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The Seven Habits of a Successful Writer

October 19th, 2007

This article by Kat Yares lists seven important actions that we can take in order to become successful writers and bloggers. As these actions evolve into established habits, the tasks of consistent writing and posting will eventually seem easier and more natural.

1. Read

To write you must read. Anything and everything. If you’re a blogger, read other people’s blogs. You must pay attention to how others put words on paper or type them into their web pages. By reading, you discover what readers or editors are looking for and what has been successful.

2. Observe

Watch people. Look at their mannerisms and characteristics, eavesdrop on their conversations. See your surroundings. Feel the wind in your face. Hear the sounds of nature or the sounds of the city. Allow yourself to feel the warmth of the sun or the iciness of a winter rain. Describe it.

3. Use a Pen (or Pencil) and Paper

More important than American Express; never leave home without them. Laptops and electronics are wonderful, but a good pen and small pad of paper never let you down due to the need of batteries. Quickly jotting down ideas whenever you have a creative moment can make your writing chores easier. Making lists of such ideas can also help by providing a starting point for research.

4. Watch TV and Movies

Watch how dialogue and action move the plot along from scene to scene. See what works and what does not.

5. Daydream

Don’t say you don’t have time. We all do. How many trips to the bathroom do you make everyday? It’s surprising how fast those minutes add up.

6. Think of Different Scenarios

This is a simple one. In every situation, ask yourself, “what if”. Give yourself the answers.

7. Write

Until you put words on paper, any words, you are not a writer. Once you write that first complete sentence, you are. Find a way to make the time if you must. Give up something. If you only write a journal, you are a writer. If you only succeed at writing one short story, you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if it is ever published, if you wrote it, you are a writer. It is not the substance that makes you a writer. It is the effort. Just write.

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