How to Develop Good Writing Habits

Do you want to finish your book in 90 days or less?
Are your writing habits slowing you down?


Habit is a pattern of behavior acquired through repetition. Usually we relate the word habit with bad habits. We eat too much. We watch too much television (cuts into our writing time), checking our e-mail 10 times a day, and so on.

A good writing habit means you are consistent with your writing. You have tenacity. Whatever you do to get your book done you do it with consistency. If you are serious about writing a book and finishing it in 90 days or less start by developing good writing habits.

Here are some ideas. In order to acquire a good writing habit it is sometimes said that you have to repeat it for 21 consecutive days, and then the act becomes natural. Here are some good writing habit tips. Pick out one or two that will work for you and try it for 21 days.

HOW TO MAKE TIME WORK FOR YOU

Avoid saying, "I have no time." "I'm too busy." Those words are self-fulfilling prophecies. They are the most overused sentences by all of us. If you really want to write you will find the time. You may have to give up something else you are doing to have the writing time you need. Instead say, "I will find the time." "My book is important to me. I will write."

Discipline yourself. Divide up your days and devote time to writing every day - 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 hour or more each day.

Write when you are most creative. If you are a morning person get up an hour earlier and write. If you are a night writer, go to bed an hour later.

Make use of "dead time." Have a notebook with you at all times and write on the train, plane, and coffee shop. You can even record your thoughts while driving with a good hands-free recorder.

Set up a time frame regiment and write regularly. Write everyday if you can. More important, be consistent. Create a good habit by setting up a writing schedule that is regular and repetitive. Write the same time and same place as often as you can.

Cut down on time-wasting activities: television, telephone, e-mails, and anything else that is preventing you from reaching your writing goal. Create a good writing habit by writing everyday in place of the above activities.

Put up a 'Do Not Disturb' sign on your door, computer, or the back of your chair. Let your family know you are writing and need this time to yourself. When your scheduled time is done take time out to be with your family and make sure they know you love them.

ESTABLISH AND FOLLOW AN ACTION PLAN

Set up a Writing Action Plan and follow it. Reserve time with yourself to write. Whatever amount of time it is write it down in your day planner. Remember to reserve a time for research and reading as necessary for writing your book. Be realistic with the time you set and write at the scheduled time.

Get a wall calendar and mark your writing days and times on it. Post it somewhere where you can see it every day. Stay focused and keep your "writing date" with yourself.

Set up a writing schedule so that you write every day. Even if one day is only 20 minutes of writing and the next day you devote one or two hours. You will create good writing habits if you write every day.

At the end of your writing session, check your day planner to see when the next time is scheduled for writing. Think for a moment how much you want to get done next time. Some people set a goal to complete a certain number of pages, or finish a chapter, or a specific time frame of one or two hours. When you know what is expected, next time you are more apt to complete it.

KEEP A RECORD OF YOUR WRITING TIME

Write the actual time you spend writing in your day planner. You may be surprised at the end of the week to discover that you did not spend as much time writing as you thought you did. Change that habit. Be consistent with your writing.

GET A BUDDY -- GET SUPPORT

Get a writing buddy. Having other like-minded people on your team means you will be motivated to write and keep on writing.

Join a writer's group. Attend a writer's conference. Take a writing class. Not only will you learn from others, you will be motivated to write your book.

Tell like-minded family and friends about your passion for your book. Let them encourage you. Enjoy the moment. Then get back to your writing area and write. People who care about what you are doing will support and encourage you. Even if only to say, "How is your book coming along?" That will motivate you to get back to writing.

BE CONSISTENT

Write at the same time every day if you can. If you are a morning person get up one hour earlier and write. A night person will stay up one hour later to write. Be consistent and write regularly at the same time each day and you will create a new good writing habit. And there is nothing wrong with getting up at 3AM to start writing!

Prepare for writing by doing the same thing each time you get ready to write. Maybe it's getting your writing area ready to write. Getting a cup of your favorite beverage. Listening to soft music while you write. Create a good writing environment to prepare you for writing. Writing should be a good experience. Enjoy every moment.

JUST DO IT

Type 2,000 words each day. This is about 8 double space typewritten pages a day. Your book would be finished in about 30 days. Or type 1,000 words each day and you will be finished in about 60 days. Remember to turn off the television in order to accomplish this fantastic goal.

Stick to your schedule and write. If you get stuck or your mind becomes blank, skip the section you are working on and start with a new chapter. Just keep on writing. Later you will probably be able to go back and start writing the part where you were stuck.

Pretend you are talking to a friend about your book. Record your book idea and story and hire a transcriber to transcribe your words for you. You may finish your first draft in one to two weeks. Who knows? You might be surprised.

I know an author who spends every weekend writing her next book. Her goal is to finish one chapter each weekend. In 12 weeks (90 days) she has finished the first draft of her book. It works for her. Could it work for you?

--Joan Clout-Kruse, Powerhouse Writing Coach




There you have 21 ways to develop good writing habits so that you can write your book in 90 days.

Are you ready to write your great book now?

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