Finding Time to Write: Five Bad Habits Writers Should Avoid
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Finding Time to Write: Five Bad Habits Writers Should Avoid

Harmful habits may keep a writer from their work. Writers should be careful not to let procrastination, distraction, and other bad habits get in the way of creativity and keep them from finishing their novel. Here are some tips on avoiding bad habits and getting the most out of your personal writing time.

There are many harmful habits that may keep writers from their work.  Writers should be careful to avoid destructive and time-consuming habits that may hinder their creativity and keep them from finishing their novelor other writing projects.  That is why it is very important for a writer, especially one who is working from home, to have a set schedule and stick to it. 


The mind can find a million ways to put off working on a project.  The most common is finding something else to do instead of writing.  All of a sudden there are piles of laundry to be done, dishes to wash, a room to straighten. The best way to stop procastinating is to set a daily goal to write a certain number of pages or for a certain amount of time every day. Check here for advice on how to schedule daily novel writing time. If necessary, keep a log to chart your progress.


Overwork is the opposite of procrastination.  Sometimes instead of putting writing off, writers don't pace themselves and write morning, noon and night until they get burned out.  Exhaustion sets in, and then the enthusiasm for the project may slip away.  Writers who over-work may think they deseve a break, and start a cycle of overwork followed by procrastination.  It is better to write slowly and steadly, getting a little accomplished every day than to write by fits and starts. 

Drinking and Substance Abuse

When writers feel stressed, they may be tempted to stop and have a drink or turn to some kind of substance abuse.  This seldom leads to inspiration.  On the contrary, it muddles the thinking and hinders progress. Successful, alcoholic writers usually lead very unhappy lives or are the product of myth. 

Internet Distraction

Many writers start the day checking email, then get on Facebook, then check the news and other favorite websites.  By that time,  valuable writing time has flown past and they are too tired to write.  Of course, a writer must check email from time to time, but be careful to restrict the email to business. It is tempting to spend too much time on the computer doing other things besides writing.  It is best to put the important writing first,recreational Internet fun such as getting on social networks or emailing friends after your daily goal has been accomplished. 

Watching Television or Reading

Taking a break can lead to procrastination. When working from home, try not to get involved with watching soap operas, game shows, or anything else that might keep you from writing.  Be firm with yourself. If you worked in an office, you wouldn't quit for hours at a time to watch television or read a book.  The same rules should apply to your prime writing time.

Writing time is the time you set aside for writing, don't let anything else interfere.

Click here to find five ways to get inspired to write a book. 

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Comments (1)

Excellent advice for writers of any type. My own distraction is caring for my 93 year old mother who has dementia. It is a labor of love but doesn't allow for much writing time. I just do the best I can. I'm in the process of reorganising my computer setup from my office to the family room so I can write while Mum sits with me. Not ideal, but better than not writing at all.