Participating in nanowrimo is an excellent way to develop good writing habits, but if you’re not you can still benefit from this list. If you’re interested in becoming a better writer and gaining the skills you need to be successful, try out some of the things below.
-Write every day. I know this sounds hard, but even if you only write a hundred words a day, you’re still accomplishing this. When you don’t write for a few days, it becomes harder to focus on your story and you begin to forget certain details. That makes it much harder to be creative and put yourself into the world of your story. If you’re having trouble with this, try to find blogs with writing prompts. They might give you a topic and you’ll have the opportunity to write something short every day, even if you’re not working on a particular project at that moment. Keep your creative juices flowing.
-Jot down every idea that comes across your mind that excites you, even if you think it sounds stupid. When you finally take the time to look over everything you’ve jotted down, you might actually have a full idea or concept on your hands. Connecting ideas and creating an interesting plot is easier if you have them saved somewhere. This will also help you find inspiration when you need it.
-Don’t buy into what’s mainstream at the moment. Don’t write for the market and don’t follow trends. If you write something you love, it will be so much better than writing something you think is popular. Your heart has to be in it. It might sound stupid, but readers can pick up on the enthusiasm of the writer and they know when someone has put their heart and soul into something.
-Never wait for the right time to write. If you wait until you’re feeling something specific or after dinner or after you relax a bit or after you walk the dog, you’ll never write. There’s always an excuse, so never let it take hold.
-Reading, above all else, will help you develop good writing habits. Read as much as you can or as much as you have time for. A lot of people say they don’t have time for reading, but I think you can always spare a half hour before bed or sneak it in somewhere else. If you don’t have time to read, then I don’t see how you have spare time to write.
-DO NOT LET THE INTERNET DISTRACT YOU.
-Don’t criticize yourself too harshly. Constructive criticism is great, but you have to love your own writing. No one else will if you don’t. You’re a writer and there’s a reason you’re a writer, so you have to believe you’re good at it. You can always improve, but you must believe in yourself.
-Help someone else critique their work. I know this sounds counter productive, but you can learn a lot from someone else’s manuscript. You’ll notice things that sound annoying and what can be improved in your own writing. You’ll learn what NOT to do.
You must be willing to learn and open yourself up to criticism. Never take it too seriously because there are people who will be WRONG. But there will also be people who will be right. If a lot of people are criticizing your writing for the same reason, then you should probably improve that area. Never take that as a sign that you should give up writing.