Breaking Bad Writing Habits

In the process of writing my first novel, I’ve really noticed my bad writing habits. These aren’t habits that come out of nowhere. As a college graduate (and an up- coming graduate student), I have written a lot; papers, essays, scripts and even poems. A lot of these habits started at a very young age. These are my personal bad habits, but I’m sure other creators have dealt with these issues. As a start, pinpointing my bad habits is a first step to remedy them.

Padding

Now I’m sure that many people remember this little trick from school. In order to reach a certain page limit, I know that I used to really make literary stretches. A simple sentence can turn into a paragraph. Admittedly, this had the potential to give  me an opportunity to delve into a specific subject. But more often than not, it was a lot of the same statements going around in a circle. This has been a habit that I’ve developed for almost a decade. With a habit going on for that long, one could assume that this was a hard habit to break. It definitely was. I sometimes fall back into it. But the best solution I have found to handle this habit is to plan. I’ve started to plan out everything in my writing. This has helped me keep focus while writing. Granted, that has the potential to cause a bad habit of over planning, but that is a habit that I thankfully haven’t seen in my writing; not often any way.

Background Noise

This one is a very bad habit that I have. I like to have music or something going on in the background. Sometimes that works to drown other distractions. But this can also become a distraction in itself. Even so, breaking this habit was actually pretty easy. I actually first read this in a book by Ron Carlson called “Ron Carlson Writes a Story”. One way was to leave my spot of comfort. I have gone to a coffee shop to type on several occasions. Another thing I do to break the habit of needing background is to turn off my wifi.

Negativity

I have talked about this in other blog posts. Even so, being negative in my writing is an extremely bad habit. From thinking my story sucks, to questioning my characters and even down to hating my writing style; I tend to let the negativity drag me down. This habit has been very hard for me to break. The only solution I have found that works for me is to get out of my own head. A part of the negativity comes from overthinking. When I take a step back and just write all what I want, it makes the process a lot easier.

I still struggle when writing, but getting a hold of these habits has been a way for me to really better my writing as a whole.

 

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