Good Writing Habits for Aspiring Writers!

One of my writing teachers said that early on he took the attitude that if he wrote enough, eventually some of it would be good. Rather than worrying about whether he was talented enough or smart enough, he focused on the writing itself.  This way, he didn't waste time feeling insecure. Eventually, by consistently focusing on the act of writing, he went on to write novels, receive awards and teaching gigs, and to accumulate all of the accomplishments we associate with "real" writers.

Over the years I keep this picture in my head of the habits of writing that make a person a writer. Below, you'll find a few of these key practices that build a writing life.

Make Time to Write

While it might not be feasible to write every day, make writing a priority by setting aside regular time to write. Another writer told me this story about the importance of making time to write. He had published one novel, and had stopped making time to write after that. But of course he was still known as a writer and considered himself to be one. Then one day, his four-year-old daughter asked him, "How can you be a writer if you never write?" And she was correct. Whether you're a new writer or a published one, you're not a writer unless you're writing. And conversely, of course, writing regularly is an excellent step toward being a "real" writer. More


"If you want to be a writer," Stephen King says in his book On Writing, "you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot." Reading is the best, most effective way to learn to write: "Good writing," King continues, "teaches the learning writer about style, graceful narration, plot development, the creation of believable characters, and truth-telling." As he points out, it also sets the bar higher, encouraging us to work harder as we bring our stories to life on the page. More

Consider Your Audience

"I think you become a writer when you stop writing for yourself or your teachers and start thinking about readers," says Avi, the award-winning children's book and young adult writer. There are many reasons for writing, but a "real" writer keeps in mind the impact his or her work will have on the reader. To become a good writer, put your ego aside as much as possible, especially during revision. A journal or diary is all about you, but if you plan to share your work with others, think about your audience (keeping in mind that your audience will be specific to your work).

Talk to Other Writers

If you're serious about being a writer, a writing community is invaluable, offering feedback, publishing tips, and post-rejection sympathy. Other writers will also hold you to account simply by asking what you're working on and what you're reading. And a writing community will help you weather the fears and insecurities that inevitably arise in the course of a writing career. More

Take a Writing Class

Whether you are writing a novel or short stories, it is always good to have perspective. Now with online classes, there are many options for people who do not live in major cities to get excellent feedback on their work from professional writers. Be sure to first do your research and make sure that you will be getting the kind of help you are looking for. If you are less interested in  "group" feedback, many writers also give private consultations, online and in person, as well. More

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