Want to sell more of your writing? Building good writing habits will ensure that you do.
I’ve been coaching writers in preparation for 2021. With each week that passes their confidence increases.
Here’s why: they’re building good writing habits which increase their confidence. They’re becoming more prolific. One student made 50 sales of her book in one day for the first time. She’s thrilled, because she knows how she did it — and that she can do it again.
Let’s look at some good writing habits you can start building today.
1. Write something every day: even if it’s just 50 words
Yes, write daily. You’ve heard this before, many times.
Follow Jerry Seinfeld’s advice to get a wall calendar and mark every day you write:
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
Initially, you’ll find writing every day a challenge, because you want to write well. That’s natural. But sooner or later you’ll realize that sitting down to write is really all you need to do.
Currently I’m writing a novella. Most days when I sit down to write, I’m convinced that since I don’t have any words in my head, there aren’t any words in there. I’m always wrong.
Daily writing is one of the best writing habits you can develop. Follow Anthony Trollope’s strategy and plant your rear end in a chair.
2. Create processes and checklists to prevent procrastination
When I’m coaching authors, they find it hard to press on with their novels. They miss writing days, and tell me that they don’t know “what happens next…”
You don’t need to know: writing is discovery. Sit down. Words will occur to you. Write them down.
Use processes and checklists — they help with all your writing.
Make a checklist by chunking down your actions into the smallest possible component.
Let’s say you want to write some blog articles.
Here’s a process, as a checklist:
- Brainstorm 20 topics;
- Choose three topics (or more);
- Spend five minutes of research on each topic (optional. You can research before you write, or after your first draft);
- Brainstorm ten titles;
- Choose three titles; find appropriate keywords;
- List three or four points under each title;
- For each article: write two or three paragraphs under each point;
- Find references and/ or sources;
- Whiz through a quick draft of each article;
- Leave each article to gestate for 24 hours;
- Write the final draft of each article…
3. Write today, worry tomorrow: writing is a process
As Scarlett O’Hara said: “After all… tomorrow is another day.”
Writing is always a process: tomorrow, you’ll be in a different frame of mind. You can improve on what you wrote today.
On the other hand, consider this: the “junk” you wrote today may be great. Who knows? Few writers can judge the value of their words accurately.
What you write today could well be a stepping stone to tomorrow’s bestseller.
Start building good writing habits
Your success in 2021 and beyond depends on it.
Get started today — and have fun. 🙂
Updated: February 24, 2022
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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
Copywriter and marketing pro Angela Booth maintains a busy copywriting and ghostwriting practice. Fascinated by online marketing, she wrote one of the first business books for internet marketing, published by Allen & Unwin. She’s been an enthusiastic blogger since the late 1990s.