Hello, fellow writer! 👋 This year I’ve fallen into (and have gotten myself out of) a few bad writing habits, and it’s only April! I can’t wait to see what procrastination method I’ll pick next 😉
Hahaha Of course, I kid, because we all fall into bad writing habits from time to time. But despair not! Any bad habit can be undone. Here are 5 habits I’ve fallen into and gotten out of, and my tips for you ~ in case you find yourself in this bad habit place.
1. Bad Habit: Over-editing Chapter One
Chapter one is an important one. It is a major introduction. It includes a hook for your readers, your protagonist, your tone and style, and the inception of the conflict of your plot. That’s a lot for a first impression.
Solution: Just write it and let it be… for now.
It’s easy to want to polish your chapter one into perfection, but hey… easy now. You have the whole rest of the book to write! If you find yourself over-editing chapter one, my advice is let it go for now. Write the rest of your draft. Let it simmer.
When you’re done with your first draft, you will actually have more ideas on how to start your story, because you already know the end.
2. Bad Habit: You Keep Editing as You Go
Edit-as-you-go is like one step forward, two steps back. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever read is this: separate creative writing from editing. Separate the artsy from the technical. They are two different animals, and they don’t match.
Solution: Write creatively for as long as you can, then LATER come back and edit.
It’s totally okay if your page is full of typos and bad grammar. Your artsy side is a wild child that wants to play without limits! Let that child play! You can always come back later and fix the spelling, move sentences around, and do the less-creative albeit important part of writing.
3. Bad Habit: Writing Only When Inspired
Yes, you need inspiration. Motivation. Perspiration. I know, I know. But you can’t just sit around waiting for the muse to come visit! One of the best things college did for me was force me to sit down and write~ because I had serious deadlines.
Solution: Schedule your writing time~ and stick to it.
And I discovered something awesome: You can get inspired AFTER you sit and begin working. Once you start reading over what you wrote the day before, moving scenes around, thinking about your characters… boom! You become inspired. It’s pretty awesome.
And hey, if you’re totally uninspired, you can always do some less creative stuff, like checking spelling and grammar.
4. Bad Habit: Getting Distracted When Doing Research Online
You know how it is… you’re not sure if you’re using the right word, or you want to look up a detail, and the next thing you know, you’re neck-deep in cat gifs and memes. Ack! The internet!
Solution: Use a website blocker and/or lump your online time away from your writing time.
I love to use BlockSite to stay focused. I also schedule my online time, about 30 minutes during lunch, then not online again until the evening (when everyone is off work). Scheduling and lumping my online time keeps me from stopping every 15 minutes to check email or YouTube. I just don’t even think about it until those times.
Well, that’s all I have for you today 😊
Did I miss a habit? What are your helpful tips, especially for new authors?
Let us know in the comments!
Take care and write on,
🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜🌸 🌜