9 Daily Habits You Should Get Rid of to Become a Better Writer

Nine Bad Writing Habits

9 Daily Habits You Should Get Rid of to Become a Better Writer

By Veronica Hunt 

How do you know what’s good or bad for you unless it leads to losses or depression hereafter? I call it the self-reflection time when a writer needs to analyze what has been done right or wrong for developing his masterpiece. Today we’ll uncover 9 habits that can actually ruin your career of a writer, blogger, reporter, etc.

There’s no exact timeframe to eliminate bad habits and clear your mind for inspiration. It can vary from 72 hours to more than 21 days because some long-lasting habits are ingrained at our neural level. They can even determine our behavior or outlook.

Which is why self-publishing writers whose success depends on their productivity should get rid of those daily habits which hold them back. Here are 9 of them with explanations and my own writing experience insights.

1. Not sticking to the writing plan

Never rely on the whimsical character of your inspiration. This lady is too weak to bring a masterpiece to the surface. I have the same bad habit – can’t stick to the plan even after I’ve elaborated the perfect one. Of course, it makes me mad because I realize that having this non-systematic approach stops me from publishing an aspired novel. The thing about plans is that you should always follow it without yielding to excuses. Here are three ways you can make yourself stick to your writing plan.

  • Make monthly, weekly and daily goals to control the process.
  • Write for 3-4 hours each day with one break in the middle.
  • Do not review a single sentence until you finish even if you know there are some mistakes.

2. Giving in to procrastination and self-criticism

Forming a steady writing habit predetermines the highest result. Therefore any self-publishing writer should mind deadlines and develop a sense of confidence to what has already been crafted. Procrastination and postponing your writing goals to fulfill other minor errands is the biggest mistake. We have thousands of these small errands each day from cleaning the kitchen to folding clothes, and they will always take that golden time you should devote to writing your novel. Another bad habit is to return to what you’ve written and carp at some parts of your book. Imagine that you have a creative child in you – an internal artist you can offend with criticism. You should protect yourself from its cruelty says Julia Cameron’s in her bestseller The Artist’s Way. Once this book became my manual which helped me form positive habits of write better.

3. Thinking over some paragraphs or dialogues when you are not writing

This particular habit can actually prevent you from becoming another Joanne K. Rowling because writing a book in your mind is the same as eating with your eyes solely. Sure, it’s pleasant but not useful for your empty stomach. What’s most important, you just waste your time because thought-out dialogues will never look the same when they are actually penned. Besides, it will be much harder to get down to writing a paragraph you have already finished in your mind.

4. Writing without enough sleep

When your mind is already dried out, you shouldn’t expect anything special to come out. First of all, sleep deprivation can result in chronic fatigue and even severe depression. When writing a book you should include four priorities in your everyday routine:

  • From 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day.
  • From 3 to 5 hours for writing a novel with 30-minute breaks every 2 hours.
  • From 2 to 3 hours to promote your writing on your own blog.
  • From 1 to 2 hours for physical exercises.

5. Giving someone to read your unfinished book

Never ever do that even if the person is the closest to you and can be fully trusted. Believe me; it can ruin your intention to continue writing even if you get the positive feedback. I do remember how my sister was hiding her uncompleted pictures from my eyes so that it didn’t influence the whole creation process. She used to say:

“I don’t want to show it until it becomes something strong!”

6. Limiting yourself with one place for writing

I do recommend you to change places as often as it’s possible. Limiting yourself with one place can serve as a bad habit because you’ll depend on particular conditions. I suppose a writer should free his mind from accommodation issues to devote it to the fictional space of his characters. And I do think a successful writer should be flexible enough or even tempered facing such obstacles as noise or crammed rooms.

7. Dividing your time to 2 or more storylines at once

Even if you have several ideas for different novels, I do recommend you to write a few sentences about those newly born stories, put them in different folders without any exact titles and forbid yourself to think about their characters’ names until a previous novel is finished. Dividing your attention between several storylines can confuse you and make the process of writing a single book by the very end almost eternal.

8. Isolating yourself from family and friends

It’s a myth that to write a good book you need to dive into it and ignore the dearest people who can support you. There are a lot of writers who succeeded being good writers and parents at the same time. For instance, Julia Cameron managed to make an awesome writing career and grow her daughter at the same time. Besides, becoming estranged from your family and friends can lead to serious mental problems. You might suffer from loneliness, depression and even panic attacks.

9. Having bad nutrition and drinking too much coffee or energy drinks

A healthy writer has nothing to be distracted from own writing goals. Taking care of your nutrition habits, you save time on treatment in the hospital and make sure you’ll have enough efforts to finish a novel. Also, one of the most harmful habits for writers is drinking too much coffee and energy drinks while working on their novels. And when it adds up to lack of sleep and unbalanced diet you get a cocktail of self-destruction. These things might help for a day or two, but then you’ll become a veg without any decent ideas to pen.

Veronica HuntVeronica Hunt is an edtech expert and an experienced content marketer from Philadelphia, PA. As a blogger, she sees her purpose in providing her readers with up-to-date info in the spheres of marketing, entrepreneurship and psychology. Currently, works for Eduplace as a content manager. Apart from work, she adores traveling and yoga. Follow @VeronicaHuntt or find her on Facebook.

Friday Post: The Last Place You Look

Another Friday is here!  Bring on the Weekend!

Book Beginnings on Fridays

Book Beginnings on Fridays is a meme hosted at Rose City Reader where you share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

I just picked this up at the library tonight and plan to start it in the next couple of days.  I found it on one of the blogs I follow, but I can’t remember whose blog it is!  Sorry!

 

Here’s the Book Beginning:

“Matt said you found things.  For a living,” the woman said on the phone.

I was lying on the carpet underneath my desk.  I’d only answered the call to make the shrill ringing stop.  The inside of my mouth tasted like whipped cream and whiskey, and the sound of my breathing was like a roaring thunderstorm in my head, but at least I was alone and in my own apartment. “That’s right,” I said.

“What kind of things?” Her tone was suspicious, like her main objective was to debunk whatever my oldest brother told her.

“Objects.  People. Answers. Whatever needs to be found.”

“You good at it?”

I hadn’t worked much in the last nine months and didn’t want to start now. But my bank balance had other ideas.

 

The Friday 56

The Friday 56 is a meme hosted at Freda’s voice.

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
(If you have to improvise, that’s ok.)
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it)
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post below in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url.
*It’s that simple.

Here’s a blurb from page 56:

In the light of day, I could see that whoever had gotten into my car last night must have used a slim jim or a coat hanger.  The weather stripping at the bottom of the window was ripped and the blue paint on my door was faintly scratched.  Better than a brick through the glass, but it still pissed me off.

On top of that, I didn’t quite know what my next move should be on Brad Stockton. So far there were three votes for Brad Stockton’s innocence, two maybes on the unnamed dog owner, on strange encounter with the Belmont cops, but zero corroboration for Danielle’s claim that the woman she saw was Sarah.

 

What do you think?

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Sarah Cook, a beautiful blonde teenager disappeared fifteen years ago, the same night her parents were brutally murdered in their suburban Ohio home. Her boyfriend Brad Stockton – black and from the wrong side of the tracks – was convicted of the murders and sits on death row, though he always maintained his innocence. With his execution only weeks away, his devoted sister, insisting she has spotted Sarah at a local gas station, hires PI Roxane Weary to look again at the case.

Reeling from the recent death of her cop father, Roxane finds herself drawn to the story of Sarah’s vanishing act, especially when she thinks she’s linked Sarah’s disappearance to one of her father’s unsolved murder cases involving another teen girl. Despite her self-destructive tendencies, Roxane starts to hope that maybe she can save Brad’s life and her own.

With echoes of Sue Grafton, Dennis Lehane and the hit podcast Serial, The Last Place You Look is the gripping debut of both a bold new voice and character.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I’m excited to start this one!  Have you read it?  What are you reading now?

 

Book Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

I’ve seen the Six of Crows on so many book review blogs, it had so many great reviews and avid fans, I was curious to read it, too.  The title certainly helped… I love crows!  They’re gorgeous birds!

The Six of Crows is first of a duology, followed by the Crooked Kingdom.

So, when I started reading Six of Crows, I found it a bit slow going.  Not because there wasn’t enough action…there was.  I was unfamiliar with the world itself.  

The Six of Crows is preceded by the Grisha Trilogy and I’m thinking that, had I read it would have explained the world much better.  That being said, it can still be read as a standalone, it just took me a bit longer to process what was happening.

Kaz as a main character started out as arrogant and somewhat unlikeable to me. He always has everything planned umpteen steps ahead of everyone else, almost too good to be true.  I found myself disappointed that he was to be such a major character, that is until I found out there was much more to Kaz than what meets the eye.

Each chapter toggles from the perspective of multiple characters, their personalities developing nicely as we learn more about each one, their history and their unique abilities.

Kaz and his crew head out on a mission, that by all standards is considered impossible.  On top of the difficulties they expect to encounter, they are hit by snag after snag.


 

I really got into the story and enjoyed the twisty turny plot and the whole ‘what could possibly go wrong next’ of this book.  There was lots of drama, plot twists and storylines that I didn’t see coming.

Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

Have you read any of Leigh Bardugo’s work?  Did you read the Grisha Series first and if so, how did it help reading the Six of Crows?

Blogging and Thinking of Summer

It’s hard to believe another month has come and gone.  Here we are, in the middle of our summer! Imagine…


In the spring, when winter is finally beginning to give way to warmer weather, I find myself longing for the hot summer days of July.  The kids are out of school, there’s not really a schedule, everything is free and easy.

As July rounds into August, the wheel turns and reality steps in.  The days get shorter and cooler, and school is just around the corner.  Summer is coming to a fast close.

Here in Nova Scotia, there is a distinct shift in the weather come the end of August beginning of September.  Crisp, cool mornings, early sunsets, and the leaves begin changing.

I do love fall, but I can’t help but feel a bit sad to see lovely summer leave for another year.

I’ve been a bit slower at posting these days.  I’ve been spending more time with family, quietly reading and working on my novel.  I love creating blog posts and visiting other blogs, but I’ve found that I’ve had to step back and look at how much of my time this takes out of my day.

A single post, award or tag takes me over 3 hours.  Is this normal?  I feel like other bloggers can read a book in  a few hours and write up a review lickity split!  It’s hard to keep up with the Jones’s, ya know!

I have depression and anxiety.  If I have a few stress-free days, I can get along quite fine.  I seem relatively normal.  Outside of that, even a minor stressor can make my anxiety can go haywire and I’m “off” for days.  It’s difficult to concentrate and focus, my memory is embarrassingly awful.

So, I’ve been taking it easy on the blog.  I’ve been trying to be as stress free as possible.  I started a yoga program, and I’ve gotten myself back on schedule with waking early and getting out for a walk.

I hope to make progress on my novel.  It’s incredibly slow going, by the way.  I keep rewriting the same pages!

I also hope to start making progress on the wonderful awards and tags I’ve received!  Phew!  Lots of blogging love, and I will get to them, I promise!

Do you have days when it’s hard to do it all?  When you just can’t blog as much as you’d like?

Thanks for stopping by!  

Jo-Ann

Review: Feel Me Fall by James Morris

My thanks to James Morris for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Was it hard to put down?  Oh, yes. I was drawn into the story hook, line and sinker and didn’t want to stop reading.  It was absolutely brilliant.

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads.

Secrets and survival in the Amazon

Emily Duran is the sole survivor of a plane crash that left her and her teenage friends stranded and alone in the jungles of the Amazon. Lost and losing hope, they struggle against the elements, and each other. With their familiar pecking order no longer in place, a new order emerges, filled with power struggles, betrayals, secrets and lies. Emily must explain why she’s the last left alive.

But can she carry the burden of the past?

Discover the gripping new adventure novel that explores who we are when no one is watching, and how far we’ll go in order to survive.

My review:

Emily Duran is a student from California on a high school field trip to South America. The plane crashes in Amazon rainforest, leaving only a handful of survivors.  Besides Emily, there is her best friend Viv, Mean Molly, Derek the boy scout survivalist extraordinaire, Ryan the smart ass amputee and Nico, Viv’s boyfriend.

The story is told in the first person from the perspective of Emily. The author did an excellent job of fleshing out the other characters to round everything out.

The story toggles between several scenes: when the plane crashes in the Amazon, before they left on the school trip, and after her rescue when she is in the hospital.

The book is very well written and suspenseful.  The challenges they experience and the true personalities that emerge in this new environment kept me reading and wanting more. Secrets were slowly revealed, drama unfolded and people died.

A quote from the book:

Events don’t change you; they reveal you.

What I loved even more than waiting for Emily to be rescued was the ending…Lets just say that things aren’t always as they seem.

 

 

THE ‘HOW I CHOOSE MY BOOKS’ TAG

Thanks to Stephanie at Steph’s Novel Fiction for tagging me in The ‘How I Choose My Books’ Tag! You really need to go check out her site if you haven’t.  Stephanie and I are great internet buddies, we’ve had some awesome chats. She is such a wonderfully warm and sweet person plus knows how to do a great book review.

 

BookstagFind a book on your shelves or ereader with a blue cover. What made you want to pick up this book? 

I picked up The Lady of Avalon because it was by Marion Zimmer Bradley.  I LOVED her book The Mists of Avalon, and read it several times.  That is the book that made me fall hopelessly in love with the King Arthur legend.  This particular book is a prequel to the original Mists of Avalon.

Think of a book you didn’t expect to enjoy, but did. Why did you read it in the first place? 

A family friend recommended this book to me.  He gave me a copy because he  had several, he loved it that much.  I really didn’t care for the setting, WWII Germany, especially since it was from the perspective of a child.  I thought it would be too disturbing, but it was an AMAZING read!

Stand in front of your bookshelf with your eyes closed and pick up a book at random. How did you discover this book? 

Relative Happiness is by one of our amazingly talented local authors, Lesley Crewe.  It’s her debut novel about life in a small town and was actually made into a movie!  This is a good one worth picking up.

Pick a book that someone personally recommended to you. What did you think of it?

I was wandering around the library one day, looking for a good murder mystery.  My friend and neighbour, a librarian herself, suggested Henning Mankell’s series.  He has a unique style of writing with very ‘normal’ protagonist.  I love that.  Characters who aren’t afraid to be imperfect and make mistakes.

Pick a book that you discovered through YouTube / book blogs. Did it live up to the hype? 

When I saw Jay’s review at This is My Truth Now, I knew I had to read this one and I was not disappointed!  I’m looking forward to reading the sequel now.

 

Find a book on your shelves or ereader with a one-word title. What drew you to this book?

I was on a kick reading Harlan Coben’s books and this was one of them.  I like Coben’s easy style and plot twisters.

 

What book did you discover through a film / TV adaptation?

A coworker recommended I watch Game of Thrones when I was raving about the Mists of Avalon one day.  It had a medievalish setting, fantasy, magic, so why not?  I loved the show and began reading the books.  Now just waiting for the newest release….

Think of your all-time favourite book/s. When did you read these and why did you pick them up in the first place?

These are the books that got me into reading, I mean really into reading.  And writing!  They sparked something in me that made me want to tell  my own story!

Harry Potter
The Mists of Avalon
The Outlander Series

I’m Tagging the Following:

Raising My Book

The Book Mermaid

Tea and Tales

Turtledesk

Please don’t feel pressured to do this tag, but if you do, please let me know so I can read your answers!

Thank you so much Silas at Diary of a Weird Teenage Boy and for nominating me. He has a wonderful blog filled with his art and beautiful photos as well as his creative writing to prompts.  I highly recommend you check him out!

the-mystery-blogger-award

Here are the rules to the award:

  • Put the logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and link their blog.
  • Tell your reader 3 things about yourself.
  • You have to nominate 10-20 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

The Mystery Blogger award has been created by Okoto Enigma of Okoto Enigma’s Blog.

THE MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD

This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blogs not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.

-Okoto Enigma.

Three things about me-

  • I’ve written three novels.  They are all in the first draft stage, though so it might be a while before you get to read them!
  • I am working at recovering from depression and anxiety.
  • I love swimming, either in the ocean or in my pool.

Questions from Silas

  • What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home?

The weirdest thing in someone else’s home…now that’s a tough one!  It would probably be a pet.  I have one friend who once had a bearded dragon for a pet.  My aunt had a  pet rabbit that ran free in the house.  It ate the little rubber buttons on the TV remote control!

  • What is the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

The best purchase would be our house.  Our worst purchase?  Our house!  It’s great having a 110 year old home.  I love it, it has tons of character but the renovations we’ve done over the years have certainly cost us a load of money!

  • What is the dumbest way you’ve been injured?

Hmmm…I think the time I dropped a chisel on my bare toe and needed 6 stitches to fix it up. That was dumb!

  • What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?

The Trump saga in the US always has something interesting going on.

  • What is the one thing you have tried million times, still can’t do.

Computer programming.  My sons make it look so easy!

  • Bonus fun question -What’s a body part that you wouldn’t mind losing?

My appendix.

My top 5 posts-

This Mists of Avalon Book Beginnings and Friday 56

Sunday Post June 25

Sunday Post and Happy Fathers Day

Summer Vacay and Glad to be Back!

The Husband’s Secret

 

 

Nominations – 

Drizzle and Hurricane Books

Two Gals and a Book

My Window

Sherina Speaks

Read and Repeat

Untold Phrases

Blackwood’s Magazine

Being Lydia

EssenCentral

Whimsy Pages

 

My Questions –

  • Have you taken summer vacation?
  • What is your favourite movie you’ve seen this year?
  • Do you have a goal you’d like to achieve by the end of this year?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • If you could choose ONLY 5 subjects to read on other blogs, what would they be? (Books, music, film, health, etc.)

 

 

Hope you guys enjoyed the post, thanks so much Suguna once again for this lovely nomination! 🙂

Have a nice day.

 

 

Daily Walk

 

Daily Walk http://inspirationpie.com
Daily Walk

 

Double Rainbow

It was late yesterday when Burger and I finally made it out for our daily walk, but it was totally worth it when we got to see this double rainbow!

Burger did some late evening swimming.

 

Late evening swim

 

There was some rain sprinkles, but it was warm and beautiful!  

 

 

 

 

We got out for a morning walk this morning.  The blueberries will be ready in a few weeks.

They still have a ways to go before they fill out and ripen.

Found this cute duckling swimming quietly beside us.

I loved the reflections in the little pond.

 

 

 

 

 

Later on in the day, my mom and I went strawberry picking!  The U-pick has been open for several weeks, today is the last day of picking.

The haul 🙂
Strawberries in the field

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 I hope you enjoyed the photos of our daily walk!  Do you like to take photos on your walks?   Post your your links in the comments so I can visit you!

Why a bad protagonist is actually quite good

 #writing #amwriting

I am a big fan of protagonists with dubious character traits. There is something about a blurry line that adds flavour and depth. In fact, if the protagonist was to stop and consider themselves, they might think they were on the wrong side of that invisible virtuous line.

So in short, I like my protagonists…to be bad.

Why is a less than perfect protagonist good?

If you are the kind of person who goes to the gym 5 days a week, then going 5 days a week is no big thing. BUT, if you struggle to go once a week, then 5 days in a row is pretty impressive! And so with our protagonist. The more reluctant they are, and the more doing something good or heroic chafes, the more interesting it is when they are finally forced to comply.

As a reader, the more confused you are about the protagonists virtue, the more the tension grows. Will they do the right thing? Are they capable of doing the right thing even? Or are they just too damn lazy?

And what about our antagonist? Are they wholly bad? Or do they have redeeming qualities? Do you empathise with them at any point in the book? Perhaps their behaviour has been abhorrent, and then you discover a terrible secret about their past that casts new questions onto everything they have so far done.

There is a certain fascination with a good guy who is not completely good.

And likewise with a bad guy who is not completely bad.

Real Neat!

Sonia at  Sonia G Medieros  shared the Real Neat Blog Award with me!  Thank you so much Sonia!  I appreciate you thinking of me!

If you haven’t checked out Sonia’s blog already, you should really check out her inspirational blog.  She is a wonderful writer and a musician, too!

I’ve been pretty slow at getting around to awards and tags, but I am slowly getting them done!  Yay!  Being on vacation last week didn’t help, and I do tend to be a bit of a procrastinator.

Okay, the rules for sharing the Real Neat Blog Award:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs.
  • Answer the seven questions asked by your nominator(s).
  • Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award and give them some linky love.
  • Notify the nominated folk.
  • Ask your nominees seven questions of your own.

Here are Sonia’s questions for me:

What is your favourite movie/tv/story genre and why?

My favourite genre…hmmm. I love a good thriller/suspense/mystery but I also love a good fantasy as well.  I’m thinking Harry Potter or Game of Thrones, even Outlander falls into that category.

If you had to be stuck on a deserted island, which tv/

movie/story character would you choose to be stuck with?

It would have to be with someone who is fairly intelligent, innovative, someone who knows how to provide shelter and food.  I might be showing my age but I’m thinking MacGyver.

He’s easy on the eyes, too so that helps!

In a zombie apocalypse, where would you head first?

I’d head for the harbour and take refuge on a boat, preferably a yacht!  That way, I could be far enough away from zombies, or I could sail around and find a safe island.

What have you always wanted to learn how to do but haven’t (yet)?

Well, I’ve always wanted to learn French, and I took lessons for a few years.  I got pretty decent at it, but I’d hardly call myself fluent!  I guess that’s a goal I’m aiming for.

Computer programming has always intrigued me, too.

What mythical creature would you want most for a pet?

A pegasus, of course!  Who doesn’t love horses?  And these horses can fly!  They can get you where you want to go.

What silly little thing always makes you smile?

My beautiful, goofy dog, Burger!

I’m not really sure what he’s doing in this picture, I think I got him mid-lick, but he’s just so darn cute!

 

 

 

 

If you could be anyone else for a week, who would it be?

My dog.  See above.


And, now for the nominations:

Susan Loves Books

Waking Up on the Wrong Side of 50

Bookneeders

Reactionary Tales

Steph’s Novel Fiction

Momentum of Jo

Read Rant and Rock and Roll

Diary of a Bookfiend

And here’s my questions for you:

  1. What is your favourite genre?
  2. What is the last book you read that you gave 5 Stars and what did you love about it?
  3. Who is your favourite author?
  4. What keeps you from attaining your goals?
  5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
  7. How do you start off your morning?

 

 

 

 


No pressure to accept and share the award, by the way. But, if you do, please leave a link in the comments so I can check out your post.