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7 Habits Of Successful Writers
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Writers write. When we want continuous improvement, writing daily is priority one. When we don't know what to write about, we observe people, places and things. We don't delay writing by talking about what we will write someday or by gratuitously criticizing what someone else has written.
Writers listen to or eavesdrop on people exchanging information. Listening helps to pick up the rhythm of speech, dialects, and dialogue in their natural settings. Writers listen for the feelings behind the words and observe body language or mannerisms to present genuine differences among the peoples they write about.
Writers ask questions. Rudyard Kipling said that his "six honest serving men" (what, why, when, how, where and who) taught him everything he knew. By asking questions, we explore various angles of a topic that might otherwise be missed. Learn from curious children who are eager to learn about everything; their favorite word is "Why".
Writers read everything -- books, magazine articles, devotionals, newspapers, newsletters -- to glean ideas that can be expanded into articles, blogs or books. Using Kipling's six serving men, writers look for unanswered questions and think of different aspects of the problem, incident or solution. We look through the lens of our culture, past experiences, and present situation for relevance to our target audience.
Writers reflect on what they read. When we think carefully about what we read, we often find ideas in what someone else has written. We notice how other writers put words and phrases together, begin and end paragraphs as well as the way ideas flow from one sentence to another within paragraphs. Reflecting on what we read allows us to connect what we read to our experiences. Therefore, the observant reader becomes a better writer.
Writers set goals and establish deadlines. How many words will you write today? What are you going to write - an article, a book chapter, a devotional? How many will you write in a week? When will you finish? Where do you want your"masterpieces" to be seen - online, in newspapers, newsletters, magazines or books? What subjects will you write about? Are your goals and deadlines where you see them daily?
Writers prioritize. Since each of us has the same amount of time, it is important to determine the best use of our time at any given moment? Schedule your writing time and keep these appointments with yourself. The time you set aside to write is just as important as prior arrangements you make with others.
Successful writers (1) write daily, (2) listen actively, (3) ask questions, (4) read widely and often, (5) reflect on what they read, (6) set goals and establish deadlines, and (7) prioritize their time. When you do these things consistently, you will be well on your way to living the writer's life.
With over 30 years as a wordsmith, Eula Turner has mastered the art of laser focused writing to inspire, educate and call people to action.
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