If we’re going to be successful writers, we need to develop habits to bring us closer to that goal, however we define it. For some of us, it may be finishing the first draft of the novel we’ve been thinking about and fiddling with for years. For others, it’s seeing our novel in print.
Over the next few blogs, I want to explore what some of these habits look like. Right now, I’ve identified eight.
The first habit we need to develop is to WRITE.
Sounds strange doesn’t it. I’ve met a lot of people over the years who tell me, in one way or another, that they’ve always wanted to write, or they have a great idea for a book, or their life has been so exciting, it would have to be a novel because no one would believe everything that’s happened to them.
Yet, none of them have written a word or even taken a step to find out how to do it.
I repeat—if you want to be a writer, you have to write.
And we have to write on a regular basis. Every day would be best.
When I worked a day job, this meant getting up early to make the time to write. Now, writing is my day job and I still make sure creative writing is what I do first. I set a timer for one hour and start writing. My goal is 500 words. Because this is my habit, I regularly write from 800 to 1,100 words.
Here are some key elements to developing this habit of writing every day:
Make it a routine part of your day. First thing in the morning. Last thing at night. Lunchtime. Thirty minutes at a time. You know your lifestyle. What will work best for you?
My timer ticks away in the corner of my screen.
Set a word goal to accomplish within your writing time. The word goal and the timer keep me focused on the project in front of me.
Don’t procrastinate. Treasure the writing time. Make it a high priority.
When you enter your writing time, commit to finishing it. This may take some negotiating with your family, but it’s worth the effort. If they see you’re serious about this writing thing, believe me, they’ll not only respect your time, they’ll become cheerleaders (or naggers depending on your mood).
Develop a work method that suits your style. Some of us are outliners. Others, like myself are more seat of the pants writers. Whatever you decide, a consistent work method reinforces the writing habit.
What are some things you can do to make the act of writing a habit?