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Developing the Writing Habit

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Developing the Writing Habit—Even if You’re Not a REAL Writer
By Melinda Copp

Writers sometimes develop poor habits, and end up doing more thinking about writing than actual writing. I know, because although I write for a living, and I still don’t always spend enough time on the writing that I most want to do. And for those people who aren’t writers by trade, but need or want to write for professional or business reasons, then you may need a little help developing your writing habit.

The following simple steps can help you write more often and with better results.

1. Write Every Day
Developing a habit means doing something regularly. Therefore you should do your best to find time to write every day. It doesn’t have to be a long period of time, even fifteen minutes will do if that’s all you can spare. The key is to practice every day!

2. Set Manageable Writing Goals
Books are written one sentence at a time, so don’t fall into the trap of only sitting down to write when you have several hours at a time to devote to your work. Even if you only have time to put down a paragraph, that’s progress.

3. Don’t Stress About Writing
When you over-think your writing projects, they can seem bigger and more important . . . and much more intimidating than they really should be. Just sit down and write; don’t make a big deal out of it. The true beauty of a manuscript doesn’t appear until a few revisions, anyways. Just put your words on paper.

4. When You’re Writing, Write Without Your Inner Critic
Another part of letting loose and approaching writing with confidence is allowing yourself to write terrible sentences and paragraphs just to put something on the page and get through blocks. Don’t rework sentences until you’ve completed an entire draft—it will only slow you down and make writing more difficult.

5. Get Feedback on Your Writing
At some point, you have to start sharing what you’re working on with people who can provide encouragement and insight into how to improve. Try to aim for a balance of supporters, like best friends and parents, with professional opinions, which won’t always be as easy to swallow as a big cheer from mom.

Anyone who wants to write can do it. Discipline is the key, and catching the writing habit doesn’t hurt, either. With these tips, you can write better and faster than you ever imagined.

About the Author:

Melinda Copp is a writing coach, ghostwriter, and book editor who specializes in helping aspiring authors reach their writing goals. Sign up for her free e-zine at www.FINALLYwriteabook.com, and get a free special report!

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