Every writer has his or her unique own writing style and has most likely developed habits that help them write more often and more creatively. Writing, like most talents, takes a lot of practice to perfect – and even if it’s almost perfect, there are always ways to improve. Though writing habits are different for each person, here are some general helpful habits you should know to improve your own writing:
First, write every day. You should have a notebook or journal that you carry around with you everywhere you go – and in your spare time, write! You can write about anything you want, from how you’re feeling, to what the person is wearing next you on the subway – as long as you write. This doesn’t mean you should be constantly writing every time you have some breathing room. But when you get an opportunity, take it. Even if it’s just for five minutes each day.
Next, is a famous saying you may have heard by William Faulkner and it applies to the editing process of writing: “Kill your darlings.” There will be times when you love a particular sentence or chapter of a book you’re writing, but it may not work with the overall piece you’re working on and you’ll have to cut it. Of course, you can always save it in a different folder and use it for another work – or even use it as a base for your next work.
Knowing your audience is another great habit to get into when you’re sitting down to write. Often, writers won’t even start a project unless they know who their target audience is. If you’re writing contemporary adult fiction, make sure your language is strong and concise. If you’re writing children’s books though, you will have to use a different vocabulary. Understanding who it is you’re writing for is vital for reaching success as a writer. So before you begin writing, figure out who the audience will most likely be.
Last, another helpful habit to develop is unplugging from social media and other various distractions that are plentiful these days. This means not checking your Instagram, Facebook newsfeed, or signing into Netflix for the time you’ve designated to write. Being distracted by your surroundings you will likely take away from the quality and quantity of work you’re doing for that time span. If you’re writing, focus on it. There are too many times procrastination gets in the way of our ability to create beautiful pieces of art.