Break Your Bad Writing Habits In 2018

By on January 3, 2018
Break Your Bad Writing Habits In 2018 - Writer's

Now that the new year is upon us it is a good idea to look back and reflect on your writing achievements over the past 12 months. What have you done well? What could you have done better? How will you set goals for yourself going forward?

The new year is the perfect time to reassess your writing and find a way to ensure it stays a priority. One of the most effective ways of doing this is looking at the bad writing habits you may have fallen into and making sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes twice.

So what are some of the most common bad writing habits that you can work on for 2018?

Not sticking to your plan.

Having goals and deadlines is one of the most important things you can do to ensure you stay motivated and productive. However, we often make our deadlines impossible to meet, or our workload too massive to contemplate. By giving yourself realistic goals and deadlines, you are more likely to stick to them and will feel so much better about yourself when you do.


One of the most common bad writer habits is procrastination. Putting your writing on the back burner and making excuses not to do it must become unacceptable to you. Don’t put your writing off - make it the first thing that you do every day and worry about the other stuff afterwards.

Being your own worst critic.

So often writers let themselves down by being unreasonably negative and hard on themselves. Why not start this year with a positive mindset? Believe you can and will get to where to want to be, and then just go for it.

Thinking instead of writing.

It's easy to walk around all day thinking about our stories in our heads, but unless you actually put pen to paper so to speak, you’ll never actually get the darn thing written! Try not to worry too much about what you write in the first instance; it doesn’t have to be perfect, just get the story down and then you can find ways to perfect it later.

Not paying attention to your health.

As with any aspect of our lives, if we run ourselves ragged, if we don’t get enough sleep, if we drink too much caffeine, don’t get fresh air, stop socialising and eat and drink unhealthily we will become incapable of performing our best. Take care of yourself this year, and you’ll have so much more energy and motivation to write.

Sticking to the same tried and tested methods.

One of the great joys of writing is being able to experiment. It’s so easy to stick to one rigid formula, and this can become boring for ourselves and our readers. Don’t be afraid to experiment with techniques, genres, storylines - find out what works for you!

Working on too much at once.

While it’s not necessarily a bad thing to have more than one writing project on the go, if you stretch yourself too thin you’ll never be able to truly focus, and you also run the risk of never finishing anything either. Limit yourself to a couple of writing projects at a time so you can make sure you give them you're all.

Letting fear hold you back.

Writing can feel like a scary business, but you’ll never get anywhere if fear stops you from achieving what you want to achieve. Break this bad habit in 2018 and have the courage to believe you can achieve all of your writing dreams.

If the above sounds familiar now is the time to acknowledge these bad writing habits and start the new year with fresh resolve and determination to break them. By accepting that you have bad writing habits, and then devising strategies to break these, you give yourself the best chance of successfully moving forward with your writing and becoming a more prolific, productive and positive writer in 2018.

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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