4 Things Good Writers Don’t Do

Eliminating these bad habits is essential for a successful career.

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

What’s stopping you from becoming a better writer?

If you’re anything like my former-self, you can’t help but get caught in an unrealistic vision of perfection.

Right? Because no matter how hard you try to improve your sentence structure & edit each paragraph, nothing seems to be good enough.

It sucks.

Throughout my writing career, I’ve found myself in the same position as you many times. But instead of focusing all your energy on what you need to be doing well, I’ve discovered that it’s equally important to understand the habits that you need to avoid. In the words of Darren Hardy:

“You alone are responsible for what you do, don’t do, or how you respond to what’s done to you.”

So below are a collection of bad habits that you should avoid if you want to become a better writer. Each one of them helped me to improve my writing and create a full-time income doing what I love. I hope they do the same for you, too.

When you look at the careers of successful writers, it’s easy to believe that you have to follow every single one of their habits to have any chance of achieving success.

For example, I used to admire people such as Stephen King, and believe that the only way to become a successful writer was by spending my days writing best-selling books. But over the past few months, I’ve created a full-time income by writing about my mental health, relationships, and many other topics that matter to me.

It’s important to remember that life has a habit of coming up with various ways to disrupt your career plans. So instead of focusing on one specific path to success, adapt your plan to multiple scenarios, and you’ll be able to confront any circumstances that you may face.

Every writer has been through moments where they “don’t feel like writing” and want to stop so they can watch countless episodes of Netflix. But it’s our response to these moments that separates great writers from the average.

The truth is that you won’t feel like writing every day. There will be times when you lose your motivation & want to do anything but write in the present moment. But as the Greek Philosopher, Epictetus, once said:

“It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

If you don’t feel like writing an entire article, just write one paragraph, one sentence, or anything else that enables you to maintain consistency as a writer.

Because when you have enough discipline to write in the face of any adversity, you’ll quickly notice that you no longer require motivation to maintain a daily writing habit.

I’ve discovered that reading frequently is one of the best ways to become a better writer. Because when you’re surrounding yourself with incredible authors, the quality of your work will significantly improve.

For example, I try to read at least 50 pages of a book each morning before starting work. Whether I’m learning how to write about different subjects, structure a sentence for maximum impact, or anything else, reading is unquestionably a habit that’s helped me to become a better writer.

Good writers recognize the importance of reading as much as possible. Because when you implement reading into your daily routine, you’ll quickly notice that it’s much easier to write a great piece of writing at any given moment.

Each of us has a finite amount of mental energy that we can use each day. So if you’re working for 80 hours a week trying to write amazing content, you’ll inevitably find yourself experiencing burnout.

If you want to optimize your energy levels, think about the times of the day that you’re most productive, and then create a writing schedule based around that.

For example, I’ve recently started writing all of my articles in the mornings, and then using the afternoon to listen to podcasts & explore whatever city I’m in.

I’m going to leave you with a quote from Stephen Covey, who beautifully speaks about the importance of having a productive schedule that works for you:

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

That’s all you need to do to become a better writer.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store