5 New Year Habits For A Writer

By on December 28, 2015
5 New Year Habits For A Writer - Writer's Life.org

Hello, and welcome back to Writer’s Life.org! It’s a new year, and many of us use this time of year to reflect on the past and resolve to make changes for the future. If you are thinking about ways you might improve yourself as a writer, here are 5 New Year habits for a writer you might consider. Each of them may have the potential to improve how well you write and/or how often (and how much) you write. And, the two are related—the more you write, the better it will be, and the better it is, the more you will want to write—which means even more fun writing in the New Year! Here are a few ideas.

Read More

Maybe the best way to improve our own writing is to read the writing of other people. We can gain tremendous insight about how to manage dialog, how to describe a setting or scenery, and what works—and doesn’t—to move our plot forward. Improve your own writing by selecting a handful of books for the coming year and resolving to read each of them. They don’t have to be in your genre, although they can be, and they don’t have to be classics. Exposing yourself to different writers than you usually read can help as well.

Write More by scheduling time to write

If you are resolving to get more writing done, one tried-and-true method used by many writers is to set aside specific time each day devoted to writing. Schedule it in your calendar software or paper planner, blocking out a period of time on each day you want to write, and stick to it. By scheduling it, you remind yourself that it’s important to you; by sticking to it, you create a habit of writing. This can not only help increase the amount of writing you do but can also help overcome writer’s block: with the trigger to sit and write, you may find that words are easier to put down because your brain is in writing mode.

Write what you enjoy

Take some of the writing time you’ve set aside, and write what you like. If you are a professional blogger, for example, you might consider setting aside one or two of your non-work days per week to work on the novel or short stories you’ve dreamt of, or start on the epic history of the Punic Wars that’s been percolating in your brain for years. By taking some time to attend to writing the things you most enjoy writing, you can infuse all of the writing you do with new vigor and purpose.

But, also stretch your wings

While it is definitely satisfying to sit down and write the things we are ourselves interested in, another thing that may help transform you into a better writer is to stretch yourself. If you write thriller or crime novels, consider branching out—even if only for self-improvement, not for publication—into sci-fi, romance, or non-fiction. By extending your skills in this way, you may find insights that will trigger better writing in your main genre.

Write First, Revise Later

One final thing to consider: write it first. Just let the words flow, and only after you’ve completed the project go back and revise it. It’s okay if it is not perfect—in fact, it won’t be—and it will be generally easier to edit, the more of it with which there is to work. Some writers find this part easier than others; many of us like to either edit or revise in our heads or while we work. To be more productive it may be better to leave that part until you've finished the first draft. It can be tough, but many writers swear by this advice.

In Conclusion

This represents just a few ideas, these 5 New Year habits for a writer. Pick and choose the ones that fit your style best, and there are others that you might find more useful for you. As always if you have additional suggestions or comments, leave them below!

About Bacil Donovan Warren

Bacil Donovan Warren is the author of Hooray for Pain!, and lives in Tucson, AZ.

3 Comments

  1. val vassay

    January 6, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Yes, must ‘write first, revise later’ – am always revising as I go along, whi h is not very helpful.

  2. Uchelife

    January 10, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Thanks a lot, sir, for these wonderful tips. I have only been able to finish writing two books in more than decade, with only one published. I hope to do a lot more reading to get back on track!

  3. Alicia Williams

    January 15, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Great advice. I am a ‘clean as I go’ kinda gal. Whether preparing a meal or painting a room, I always tidy up along the way. It is helpful to be reminded to get my thoughts out first, then go back and clean it up.

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