Finding 7 Habits to Become a Successful Writer is not easy. When discussing habits, the first thing we think about is a negative pattern of behavior we are trying to break. However, we can actually benefit from developing and cultivating certain habits, especially when they are related to writing.
Habitual writing practices will help you improve your skills and productivity one day at a time. Although the process of writing is mostly based on creativity, it still requires solid routines and discipline. The following 7 habits will help you establish a foundation for the creative writing process.
7 Habits to Become a Successful Writer
1. Daily practice
If you intend to become a full-time writer in near future, then you need to work on your daily writing routine. When a certain activity becomes just as habitual as washing your hands and brushing your teeth, it becomes part of your personality. When it comes to writing, quality is not threatened by quantity. The more you write, the better you become.
Just like any other skill, writing cannot be based solely upon talent and creativity. Daily practice will make you more productive, so make a promise to yourself to devote a specific portion of the day to this habit. Maybe you will have to force yourself to stick to the plan at first, but you’ll find that it becomes easier to write as the days go by and you develop a habit out of this activity.
2. Read amazing pieces of literature
This doesn’t mean that you need to lose yourself in a book for hours every day. Turn this into a routine: read for about 15-30 minutes a day; that will get you through a new book in few weeks. The important thing is to read something inspiring on a daily basis. Don’t choose bestsellers with no value, unless that’s the type of audience you want to address.
Read stories and novels that will help you understand how a perfect narrative looks like. Remember: you don’t have to read for six hours a day; devote as much time as possible, but make sure reading is a daily habit.
3. Set progressive goals
“Write a novel in two months” – that’s a bit ambitious, don’t you think? If you force yourself to achieve big goals without a proper plan, the outcome will most likely disappoint you. When you devote yourself to a daily practice of writing, you need to set achievable goals that will motivate you to progress further.
Don’t force yourself though; too much work can become counterproductive when you waste your entire energy in a day and find yourself unable to write for the rest of the week. Instead of setting a word number limit, you should focus on the hours you spend writing each day.
4. Life is happening around you. Don’t neglect it!
Some writers become so consumed by the worlds they create, that real life loses its meaning. Don’t allow that to happen to you. Every moment of your life can be a true inspiration. The tastes you experience, the smell of the nature around you, the smiles of little children you see for the first time, really bad wine… everything can be incorporated into your writing.
When you find yourself without inspiration, all you need is to take a look around you. If you want to create vivid characters, you should be open to new experiences and experience life to the fullest.
5. Find time to relax
Writing cannot be the only thing that gives you peace and joy. Find another activity you love and turn it into a habitual practice. It doesn’t matter whether you like dancing, meditating, watching good movies, cooking, listening to music, or taking long walks; any enjoyable activity that takes you away from the keyboard will keep your mind fresh.
6. When you start something, finish it. When you finish something, publish it
You won’t become a great writer if you never finish the great projects you start, or keep the finished ones in the drawer for years. Your intuition might tell you to keep the finished pieces to yourself and become a better writer before you share something with the readers. Don’t listen to it.
When you get feedback from publishers, critics, and real readers, you will be able to improve your style much faster. Publication is the ultimate test for a writer. If you have written a short story, submit it to literary magazines and see if it’s good enough to be published. If it’s not, you’ll be motivated to polish out your skills. It takes a lot of courage to start submitting your pieces, but that’s what makes you a better writer.
7. Establish a routine
Remember: consistency is the key to success. You can rely on various strategies if you want to establish a writing routine: daily timetables, written plans, notes of different ideas, monthly agendas, or anything else that works for you. Timetables won’t limit your creativity; they will make you more productive by focusing your mind on achievable goals. Don’t be hard on yourself when you cannot accomplish what you planned for the day. The important thing is the routine itself.
When you turn writing into a routine, you will be able to block all distractions and focus on your work. The Internet is a huge source of distraction that has prevented many writers from finishing and publishing their pieces as planned. If you develop a productive routine and plan your day around it, social media websites won’t be a temptation. Take one step at a time and make sure to include family time, relaxation, and free time in your daily plans.
The plan is to identify the portions of the day when you do your best work, and make them part of your routine.
Writing is much more than a creative process
No matter how impressive your writing talent is, you won’t achieve a greater level of productivity if you don’t transform the process into a habit. When you establish consistent writing routine, you will become more prolific than you ever thought you could be. Set a schedule, focus on developing healthy habits, and never give up fighting the battle with distractions!
Melinda Osteen is a writer and an editor who features the latest writing and studying trends in her articles and intends to share her knowledge with young specialists. She works as a writing expert and an editor at Papersgear writing service.