Sunday, January 01, 2017

Develop Habits for Writing Success

Happy New Year. This article is my first for 2017. When the calendar changes to another year (like this week), it provides an opportunity to evaluate the past and also to look ahead to the future. I suspect you've been doing a little of this type of thinking in your own life since I've been doing it. What actions did you take during the last 12 months for your writing life that succeeded and which ones do you need to stop or change?

As I examine my days, I'm a creature of habits. For example, I begin each day spending time reading the Bible. It's a pattern that I've done for many years. Each year I select a different version of the Bible to read throughout the year. Last year, I read The One Year Bible in the New Living Translation. This year I'll be reading Eugene Peterson's The Daily Message. It's part of my spiritual habit that feeds into my life as a writer and editor.

Besides spiritual habits, I have habits with Twitter. In past entries, I've detailed how each day I'm using tools (mostly free) to grow my presence in the market and community—and also increase my presence on social media. These habits do not take much time but have consistently grown my presence—so they will be something I will continue in the days ahead.

I have a number of other habits in my life—consistent practices and actions. During the last year, I've stepped up my consumption of books by listening to more audio books through Overdrive. Recently I completed listening to the audio book of The Power of Habit by Charles Dihigg. The book explains the science and practical nature of habits including how we form new habits and replace old ones. I found the stories fascinating and informative. Until listening to this book, I didn't know about the history of the creation of toothpaste and how brushing teeth became a habit. If you want to learn about this important aspect of life, I recommend you track down this book through your library (Overdrive like I did) or purchase a copy and read it, then apply it to your own life.

Another resource on habits that I recently read is Millionaire Success Habits by Dean Graziosi. I enjoyed the book and learned a great deal from it. Apart from the book Graziosi has created The Better Life Challenge where in 30 days you can transform your life in as little as three minutes. This resources is FREE and you don't have to read the book—but simply take action every day for 30 days. Just use this link to learn more details and sign up to learn through this tool.

The writing life is much more of a marathon than a sprint.  I often meet writers who believe that one book or one action will propel them to bestseller status. Sadly this belief is a publishing myth.  Repeatedly I hear about writers who are called an “overnight” success because they've suddenly sold a lot of books. Yet when you look into the details, you will normally discover this author has been in the trenches faithfully working for years to achieve such a position.

What skills or habits do you want to develop in the months ahead? Are you taking consistent action to gain the knowledge and insights you need to get there? Tell me about your plans in the comment below and if I can help you, let me know.

Here's wishing you a successful 2017.


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2 Comment:

At 11:48 AM, Blogger Unknown Left a note...

Hello Terry!
I have been recently looking into ways to improve my writing this year. I began a blog a few years ago but lost consistency. One of my goals this year is to post consistently at least once a week. I would love feedback or any additional advice you may have for me as I continue to grow in my writing skills!

At 9:38 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

Thank you for this comment.The key with your blog is consistently posting at least once a week and on a regular basis. If you want to know more about blogging, I encourage you to check out my free resource at www.askterrywhalin.com



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