Writing is an art, and it is a common perception that all artists are quite tardy. But in today’s world, if you take writing seriously, you need to consider it as a business, and not just art. It’s always a good idea to have a business plan as a writer so that you could create projects and track them. With a variety of tools available for free, this has never been easier.
However, to achieve something and make a name for yourself in the world of writing, you should cultivate some habits that would make you a successful writer. Here are five of them that I would recommend.
Plan on a Daily Basis
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
As writers, we all wish to be published and earn some royalty someday. If you are writing regularly on Medium, you have already started something. But the mistake we all make is not working towards that wish.
I used to do the same thing too. Whenever I used to get ideas for stories, I used to think that I would write them later, and I just let it go. Eventually, I ended up doing nothing about it. I then decided to take note of my ideas and schedule them to be completed on specific dates (now, I even use specific times).
I use this beautiful app called Trello to plan and manage my writing schedule. You can have it on your computer and other devices as an app, and the best part is that you can sync everything. I don’t always keep up to my schedule, but it has definitely improved my planning.
Get In and Out of Your Work
As much as you want to write, you should concentrate more on the quality rather than the quantity. If you feel that you are not interested to write more or if you are done for the day, stop writing.
Take a break, unwind and get out of your work space until you feel you’re ready to write again. Also, when you take time off your work and get back to it, you will have a different perspective, which will give you more insight into your writing. Eventually, this will further increase the quality of your work and make it better.
Continue to Keep Reading
When I started writing, I stopped reading for a while. Somewhere down the line, I felt that I was missing something. Most of us become writers only because we love to read, and only because sometime, somewhere, something that someone wrote inspired us to write.
If we stop reading, we miss out on a lot of things. Keep reading even though you are writing. It doesn’t matter if you read for ten minutes or an hour daily; but just read something.
While this will also help you take a break from your work, it will refresh your mind and make your leisure productive as well.
Make Sure You Proofread
Even though you are a great writer, it is easy to make mistakes while writing. Always remember that your work is nothing but a draft at first. It requires a lot of editing before the final version actually comes out.
This habit is what distinguishes serious writers from the ones who do it as a hobby. If you are a serious writer, the first step in your editing process is proofreading. You could either keep the proofreading process towards the end, or complete it then and there.
I make sure to pause once I have written enough and proofread my writing then and there, so that even if I do it in the end, I will be encountering fewer errors.
Know When to Quit
As writers, we get a lot of ideas. Some of them are good; the others are bad. I have scrapped some of my stories, even on Medium, though I may have spent hours working on them.
The reason — it hit me at some point that what I was doing was up to no good. Like I mentioned earlier, it’s quality over quantity that makes you a better writer. To put that into action, you should be ready to quit when you have to.
Sometimes, you may feel that you need to quit, but your work may still have potential. It is not wrong to talk with your mentors or trusted contacts about your work if you need a second opinion. But if you’re convinced that you should quit the project, do it. There’s always time to work on something else.
These are some of the essential habits that will make you a better writer. Start following them and you will witness instant results!