Are bad habits undermining your chance to be a great writer? #writing #success #habits #achievement #behaviour #permission #writer


I have been thinking (and writing the odd blog-post) about the importance of taking yourself seriously. If you want to get good at something you need to make good decisions about how you spend your time. If you want to achieve a goal, you have to focus on the path you will take to get there. Allowing yourself to succeed means allowing yourself to make good choices, to focus on the right incremental changes to get you where you want to be.

I read an article yesterday that really articulated something to me. It was about habits. If you want to end up with false teeth by the time you are 60, then by all means don’t spend time brushing your teeth every day. But if you want something better than that, then taking care of your teeth will need to become a regular habit. It won’t just happen if you remember it every now and then. It needs to become a personal rule.

“I will not go to bed until I have brushed my teeth”. That sort of rule.

I want to be a writer – the sort of writer who writes books that people want to read. As far as I can see, there are two main things I need to do to achieve that.

Firstly, I have to write good books – and that is a huge topic in itself. Too much to tackle right now. The thing I want to say here is, if I don’t give myself time to write (plenty of time), then it won’t happen. (And not only time to write, but time to edit, check, read, think, rewrite, etc…) To do that – I need to establish a writing habit. Not just to write when I feel like it, or when I feel ‘inspired’, but to turn up to write regularly. Every day if possible.

“I will not go to sleep until I have spent one hour writing” could become my mantra. Something like that. (Nothing wrong with sleep deprivation – surely?)

Secondly, I have to find the readers who will enjoy my books.¬†To me this is even harder than writing, but I know it is something I need to do. There are SO MANY books out there – all I have to do is find my audience. Then to give those readers something they want so they keep wanting to read my stories¬†and my books find their intended home. To achieve that, I need to develop a different set of habits. I need to learn about promotion and reviews, and communicating with potential readers of my books. Hard, but it won’t happen unless I turn up every day and start working on it. So every day (well, most days), I say to myself

“I will not go to bed until I have done something towards building my author profile.”

Preferably five things (my success diary (on facebook) is doing a great job of keeping me on track). It might be a facebook post, a blog post, sharing and commenting on other people’s blogs, tweeting or building my website. There are plenty of things that will help – I just have to keep showing up.

I have posted before about this and I will say it again – make time for your writing. Give yourself permission. Not everything will work, some things might even fail dismally. But if you are not in there having a go, then you will never make it.

I wish you success at creating some good habits to help you on your way. Check out this article for some more inspiration.