Writing skill isn’t developed in a vacuum.
It is developed when you study and spend time perfecting the craft. It’s an act of constant progression; a lifetime spent acquiring the knowledge to write better and apply it.
However, this is only one part of the equation. The other is finding a writing regimen that works for you. Are you unsure where to start? Here are five habits that you can immediately implement for better writing.
1. CHANGE HOW YOU THINK ABOUT WRITING
If you find writing too laborious and don’t enjoy it, I’m sorry to say, but authorship is probably not the path for you. A genuine joy for writing will help you get the most out of the experience because you are crafting the perfect story for your reader.
Whether you’re giving information or shipping them off to a world of your creation, you should love every bit of the process. Because if you don’t, you’ll feel disconnected from your story and so will your readers.
2. Take a good look at your schedule to figure out the best times to write
Think of writing like you think of your weekly self-care appointment. When do you feel the most ready to write? When do you feel the most productive and in the mood to write? That is probably when you should be writing.
For me, writing in the early hours of the morning while my house is quiet and still works for me. If you’re able to spare an hour or two in the morning before the day starts, practice this for a week.
3. Set realistic goals for writing
It’s important to set goals for writing that are actually achievable. If they’re not, you may find yourself constantly disappointed when a goal is missed.
Think about your goals in bite-size pieces. For you, that could mean a daily or weekly goal such as three hours of writing a week or 500 words a day. I once heard a fantasy fiction author say that she gives herself a daily three-sentence minimum.
4. Develop a writing routine and stick to it
Perhaps the second most important habit (behind number one) is developing a proper routine for writing: what you do to signify it’s time to write and what you do to signify it’s the end of a writing session.
Your writing routine should not be separate from your regular day. Your writing routine should be included in your daily routine. So, if you plan to write 500 words a day beginning at 6:30 p.m., ensure that you stick to that routine on the days you’ve appointed for it to be done. Integrating your writing schedule into your life will increase your chances of keeping up your writing sessions.
5. Place yourself in environments where you will be motivated to write
I often am unable to do writing in the bedroom, so I avoid it when I can. If I don’t, I’ll run the risk of having an unproductive session.
I’m sure you have a spot in your home that you are able to get the most work done. If you don’t have one, create one. You are a writer, after all — your existence screams creativity.
Set up a small, cheap desk that you can work from. Sit at the kitchen table when you’re able to concentrate on your own. Hang pictures and quotes about writing on the wall where you’ll be working. Have fun with it. This is a place you’re going to be spending a lot of time in as you write.
I’ve provided you with what I hope will be helpful tips, but I have a confession: writing is not one-size-fits-all. Please keep what makes sense to you and toss, or modify, what doesn’t. Writing isn’t meant to be formulaic or boring. The words should jump off the pages into the hearts of your readers. Happy writing.