For most of you, writing is something you work around your day job, which means sometimes weeks go by when you’re not writing, whether it’s because you’re too tired after a long work day or because you didn’t have the time. Whatever the reason, these long breaks without writing can change the way you write, as well as lowering your chances of finishing your novel. To avoid this, here are 5 good writing habits to get into.
Schedule your writing
You know what you’ve got on and when, whether that be your job or your daughter’s football practice. Whatever’s going on in your life, create a schedule that includes your writing time, every single day. This could mean getting up half an hour early and writing then, or taking a pen and paper out with you and writing in the car while you wait for Jerry to finish arts club. Whenever it is, you should be fitting a minimum of 20 minutes of writing in at least five days a week.
Do writing exercises
You’ve planned to do half an hour of writing everyday, that’s great, but maybe one day you don’t feel like writing your novel. That’s fine, don’t write it, but don’t use it as an excuse to have a day off either. Instead of working on your big project, do a writing exercise. These can be great for mixing up your writing routine and can also help with writer’s block. In fact, we’d advise doing at least one writing exercise a week just to keep your imagination active and your creativity flowing. There are plenty of books full of writing prompts out there, but if you don’t want to buy one we post a free prompt every Tuesday on this blog.
Find your writing place
Having a specific place where you write can really help boost your efficiency, whether it’s the local Costa or a room in your house. If it’s a space in your house, try decorating it with motivational posters and quotes. It might also be a good idea to make this an internet-free zone to avoid procrastination. Doing all of your writing in this space will eventually lead to your brain associating the space with writing, making you want to write whenever you’re in there.
We’ve already mentioned disconnecting from the internet in your writing space, but there’s much more you can do to boost your productivity. Turn your phone on silent and shut it away in a drawer for your 30 minutes of writing time. Do this with all of your devices, isolating yourself in your room so you have nothing to do but write. If your writing space is near a busy road or noisy school that can be distracting, play some music that you can write easily to. For me this is anything without lyrics, from The Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack to Handel.
Have you got a favourite flavour of green tea or a favourite snack? Keep these treats in your writing space and only allow yourself to have them whilst you’re writing. However, if possible try to keep these snacks relatively healthy. Sure, put a sneaky Kit Kat in your treat drawer, but limit the unhealthy treats to one or two a week. Chocolate may give you an immediate sugar rush, but eating too much of it will leave you feeling lethargic and demotivated.
Do you have any questions about writing your cover letter, writing your synopsis or approaching an agent? Or, come to think of it, do you have any questions about writing or the publishing industry in general? Post them in the comments below or message us privately here, then join us on the 26th February to see them answered.
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