Tips on creating a writing habit and improving your work

I started this website to share my journey of reading and writing with others. It has already been a very fun ride, but, lately, I haven’t been feeling inspired to write. Other blogs said to write every day. So, I have been pushing myself to write some words every day. But when I read it, I didn’t like what I had written. I got frustrated because this didn’t feel productive. Writing every day didn’t mean I had a healthy writing habit. Instead, it meant forcing myself to write something I didn’t like.
How can you really get better at writing, without forcing yourself to write something every day? I also want to talk about writing habits and how often to write. Comment what you think about this subject!

Creating a writing habit

Creating a good writing habit is tricky. That’s one thing I’ve found out the last couple of months. What I actually have been doing is writing without any ideas that I love. My focus would be on just writing something for that day, not to get better at writing or to enjoy it. I wrote because I thought I needed to, not because I liked what I was writing about. My stories did not interest ME as a reader. I didn’t only have a writer’s block, I was writing nonsense even though I had a writer’s block. It was demotivating and not very productive, looking at the results.

I thought and still think, though, that writing as much as possible is a great way to improve your writing skills. I might lower the bar to writing at least once a week, instead of every day. A healthy writing habit is, for me, writing regularly and then actually creating something I really like and can share with you guys. Not telling myself to write every day, but at least once a week feels like a step back, but also freeing.

There’s a risk though, I can see myself becoming too laid back and not doing any writing at all. So what’s a better way of creating a healthy writing habit? Here are some tips I’m planning on using in the future.

1. Plan at least one moment a week when you’re going to write for an hour.

For me planning an hour a week is more useful than writing every day. Not feeling obligated to write every day is less frustrating, especially when you have no ideas what to write about. Of course, you need to write more than just once a week, but try not to force yourself to it when you don’t feel like it.

2. Always have your notebook with you to write when you can

Waiting for a train? Is there some time left before your next class? Then you can grab your notebook to write. Finish that scene you were writing or write some ideas down. Having your notebook with you at all times creates more opportunities to write next to your planned hour of writing.

3. Think about your steps in writing a story

Search the words ‘how to write a short story’ in Google and you get 956.000.000 results. Even I had a post on how to write a short story, which I have now changed my mind about (it’s not available anymore, but I’m coming with something else!). There are A LOT of ways to go about writing. In my opinion, there’s no right or wrong way, there are your way and other’s way of doing it. You should figure out for yourself if you like to write a draft first and then determine your theme and genre. Maybe you want to turn those steps around and that’s fine too. Whatever works for you is your way of writing and you can get better at it in your way.

4. Edit, edit and then edit some more

Improving your writing can literally mean improving what you wrote. Look at what you wrote and decide what you can do better. Do you have any words you use too often? Is your dialogue realistic? Is the story interesting for others to read? Knowing your own faults means you can get rid of them. Editing your stories means your stories get better and you can keep in mind what you should avoid doing next time.

5. Read

Next to writing, you need to read a lot. Books can teach you so much about writing. You can see how to form a nicely flowing sentence, realistic dialogue and how a writer can take you into a new world. By studying the craft of writing, you can get better at it. So you better get your book out and read!

So what do you think of these tips? Are they useful for you? I try to take them by heart and write as much as I can when I feel like it. I hope to find my balance between planning to write and writing whenever I have time or feel like it. It’s such an interesting thing to create whole stories and share them with other people. So if you haven’t been feeling inspired like me, try not to force yourself to write, but try to get an idea first.

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