Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Good Habits of Successful Writers

For today’s H word for the April A-Z Challenge, I thought I’d talk a little about the good Habits successful writers live by:

Write every day. It doesn’t have to be a grand opus every day. Write what you can as much as you can, without putting on so much pressure that you stop. If all you can manage is 200 words, then that’s great.

Read a lot. Anything and everything.

Track submissions. You need to know where your work has gone, record the dates of when you sent it and when you are due to hear back.

Read a lot.

Track rights. If you have published multiple stories, you’ll discover you’ll need to track your rights for each piece so you know exactly what is happening with your work, and when you can expect payment, or when the rights revert back to you.

Read a lot.

Share your work with beta readers and critique partners. The more you share, the easier it becomes, and your work will improve. Even after you get published.

Join a writing group. The benefits of connecting with other writers are huge.

Read a lot.

Learn the craft, including grammar. There may be editors around to fix your grammar, but understanding the nuances of the tools we use as writers will only improve your writing skills.

Keep writing and push those doubts aside.

I kept this post short for the A-Z Challenge, so what are some other good habits of successful writers?



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Obviously reading is important!
Be open to changes and willing to learn and change.

J.L. Campbell said...

Being part of a writing network and critique group has helped me a lot on my journey.

Only thing I'd add - and it comes under reading - is to keep abreast of what's happening in the market place, even if we're not following trends.

SittieCates said...

Wonderful! Writing everyday and reading a lot... Oh, that's for sure!

Anonymous said...

I have this vague impression we should read, no? =P

I agree with writing. I definitely lose it if I don't use it. Or, at least it's harder to get going.

Thanks, Lynda!

AJ's wHooligan in the A-Z Challenge

Unknown said...

Clearly I need to read more. :)

I think, getting away from the computer and actually observing people and eavesdropping ahem, studying them, are important for me too!!

Christine Rains said...

Hehehe! Great tips. Reading is definitely very important.

Bob/Sally said...

Only thing I would add to that is - read a lot, in different styles, and in different genres. You really need that variety, especially when you're deep in the trenches and completely consumed by the genre of your current tale.

My A to Z Challenge

Robin said...

Read A Lot. Got it:D

Unknown said...

I have my own top ten writing tips coming for the letter 'M'!

My big tip is there is no such thing as writer's block. Certainly there are times when the work gets extremely difficult and crappy, but nothing you can't write through.

Unknown said...

...Sorry. I'm tired. I realize these are good Habits, not tips.

A good habit would be to write through writer's block, no matter how bad it feels.

Pat Hatt said...

read and write, got it!

Anonymous said...

So, would you advise that I read? ;)
Great advice.

~Patricia Lynne~
Story Dam
Patricia Lynne, YA Author

C.Mahan said...

For the last 5 years all my free reading time was spent on textbooks. Now that I have my BA and MBA (all in 5 years!) I have time to read again. I'm slowly getting back to book reviews from publishers and I tend to read a lot of memoir style cookbooks for inspiration.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I love how you emphasized reading. One of the things I do every day no matter how busy is read for at least 30 minutes before going to bed.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Lynda .. I'm not that good at reading .. and must introduce it into my general life ..

I'd add some exercise in there ... or a good long walk, or two medium ones ... getting up and shaking a leg .. I also need more of that!

Cheers Hilary

Chrys Fey said...

All great tips. Especially "Read a lot." ;)

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Besides tracking submissions, it's a good idea to have a submission plan. If you have a list of agents, and send your work out to the first few, when a rejection comes in you can send to the next name on your list the next day. I find this takes the sting out of the rejection and keeps you moving forward.


LittleCely said...

I would add "to Read a lot". Otherwise I really have to work on writing everyday. Sometimes I get side tracked and sometimes I simply doubt. I'll have to work on that.

LittleCely's Blog

Kara Leigh Miller said...

Don't self edit while you're writing! Obviously you need to edit your book, but don't do it until you've got that first draft finished. Great post!

Now, someone told me I should go read ;)

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Alex, it's not so obvious to many

Joy, yes, I totally agree with you. Knowing what's happening in the market is important.

Sittie, and it's fun too

Elsie, giggle. I wasn't sure if I made it clear enough ;)

Cristina, yes! Another great point. We need to live a little and be observant to write well.

Christine, thanks :)

Bob, yep, diversifying what you read is important.

Robin, excellent! ;)

Raquel, I'm with you on that. Writer's block is simply an excuse we all too often allow to slow us down or even stop us from writing. So yes, a good habit is to just keep writing no matter what.

Pat, I'm glad.

Patricia, absolutely!! Everyday :)

Chrystal, that's a long time on textbooks only. Sounds like it was well worth it though.

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Susan, that's a brilliant habit.

Hilary, oh yes, exercise is also crucial. Great addition.

Chrys, hehe, thanks.

Yvonne, another excellent addition to the list. It's a great way of keeping up the momentum.

Little, I'd add that too ;) I hope you persevere and find a way to write everyday. It really does make a difference.

Kara, amen to that! Now go enjoy your reading.;)

Luanne G. Smith said...

I think it was John Green who said reading is a writer's only (or best) apprenticeship. I thought that was pretty accurate.

Chad A Clark said...

Agree 100%. I would add never apologize for what you live to write. They're your words, you should write what makes you excited - not worry about other people's expectations or pre-judgments.

Birgit said...

Reading for sure. Be open to critiques but don't let negativity, especially by your own self, bring you down. Believe in yourself

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Read a lot, most definitely. And believe in yourself. Thanks, Lynda.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Both reading and writing are very important to better our skill at writing good stories. And keeping track of our rights and submissions are important (I am not good at those).

simple girl..... said...

great points .. for me it is read read and read..

Unknown said...

What about 'Read a lot'? It think you missed it. ;-)

Michelle Wallace said...

I like the emphasis on reading!

Nana Prah said...

It's not all that clear to me. Is it important to read a lot? Great post.

Romance Reader said...

Yes, reading is important as well as taking some writing craft exercise.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Definite winner of a list. I'm off to read.

Suze said...

You forgot 'read a lot.' Oh, wait ...

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Luanne, yep, I have to agree

Chad, a great addition to the list

Birgit, I think we can be our own worst enemies sometimes when it comes to negativity. A great point.

Joylene, thanks

Rachna, I learned the hard way to improve my tracking ;)

Simple Girl, and read :)

Chris, my bad! :P

Michelle, it's so important and often under valued.

Nana, giggle. I say with emphasis, reading is very important.

Romance, yep learning the craft is also important.

Leslie,enjoy your reading time!

Suze, :P I felt the emphasis was needed