7 Habits Authors Need to Develop in order to become better writers
Successful authors are like successful people in all areas of life, they do things in common that contribute very much to their success. So how can we learn from such authors in order to help with our own success? This article will suggest 7 habits authors need to develop in order to become better writers.
We can start by developing good habits. This article outlines 7 good habits that potential authors may find helps them break through writing barriers.
Habit 1: Write about something that brings out your passion
Whether writing fiction or non-fiction, it is important to write about something you are passionate about. Most successful authors have an emotional connection to their content or story. If you write fiction, it might be worth writing from a place of emotional familiarity. A genuine experience will come through in the writing that helps readers to connect with the story. If you are writing in the non-fiction genre, it is important to choose a topic you are passionate or enthusiastic about. A subject that you are knowledgeable about obviously helps and thorough research is required. Authors devote a lot of time to their writing, therefore you should include passion, sentiment and enthusiasm.
Habit 2: Step outside of your comfort zone
You can afford to experiment when you write. This is particularly true of fiction; you can develop characters that are blown up out of all proportion if you want to. The characters can go way beyond what you would do in real life and they can take risks. Your characters can make decisions that we would not have the courage to make in our own lives. After all, it’s not about what we would do, it’s about allowing our imagination to develop a character that enables our readers to take notice.
When writing non-fiction, it may be that for you, it’s time to speak out. Take a view and stand by it, presenting the case with confidence. It doesn’t matter if the view is controversial, in fact you may attract more readers by being controversial. People tend to listen to someone who is clear in their views. You can be brave in your writing and don’t be afraid of criticism.
Habit 3: Plan & Outline
Developing a plan is probably the most important part of writing a book. Planning is essential part of success. You will find it much easier to finish a book if you take the time to plan the story. at The more planning you do, the more enjoyable and structured the writing procedure will be.
Whether you are self publishing or traditionally publishing, treat your plan as if you were having to write it for a publisher. Include chapter outlines and a brief synopsis of what each chapter will contain. If you are writing fiction include details about the protagonist and what their hopes and dreams are. There will also be an antagonist who seeks to stop the hero/s from achieving their dream.
Habit 4: Write every day (or most days)
There will be times when you are not in the mood, but if you treat writing like any other job you must commit yourself to writing. By all means take a break, sometimes you may want to use your phone or an audio-device to make a change. Many successful authors write every day, including Christmas Day, although this might be a bit extreme, even authors deserve holidays. However you achieve this, it is important that writers write because that is what they do.
Habit 5: Work at it
Being a successful author involves hard work, there are deadlines to meet, promotional commitments and other marketing activities. Some authors are prolific writers and publish many books in a year, others produce one or two but either way it is hard work. An author has to work hard to get noticed among the thousands upon thousands of others out there. Once your name is established it is a bit easier because you have a following but you will still need to work hard to produce more books. No matter what way you look at it, if you dislike hard work, you will not be a successful author.
Habit 6: Perseverance
Almost every successful author has found that their success is due to perseverance and determination. It is not unusual if going down the traditional publishing route to have agents reject work and if this is the case, unless it needs a rewrite, submit it again to someone else. It is a well known fact that J.K Rowling was turned down by numerous publishers before the first Harry Potter novel was picked up by Bloomsbury. There is rarely overnight success in writing but if it happens to you, enjoy the ride. Authors that succeed are those who keep knocking on doors until they do. It’s not easy but don’t ever give up unless your own mother tells you she wouldn’t buy your book! Those who have never failed have never tried.
Habit 7: Keep Writing
When you have finally written your book and have either submitted it for publication, or self published it, move on to the next one. If you’ve done the best you can with your work and it is the best it can be you need to trust that it will draw the readers you hoped for. Regardless of whether your work has been accepted or rejected, keep writing. Once you finish one manuscript, have a short break if you need to and then start on another. If the one you’ve sent is picked up, the agent will be happy that you’ve got something else in the pipeline, and if not you’re well on your way to finishing your next manuscript. If you self publish, once your work has been proofread, edited and published you will follow the same principle of moving on with the next project. You will have the additional burden of marketing which is why some self published authors don’t publish until they have a series ready to market and then they drip feed those books onto the market.
In this post I have discussed 7 habits that authors should develop in order to become better writers. These seven habits will help any would be author to develop good writing habits. This article hasn’t really discussed the marketing aspect of writing a book because that is another subject that every author needs to be aware of whether they are going to be traditionally published or self published. The writing habits discussed in this article are aimed at encouraging writers to develop sustainable practices. Anyone can and probably should write one book but being a writer requires a bit more perseverance, good habits and perhaps a bit of luck.
Dawn Brookes is the author of Hurry up Nurse: Memoirs of nurse training in the 1970s and Hurry up Nurse 2: London calling, as well as Children’s books and property investment books. For more information about Dawn Brookes visit the website.
Library talk ‘Hurry up Nurse’
I thoroughly enjoyed the “meet the author” library talk session at my local library in Derby. The audience consisted of 12 people from differing backgrounds. It went very well and they seemed interested in my ramblings which was a bonus. The chat was around some of the events described in Hurry up Nurse and we finished the afternoon with tea and biscuits supplied by the library staff. I was pleased to sell some books too but I was more pleased that the attendees found the talk interesting. There were a couple of ex nursing and hospital staff in the audience as well as others and an ex magistrate. I think I enjoyed chatting to people after the session the most. All in all a very positive afternoon but it reminds me that I need to get on with the next book!
My next outing is at the Book Fair in Derby on 10th June at the Silk Mill which is part of the Derby Book Festival.
The second book in the Hurry up Nurse series is now available and follows my career to London where I experience some of the most challenging but best times of my life.[Top]