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I have published two books in the last two years and two more are coming this year. What is my secret?

By Aubrey Mavhuli

There is a saying I often parrot, “The first book is from your heart the second one is from your head.” Rod Stewart put it in a sexier way: “The first cut is the deepest.”

Whether this is true or not may not really matter. This has no impact on a tin of beans. I hope you catch my drift.

Is copying always bad?

But let me tell you a story. After all is not this what we writers are. We are storytellers. My teachers told me copying was bad and they terribly punished those who were caught copying. It was derogatorily called cheating. Many of us grew up with this fear of copying. Frankly, we abhorred it.

We learn through imitation.

But copying is not always a terrible thing. I later on learnt. The teachers I am sure meant to tell us so as well at the end of our graduation. Who can blame them with our excitement of leaving school for not telling us?

Who would be bothered to wait for the teacher’s address?

If you find someone doing a good thing please copy it, imitate it. That’s my advice. “Imitation is not only the sincerest form of flattery, but also the sincerest form of learning,” George Bernard Shaw said.


Attract success through imitation.

Most success starts off as imitation but once you master what you have imitated you can start going an extra mile. Learn to imitate those already succeeding in what you would like to succeed in. If you imitate the right people, success would surely be attracted to you.

Don’t copy everything copy what works.

One day a long time ago, I found myself in grade five. I had a bench mate called Ringo. As I said earlier the teachers discouraged us from copying but life, fortunately, doesn’t. You see we wrote some end-of-term or is it end-of-year tests. My friend Ringo had access to all my answers plus his own.

When the results of the tests came guess what! He was the highest in the four subjects we did then, and I was of course second best. I, later on, found out that he only copied what he wasn’t sure of and didn’t bother to correct me where I missed it.


Most people never get anywhere in life because they are waiting for this out-of-the-world idea to start anything. Besides they remember the teacher’s warning against copying.

Book writing is equally the same. Most stories are never written because the writers are waiting and not writing. Writers write and waiters wait. Are you a writer or a waiter?

At that grade five age I was upset with Ringo for taking my number one position, but here is the lesson that the teacher did not teach. If you find yourself stuck in life, find what works and copy it.

Life doesn’t have prefects with pens and paper ready to pencil your name in for punishment or detention.

Sometimes I think and chuckle that real life is less strict than my teachers were. I have published two books in the last two years and two more are coming this year. What is my secret? I am not trying to reinvent any wheel. I am just trying to move. Movement my friends is the secret of all success.


Thinking about it won’t help you. Contemplating to write won’t finish any pages or chapters.

Start moving with your book. Don’t wait, don’t stop. Just write. Most writers make the mistake of wearing two hats when writing. They write and edit. I don’t.

I write first and edit later. I guess I am not smart enough to do two activities correctly at the same time. If you join the 100 day Book Writing Challenge you can copy all of my secrets for writing without ceasing.

Join us and forget writer’s block.

Aubrey Mavhuli is author of Success is Do It Yourself. Book your spot in the Sunday Express Online Book writing course today and receive a copy of the book.

Mavhuli is author of Marketing Sense: An entrepreneur’s marketing guide that brings results and chief copywriter and marketing consultant at SuperValueCopy.com.

He is a serial entrepreneur who runs a copywriting and marketing consultancy, solar installations company, an Ecocash shop, and a mixed farm in Gauteng. He is a motivational speaker and trainer on marketing, copywriting, sales, leadership, and success. Email: aubrey@supervaluecopy.com.

























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