Good habits will improve your writing skills, and all it takes is a matter of time and patience. Many writers dream of writing thousands of words a day, publishing multiple books a year and seeing them all skyrocket to the top of the bestseller lists. Dreams can happen when put into action.
All it takes is dedication, hard work and setting the path to success.
Practice your writing habits regularly, giving them purpose and effectiveness. Doing something regularly, is reflected in your daily life, making it easier to keep doing it. When you get into the habit of writing regularly it becomes second nature, so normal that your brain will automatically depend on it.
Distractions are deadly:
- How many times have you sat down, turned out a page or two, then went two weeks without looking at your writing again.
- Or flipped through a book considering ways to be a better writer, then set it at the back of the bookshelf.
13 popular writing habits:
1. Write every day
Write every…single…day. We are all busy people with a busy life, and it can be hard to dedicate time to writing. Especially if you aren’t used to it.
Begin with five, even ten minutes, everyday, dedicated to writing.
Everyone works at their own paces: 500, 1000 or 2000 words per day. It does not matter the outcome, it is the process.
Find your groove and stick to it.
2. Stay committed to your writing
A habit not practiced is not a habit, it’s just an action.
Developing habits, and finding the time to write can be tough.
Don’t let that deter you. Something like writing each day may seem impossible or too time consuming. Stay committed to your writing but stay flexible in your approach. Once you decide upon your goal, you should never look back. Make your approach reasonable. It takes two months of constant action for a new behavior to become automatic. You, and your writing, deserve that dedication.
3. Read, read, read
Become a voracious reader. Devour every possible book in earnest, reading any book that’s in sight.
Reading a wide variety of books, from many different authors, means that you will become exposed to all styles of writing. This can inspire you when creating characters and your book.
Reading and writing go hand in hand.
4. Keep brainstorming
Always carry a notebook or journal, for you never know when inspiration will strike.
Brainstorming and/or being creative is pretty much second nature to most writers. Brainstorming is important and it’s worth committing time to doing. Set aside time to contemplate what is important to you and write about it.
Get inspired by what’s happening out there in the world – be it a current event, a social issue, a conversation overheard. Keep your eyes and ears open ready for that new idea, then ponder it, formulate a way to add it to your next story.
5. Create an environment to write
Anyone and everyone who wants to be a writer should have a personal space to write.
It will encourage them to write.
Distractions are all too many and can pop up everywhere. They make it hard to focus on writing.
By having that ‘one special place’ in which to write, you will be a lot less distracted. Once in your zone the words will flow naturally.
You do not need to go through the writing process alone. It is important to find a group of people who can help you through the process. These are the people who can lend their hand at editing or proofreading.
Commit your time to finding a group of people who are interested in helping.
Not only will this make your writing stronger, in the end it will alleviate stress and worry.
It’s all a trade off, a barter system, maybe you could help an author with making grammatical edits and they could assist you with proofreading!
7. Dedicate time
Not only is writing challenging, but it’s a noble pursuit. When an author wants to write, when they’re passionate enough about a topic dedicate the time. Success is driven by ambition.
You’ve got this!
Look at your daily schedule and dedicate parts of your day to writing.
Create a physical schedule showing what time is reserved for the other things in life.
8. Plan your goal
Get pumped and excited about your goal.
Put your goals out there where you, and everyone else, can see them. Write your book goals on your bathroom mirror. Put a sticky note on your computer, in your car and on your bedside table.
By keeping those goals at the forefront of your mind, out in plain sight, enables you to be thinking of them – always.
Success in reaching your goals:
- know what they are
- be reminded of them
- brainstorm your writing goals
- write them down on paper
Now think about actually finishing a book. Each step in this process is a goal for you and something that you’ll need to keep in mind as you write.
9. Pat yourself on the back
You have worked hard and deserve a big congratulations!
Celebrate your writing successes.
Celebrate the small victories: the end of each chapter.
Reward yourself for staying committed to writing. Treat yourself for your successes, regularly practiced habits, with positive reinforcement. Celebrate your achievements when you’ve done something great!
10. Live your life
In order for you to continue to love to write, you have to live your life. You might have a job other than writing professionally – so go to work! Enjoy your job, practice sports or hobbies, and get out of your writing chair every once in a while.
Not only will you feel like a more well-balanced human being by doing something other than writing, it will also help you brainstorm. By getting out into the world you’re further assisting your writing habits!
Create a schedule that works for you. Incorporate your writing habits into your regular life while still living out your regular life.
11. Be realistic
By learning to be realistic about what you can or cannot get done, you’ll be able to create schedules for yourself that make the most of your available writing time.
Are you a super speedy writer? Great! That puts you in league with JK Rowling who completed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in six years. And, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in six days. What worked for them will not necessarily work for you.
Set aside an extra hour or two for your writing.
Create realistic writing goals. Be honest with yourself and make sure that you’re writing in a way that actually works for you.
12. Utilize technology
The Internet is at our fingertips, making the amounts of software tools and tricks available to writers practically limitless.
There are so many options out there besides Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
There are even ‘free editing’ services, All within reach. Find the tools that work for you.
They can save you both time and energy, making writing a smoother and happier process.
13. Finish what you start
This might be the toughest thing on your list, but it is also the one that will ensure you write a book. When you start writing, something – anything, finish it. Begin with baby steps. Finish a sentence, chapter, then the entire book – but finish it. In the end, it will be worth it.
AVOID bad habits:
- Rushing your work
- Neglecting to proof-read and/or edit