We often feel that success in the writing business comes to those who are celebrities or who are geniuses or to those who are extremely lucky. I can’t deny to any of the three above mentioned criteria but one of the most overlooked factors considering all scenarios is writing. If you want to be a successful writer then you have to write. By writing I don’t mean putting up a four line caption on Instagram. If you ever want to have a book published under your name and hold it tight against your chest and be called an author, then you need to cultivate strong writing habits.
“Habits are not a finish line to be crossed, they are a lifestyle to be lived.”
I remember when I first started writing. The task of putting down words on paper seemed too daunting at first. I remember deleting drafts after drafts because the story didn’t feel right. But I didn’t stop. I kept at it and slowly I saw the result I’d been waiting for. My second novel Virago was listed as an Amazon bestseller in 2019. The writing habits that I laid my foundation on made me an Amazon bestselling author. Trust me, if you too will lay down writing habits of your own, you too will become a great author.
Writing habits for success
- Write everyday- Yes! When you have conceived an idea for your next or first novel, this is the only wise thing to do. Make sure you write at least 300-500 words every day. Don’t worry about them not being great. Remember, first draft is always crap! Virago went through six drafts before it was published. So don’t let the quality of your words dither you from your task. Make a point to sit and write every day.
- Fix a time slot- It works for me. When I fix a time slot to do my writing my mind automatically gets into the Zen mode. I usually write in the mornings when my husband and son are still in bed or in the afternoons when there are no distractions. Try and discipline yourself for 20 minutes a day where you can simply work on your novel and you’ll start seeing positive changes in your writing.
- Stick to your time slots- What’s the point of creating a schedule if you can’t follow it? Don’t make this mistake and stick to your writing schedule. It won’t be easy but in the words of Robin Sharma- “If it was easy then everyone would be doing it.” Be tough and stay focused and don’t deviate from your writing habit.
- Keep track of your word count- It works as a motivator. Also, you’d get to know whether or not you were able to do some solid work or not. Now some days are dull and you have to drag yourself out of the rut, but don’t let that pull you down. In case you were unable to meet your word goal on a specific day try and make up for that the next day. Like this you’d be able to meet your deadline easily.
- Write first, edit later- We have editors to do the editing. But, before you start checking the spellings and correcting the grammar please, please and I can’t emphasize enough on this please complete your daily goal first. When we’re writing the ideas are flowing freely in our minds and we have to download them on paper as soon as we can. When we shift gears and start editing at the same time, the ideas stop flowing and we find ourselves staring at the laptop screen with a blank face.
- Don’t ponder over your first draft- First draft is known as a rough draft and rough work can never be perfect. Your goal should be to complete it first and then refine it with the help of your editors and mentor. Of course, you have to ensure that your ideas are relevant to your plot but you can refine and polish it with the help of others as well.
- Reward yourself- This is extremely important.Reward yourself every time you achieve your word goal. I often treat myself with a hot cup of tea or a bite of my favorite white chocolate. These small rewards will boost you up and you’ll be raving to go after your daily goals.
Writing habits pave the way for a successful author career. They also help you in being more productive as a writer. You need to get up and crush your goals every day in order to become a great author. Discipline, perseverance and courage will surely take you to the epitome of success.
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