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Great advice - copied from Grammarly Blog

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I am not sure if it may be a commercial company but I have been loving their tips and terrible puns for some years now. I most surely have trouble with the final hint here - Facebook is my downfall :)

5 Healthy Writing Habits All Aspiring Writers Should Practiceby Allison VanNest • January 15, 2015
Writers aren’t exactly known as the paragons of physical and mental health. Almost prerequisites for the craft, depression and alcoholism have haunted so many eminent writers, including Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, Edgar Allen Poe, and Sylvia Plath. Although living a stable, healthy lifestyle might be alien to many successful authors, healthy writing habits are not.
Yes, writing is a creative process, but it is also work that demands discipline and routine. As Hemingway said, “Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” Here are five habits that behoove any aspiring writer to follow.

Read religiously

As Stephen King put it, “You have to read widely, constantly refining (and redefining) your own work as you do so. If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write.” Reading the stories of others is how we learn how to shape a narrative and perfect our prose. King recommends reading for four to six hours a day, which might be a little ambitious for writers with day jobs. Nevertheless, remember that making time for reading is just as imperative as making time for writing.

Schedule writing time

A mistake many neophyte writers make is relegating writing to the dregs of the day. Tacking writing on to the end of the day is ill-advised because, assuming life doesn’t get in the way, you’ll probably be too tired to write well anyway. As with any worthwhile endeavor, you should carve out time in your day to devote to writing. Don’t just promise yourself you will, either — actually schedule the time in your calendar and stick with it.

Edit, but not as you write

Remember that drafts are just that; they are, by definition, not perfect. When you’re tempted to edit as you go, remember the wise words of Ally Carter: “Don’t get it right, get it written.” Done is better than perfect as far as drafts go. Let your words flow when working on a draft, channeling your energy into creating rather than revising. Once you have a finished product, you can, and should, edit to your heart’s content.

Set quotas and limits

If a novel is your goal, you might set a daily goal of 1,000 words. You can probably even handle 2,000 words per day if writing is your sole occupation. Some writers force themselves to hit their word quota regardless of how long it takes. While this kind of discipline will serve you well, overdoing it might eventually become counterproductive if you get burned out and find yourself unable to write consistently. Instead, consider setting a firm limit on the number of hours you spend writing per day, in addition to aiming for a daily word quota.

Practice good writing hygiene

The climate in which you write, including your environment and time of day, should be conducive to focus and the creative process. Some of the most prolific writers say they work the best in the morning hours and save the afternoons for reading. Wherever you write, minimize distractions, which might mean keeping the Internet off-limits. Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin, for example, has a dedicated writing computer that runs DOS, has no spellcheck or auto-correct features, and can’t connect to the Internet. Without these nuisances, he’s found he’s more productive.

Establishing these few simple habits can help you transform your writing and become more prolific than you ever thought possible. For any writing habit to make a difference, though, you must stay consistent. By establishing a set schedule and sticking to it, you will have fought half the battle of creating your literary tour de force.

How many of these tips were you already following?

Very good advice, Don.  I imagine that our friend Jim Spencer has stuck to many of those 'writers' rules'.  I only wish that I could.


The discipline of writing for a living rather than dabbling is where we come unstuck. I know with sermon writing I tend to be deadline driven. Without that deadline I flounder.

Jack and Don -


I find that I'm only following one rule and that one's kind of a "somewhat" follow rather than a "definite" follow. 

I read.  A lot.  I read while I'm eating, I read before bed, I read while I'm waiting in line (that's where a Kindle comes in handy), I read while I'm sitting under a tree, I read while...well, you get the idea. 

But, even with all that reading, I still don't average 4 to 6 hours of reading a day.  Mine's more like 15 minutes here and there while I've got a few moments. 

Not that all these ideas aren't great ideas - they are.  I just need to tattoo them on my hand and then try to follow them.

Well...maybe not tattoo.  Inks and needles and stuff.  As you can see, there's a limit to how much I'll suffer for my art.   ;)


If you read 4 to 6 hours a day, you are out doing me.  I'm lucky to read half that time.



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