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7 Habits Of Highly Unsuccessful Writers
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1. Why Write Today, When There's Always Tomorrow
Procrastination is a great way to become an unsuccessful writer. If you put off what should be written today, nothing gets written, ever.
Any successful writer (for me "successful" means getting paid for writing) sits down to write every day. *Stephen King says he sets his daily writing goal by the amount of words he writes, not by how much time he sits at his computer. Good advice, wouldn't you agree?
2. Brainstorming for Hours, Days, Weeks or Longer
Please refer to back to habit number 1. Yes, brainstorming for too long can be considered a form of procrastination and a good writer always gives his brew time to percolate, but too much of a good thing can become muddied, with the original flavor lost in the dregs. A successful writer learns when to say "I think I have enough good ideas for now."
3. Writing for Yourself and Not Connecting with an Audience
Most unsuccessful writers, write in their own head. They expect the reader to know all of the inside jokes and understand references that aren't universally known. There are many different types, styles and genres of writing and if you desire to be a good writer, know whom you are working for. It's that simple. Would you write an erotica romance for a women's inspirational group?
4. Never Edit the First Draft
An unsuccessful writer will never edit their first draft. Why? Because it is already perfect. Call it pride, arrogance, naivete, whatever you like. Please understand this, the best authors in the world revise their work, usually more than once. Afterwards they have an editor line-edit for grammatical errors. Before the work is submitted for publication, it gets one finial review. Can you master, lets say, the art of Sushi making on the first try?
5. Revise, Edit, Review and Repeat
We have all seen some excellent stories become convoluted and morph into something much different then what it was intended to be, all because of the revise, edit, review and repeat syndrome. This is not to be confused with habit number 4, never edit your first draft. Here, too much of a good thing goes bad. With an excess amount of revision and editing your story will stray from home and get lost in a pile of inadequate expositions.
6. Combine Negative Self-talk with Excessive Worrying
Even the most seasoned professional writer can slip into the "I'm not worthy" mode of operation and therefor think they have nothing to write. Self-doubt, for me is "I lack the talent of a great writer." I know it's not true because you are all enjoying this article. Right? Of course you are.
Remember, an unsuccessful writer will listen to their inner demon and believe every word it hisses. Choose to listen to you angel; the one that sings to you even at your lowest. She'll inspire you to do your best.
7. Take to Heart Other People's Opinion of Your Work
When you've completed a piece of writing, don't give it to anyone and say, "Let me know what you think." If you do, you may not get the feedback you are looking for. Before you let people read your work, let them know what you want out of their critique. Otherwise, anything goes. Don't be surprised if they start changing your carefully chosen words. You don't need to hear that someone hates your main character you need to know why and choose your audience with care. A good writer wouldn't give their best friend an article entitled "Why Best Friends are a Pain in the Arse."
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