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Seven tips for better writing habits

Speaking of getting back on track after losing your writing groove, Jamie Wallace of Live to Write – Write to Live recently voiced her frustration with how her personal and professional responsibilities have been imposing on her writing time:

I had intended to get back to journaling…I had meant to get back to work outlining my novel, working on character studies, and creating a fabulously retro “map” of my story using markers, sticky notes, and some very large pieces of paper. But, these intentions were all summarily slaughtered by the demands of my Real Life.

I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I felt disappointment, anger, and guilt.

But she’s working on giving up the “I don’t have time” excuse by making writing a more routine part of her schedule. She explains, “The beauty of a habit is that you do it almost without thinking. It’s not something that you have to work at; it’s just part of who you are and your life.”

Here are seven tips she shared on how to cultivate effective writing habits:

1. Find, make, or steal writing time
2. Have a purpose
3. Avoid the shoulds
4. Start small
5. Be consistent
6. Measure progress
7. Find your joy

Read the entire post here.

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  1. Thanks for introducing me to Jamie Wallace’s blog. I admire her writing.

    Bookmarked! I’m grateful for your help navigating the world of good blogs.

    —Jan
    (Main site is mirrored at http://www.jantimmons.net; had the wordpress.org site first, but often can’t comment as easily. Doesn’t take any time to replicate a post.)

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  2. Very true points – you must make time for your writing to truly refine it.
    It may prove to be a difficult process, yet if you have a passion for it, it’ll very well pay off in the end.

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  3. I tried for a long time to write a blog with which I was happy. Then I realized the most important thing is to write something from the heart, something that makes me happy. When I write a post and I’m very happy with it, or when I write something and I can laugh at it, then I know I’m doing a good job.

    It’s also definitely important to monitor your progress! If you don’t keep track, you won’t know how far you’ve come.

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  4. And.. I think it’s important to accept when life is out of hand that it won’t always be and to not beat yourself up about not keeping a writing schedule. That doesn’t mean let writing slide, just avoid the beat me up attitude.

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  5. Erica – Thank you so much for sharing my post! 🙂
    I was traveling today and when I arrived at my destination, what a nice surprise to find so many lovely comments on my blog.
    I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.
    Wishing you happiness with your writing!
    🙂

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  6. Find your joy, indeed! I think it should be at the top of the list…following your bliss guides you through the rest. Keep it coming! I love the Daily Post!

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  7. Once in a while, postaday does come up with good stuff. I think this is precisely how we should feel about writing. Keep on dong it regularly till you strike gold, even if it is your little personal pot of gold. Habit really ensures that when the opportunity/inspiration hits, you’re up for it.

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  8. All help like this is very welcome. We need encouragement but we also need to find our own discipline in writing. For me it comes and goes. At the moment writing is easy enough but 2 weeks ago it was pretty tough. It is during the tough times that good, practical advice like this really comes to the fore. Thanks 🙂

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  9. Thanks Erica – it really helps to read the experiences of others like myself. Some days it just flows … other days it’s hard to know how and where to start, and THEN where to stop! Your challenge is proving an extremely worthwhile pursuit. Many thanks. I would add a smiley face if I knew how …

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  10. Simple and concise tips. One rule I stick to is to make sure I write something each day, it doesn’t matter if it’s 10 words or 10,000, or if those words are golden or garbage. So long as I write something I know I’m keeping that project alive and won’t suffer that feeling of guilt for not pushing myself when I really don’t have time or the enthusiasm.

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