I'm not talking about quirks, as in: I can only write standing up, in longhand, on index cards, with a green ink pen, wearing a Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt.
No, I'm talking about habits. Good habits. Helpful habits. Habits that help a writer write.
Here are some work habits of successful writers:
- Read a lot - read books and articles you wish you had written.
- Write a lot - just write. Writers write.
- Listen to dialogue in everyday life - pay attention to how real people talk to one another.
- Record ideas - carry a notebook, handheld recorder or cell phone and take written or verbal notes when the idea hits. Flesh out as much as you can right then. Later, when you have time to write, the concept is vividly recorded.
- Find your place - determine whether you work best with background noise or in complete silence. At a desk or on the sofa. Try different ways until you establish what is best for you.
- Keep a schedule - maybe you're an early morning writer, a night owl, or perhaps you can't start writing until your email box is clear. Experiment until you determine a schedule that works for you and stick to it.
- Establish daily goals - whether it's x number of pages, x number of words, or x number of articles, it's helpful to have an established goal each day.