess, nursing, law enforcement and sports. More important, he looks at how expert performers achieve excellence by acquiring specific, complex cognitive mechanisms–ways of training their brain–through extended, deliberate practice. To learn more about Anders check out his list of scholarly publications.

Robert Pool is a nonfiction writer specializing in science and technology and has worked as staff for both Science and Nature. He is the author of three previous books before co-authoring this one with Anders Ericsson. For more info, you can follow Robert’s Amazon Author page.

Link to Episode 89

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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