7 writerly habits that aren’t drinking tea

We all know the type. They’re into book culture, whatever the hell that means. If you like tea, I get it. If you like rain and think Britain is great, I get it. But that’s not a writerly habit. That’s an aesthetic. I once tricked myself into thinking I was an introvert just so that I would fit into book culture. (I have since made a full recovery.) Writing habits aren’t just tea and rain. They’re practice, intentionality, and a whole host of other things. This video is full of good advice (and it won’t make you into a walking cliché). I’m fairly skeptical of panaceas, but it seems applicable to most all creative disciplines.

  • Work daily
    • Sitting down to write sucks. Most of the time I’ve had a long day of classes and work. Set yourself a bare daily minimum and meet that goal.
  • Volume, not perfection
    • I struggle to move on with a lot of pieces. I let them sit, and eventually they rot. If I keep working consistently (and finishing) that problem will be gone.
  • Steal
    • “The only art I’ll ever study is stuff I can steal from.” —David Bowie
  • Learn consciously
    • Practice isn’t enough. Find resources and learn actively from them. Avoid practicing bad habits.
  • Rest
    • Manuscripts take time. You need fresh eyes for a poem or chapter. Giving it a rest will make your editing much better.
  • Seek feedback
    • Writers especially like to work alone, and oftentimes we guard our work zealously. Everyone needs editors and workshop groups.
  • Create what you love
    • If you fake it, it’s not going to work. Readers can call bull from a mile away. Know your genre and werk it.

 

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