3 Bad Writing Habits Preventing You From Writing (And How to Break Them)

How do you break bad routines? More importantly, how do you break bad writing practices that prevent you from completing that manuscript youve been discussing for months, perhaps even years?

Lets be sincere: its difficult breaking habits, specifically when it concerns bad writing practices. Writing is a career that requires a great deal of self-motivation. In other words, its the perfect breeding place for procrastination, interruptions, and a world of other bad writing practices stalling your writing time.

But theres hope! The best way to break bad composing practices is to very first acknowledge that 1) you have them and 2) you need to put forth the conscious effort to stop doing them. Heres what I think about the 3 worst composing routines– and how to break them.

Bad Writing Habits Have Stopped Me From Writing, Too

Its really simple to catch the three bad writing habits listed in this post. To save your composing time, I d like to teach you what they are– and how to break them.

Especially with the very first one on my three composing routines to break list. Once I stopped short in my composing to Google something actually quick, and, well, you know what takes place when you rely on Google for an answer and get seriously sidetracked by water bears. Im not joking.

The majority of (probably all) authors are guilty of falling down the rabbit hole with the following 3 routines. I understand I am.

I dont remember now what the “genuine fast” thing was for my own novel, however I do remember spending an hour learning more about these animals. And water bears werent even in my story!

3 Bad Writing Habits (And How to Break Them).

All writers are guilty of falling down the bunny hole with the following three practices. Heres what to look for and how to break the routine:.

1. Composing Work That Isnt Your Novel.

On the roadway to becoming a novelist, its tempting to make the effort youve set aside for your manuscript and turn it into time to do anything associated to composing.

Do your research study, but dont count your research as your unique writing time. And if you need to understand the petticoat thing, make a note in your manuscript to look it up later. If it assists.), (TK is a terrific place marker.

It helps make the story more genuine, sure, but required? Nope, its not.

That means you require to shut off the internet if its excessive of a temptation. Put your phone on silent. Shut the door to your writing room (if youre lucky enough to have one of those) and devote your attention to the eccentric girl and struggling young boy who need it most. Noise-canceling headphones may be a great investment.

Theres absolutely nothing to publish on your site if you do not complete your book. (Blogging is likewise “writing” work that feels like writing but actually isnt. You can just blog about how tough finding time to compose is a lot, particularly if youre not actually doing the writing.).

How to Break It.

Your manuscript writing time is your writing time for your manuscript. Duration. Thats when you put your butt in your chair and your fingers on the keyboard and require your lead character into spiraling conflicts that push them on a journey from beginning to end.

” But what about research?!”.

However thats not writing.

This one is seriously the hardest bad writing practice to break. All of these other writing needs and ventures are work, so it feels productive.

Pro Tip: a fun time to do research study wants your first draft in preparation to compose your second.

The point is when you take a seat for your composing session, its time to compose your story. Whatever else must be reserved for outdoors your writing time.

Yes, you require to research study. DO NOT do it throughout your writing time. Reserve a different portion of time for more information about the Knights of the Round Table or natural disasters, specifically sandstorms in Middle Eastern Asia.

Despite what great deals of writers believe, your story has very little to do with research study. Story structure does not require understanding what product designers utilized to make petticoats in the seventeenth century. It doesnt require discovering the ideal, punny name for the bar your main character likes to regular.

You cant engage your YA fantasy fans with a book that hasnt been composed.

Theres a lot of work that goes into a writing profession thats not really writing. Marketing, website-building, research, newsletters, and engaging with readers on social networks or beyond are all on the list of things you need to accomplish almost daily in order to develop a successful composing profession.

Research, while essential, also isnt time spent composing your book. And youre highly likely to drop a research hole and never ever emerge.

2. Awaiting the “Perfect” Writing Conditions.

Do not fret about when all the “great authors” write or what they do to get in the mood to put words on the paper. You do you. Finding your own production groove is what will encourage you to be consistent.

Look. I get it. When the sun is shining, Im in a terrific state of mind. I have inspiration for everything. When its gloomy, I do not. But I live in Ohio and if I waited on the sun to show its face prior to I got down to writing, I d compose possibly ten days a year. (Okay, thats a bit exaggerated, however you get my point.).

An incredible method to lose your motivation permanently is to linger for it to come back. Write now.

How to Break It.

Establish a composing routine.

Youve heard this a million times on this blog, and most likely on every other writing blog site out there.

That motivation youre waiting on? An incredible way to lose it permanently is to linger for it to come back.

There are no “perfect” writing conditions. You either compose– or you do not.

And if something does not work for you, nix it.

Life will not relax.

There have been a lot of comments on our Instagram posts recently about the perfect writing conditions. Well post something about composing even if you dont feel like it, and undoubtedly someone will state theyre waiting on “the same inspiration that started the story” or “for life to relax.”.

I dont care what your composing regular looks like. You can compose at 3 am, naked, hanging upside down from the ceiling for all I care. What matters is what works for you. When are you most efficient? After coffee? After you put the kids to bed? After you do a necromancy contacting the gods to imbue you with innovative spirit? Great. Do that, then compose.

3. Not Reading.

Ive seen individuals tend to consider reading as an activity that uses up at least the quantity of time it requires to play a video game of Monopoly. If you take a look at it that method, yes, its a little overwhelming for a hectic person. Due to the fact that you cant fit in hours of reading every day does not indicate you cant fit in any reading at all, simply.


In the past, if you required to know petticoat material, then you Googled it. Now I desire you to substitute that habits by stating, “If I need to understand petticoat material, Ill make a note to look it up later.” Return to composing your manuscript.

Thats why the most important practices, the ones I concentrated on the most in this article, are the ones focused on the way of life of effective authors. Experienced writers make time to compose, in fact write throughout that time (whether they feel inspired or not!), and check out a lot.

( Note that reading, while a requirement for a writer, is likewise not composing. See # 1 above.).

Theres no scooting around this one. The trick is to make your time for reading as pleasurable as your time for writing.

You have more time than you think. When youre taking a break from composing or work, what do you do? When youre awaiting water to boil on the range, what do you do?

I have a slipping suspicion you probably have at least among these bad writing routines, if not all. Pick one and work on breaking it this week.

The concept that some authors dont read is mindboggling to me. Thats like trying to be a professional basketball player without ever watching a video game. How are you expected to discover how to get it done if you do not study individuals whove already done it?

One of the finest ways to break a bad habit, according to psychologists, is to substitute a bad habits for a various, better habits. Think of breaking these bad writing routines in “if/then” form.

When you think of what it requires a successful author, you may focus on technical writing aspects– the ways good authors utilize commas, for circumstances, or adverbs, or paragraph breaks.

Mastering the 3 significant practices I noted above will assist you overcome writers block, master the writing procedure, and actually produce your own writing. Which is, lets be honest, the first step to producing terrific writing.

Still want some technical composing ideas? I get it. Here are some bad composing style habits, with articles that will assist you break them:.

Mastering these technical writing aspects will assist you change bad composing into great writing.

Heres the thing: mastering these technical elements will make you a better author– but only if you actually write.

I understand youre busy. Were all busy. But reading is a requirement for a writer. Its seriously part of the task. And, you understand, you need to most likely like checking out if youre going to compose. If you do not like books, why are you writing one?

My suggestion if you have all 3 bad routines is to begin with breaking the second one on the list. Eventually, this brand-new behavior will become a great writing practice.

Okay, that was snarky. What I indicate is … read.

How to Break It.

Reading can trigger concepts, broaden your vocabulary, and give you an instinct for story structure.

Break a Habit This Week.

Benefit (Bad) Writing Habits.

My guess is you whip out your phone and work those scrolling muscles. Avoid bingeing the most current Netflix show to check out. Let your new preferred Netflix program be your reward post effectively accomplishing your daily writing goal.

You require to check out.

Which bad writing practice are you going to work on breaking today? Let me know in the comments!

Set a timer for fifteen minutes and compose about a character struggling to break a bad routine.

Sarah Gribble is the author of dozens of narratives that check out uneasy scenarios, basic worries, and the general wonder and fascination of the unidentified. She just launched.
Surviving Death, her very first novel, and is currently dealing with her next book.
Follow her on Instagram or join her email list for free scares.

Lets be honest: its tough breaking practices, especially when it comes to bad writing practices. The finest way to break bad composing habits is to very first acknowledge that 1) you have them and 2) you require to put forth the conscious effort to stop doing them. I live in Ohio and if I waited for the sun to reveal its face before I got down to composing, I d compose maybe ten days a year. Here are some bad writing style habits, with articles that will assist you break them:.

Sarah Gribble.

Set a timer for fifteen minutes and discuss a character struggling to break a bad routine. If you can make it an unique bad practice, bonus points! A great example of this remains in chapter among best-selling author John Greens Turtles All the Way Down, when Aza Holmes tries to break her bad OCD routine (and you can check out the very first chapter for complimentary on Amazon).


Share your writing in the remarks when youre done. And do not forget to share some thoughts on your fellow authors work!

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