Friday, May 4, 2012

Develop your own writing habits


Last week I was on vacation, and I swore it was going to be relaxing.  It's funny how our daily habits creep up, blind sighting ourselves with the monotony of our everyday rituals. Some things we just gravitate to like watching the news in the morning with a cup of coffee....you know, the simple things we do over and over again without even a second thought.


I skipped a week of my blog during my vacation and used the time to think about where I was going - my goals and how I was going to accomplish them.  I came to the conclusion that what I needed most to attain my goals is a good set of writing habits.


Definition of Habit -
1. an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary
2. customary practice or use
3. a particular practice, custom, or usage
4. a dominant or regular disposition or tendency; prevailing character or quality
5. addiction, especially to narcotics

So what are the best habits to utilize to attain good writing?  There are many experts in the field that have lists and secrets.  The bottom line is it has to work for the writer. 
Some of my first thoughts are:
  • Create and utilize writing project outlines (to have a clear vision)
  • Create character lists (get to know them in detail before you start writing the story)
  • Research (your subject, location or anything relevant)
  • Be flexible and adjust your original thoughts as necessary to keep the story flowing
  • Track changes (it is easy to get confused especially writing a larger project)
  • Write down ideas when they pop in your head (save for future, always have paper & pen)
  • Set up a schedule THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT
Reserve a designated amount of time to sit & write. This is often the hardest to accomplish because we have so many distractions. So, just like punching a time clock, schedule time to write. Also needed is time to edit the writings, and let's not forget that we also have to format, send letters, and market. This is very daunting when you think of all the time these activities consume.


My main goal is to stay true to the main objective, and never give up writing time. This will need to be my most obsessive writing habit - my addiction.


Helpful sites with assistance:


purdue.edu/owl/resource


dailywritingtips/fiction-writing/


ken-follett.com/masterclass


Stephenking.com/library/ On Writing:_a_memoir_of_the_craft


readwritethink.org/elements/overview/


I hope you enjoy this song - a version that reminds us that practice is something we all do!


Us Against The World - Coldplay


1 comment:

  1. @ Elisabeth - Very informative article. In particular, I have never thought about an in-depth character list to familiarize myself with my characters.

    ReplyDelete

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