Top Habits for Healthy Writers

One thing that contributes heartily to falling out of a writing lifestyle is a lack of developed habits. They might be interests or occasional occupations but not habits, so they don't stick. Here are a few of the top habits I find in typically healthy writers.
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(Disclaimer: This post is in no way trying to 'dis' people who do not have or even disagree with these habits.I try to keep this blog an open, positive place to help encourage writers in whatever form of writing lifestyle they are most comfortable with. )  

1. They READ. Constantly. In fact, all of my writer friends are also avid readers. I am a wild reader myself (though very far from an excellent writer). Reading helps you to experiment with new narrative voices. To give you a taste of genres outside of your fallback and also shows new ways to present ideas. THIS IS A WRITER'S MOST VALUABLE ASSET. No joke.

2. They AREN'T QUITTERS. Writing is tough. Let's be honest here. It's not easy to pour out our minds onto paper in a way the outside world can understand. Writing is NOT for quitters. Sometimes it's good to take a break from writing. And lots of times people come to understand that maybe writing isn't the right sort of a lifestyle for them. There's nothing wrong with that. But healthy writers don't quit because maybe their story is playing out sucky or because they have a writer's block they can't get over or if someone critiqued their work harshly. That, my friends, is quitting--which brings me to my next point.

3. They take CRITICISM with GRACE. So maybe you don't want writing to be your career, and you just want to write for your own enjoyment. That's amazing! Go for it! But learning to accept criticism with grace is crucial, not only in a writing environment but in ANY atmosphere you will EVER encounter EVER. Now just because you're taking criticism with grace does NOT mean you have to cater to every.stinking.critic out there. Nu-uh. It just means you can't lose it. It is possible to respectfully disagree. But usually, if someone  has a critique, it's worth considering. You can't grow without some change.

4. They do not stay GLUED TO A SCREEN. You've got the perfect idea, you're on a rampage, just wrote 1000 words in a day! Everything is perfect! Except for one thing...your body. While you've been sitting at your desk in front of a screen all day getting down the perfect chapter, your eyes are starting to sting from the light, your legs are going stiff and numb and (let's be honest) you're probably slouching and killing your back. (I do it, anyhow). Sometimes writers need to make sacrifices for their stories--but personal, physical welfare should not be one of them. The mind and body are inextricably linked and if you let your body down, you may find your story dragging. So every hour or so, get up and do a few stretches.
-Go for a short walk or something.
-Throw in a load of laundry or take out the trash (hey, more things done that way!).
-Spend a small amount of time every hour NOT staring at the screen. Sometimes it might throw you off for a minute or so, and I get that writing bursts only last so long, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

5. They get their priorities straight. When we're writing, it's sometimes hard to remember that we have other obligations. Mostly because the obligations are dull or taxing or maybe we just got writer's high and can't lay our notebooks aside. But a healthy writer also has their personal life in order. Sometimes getting that homework done, or paying those bills, or doing your dishes takes priority. To maintain a healthy writer's lifestyle, we need to recognize what needs to come first--and sometimes (as sorry as I am to say it) that is not always writing. We can't throw away other priorities or opportunities for the sake of getting a few pages done. There will ALWAYS be time to write AFTER the homework is done, or the bills are paid.

6. They LISTEN. As far back as I can remember, I've always loved listening to conversations. Even when I was little: I became enamored when adults would talk about political subjects, or become enthralled when my dad would get into an animated conversation with someone about Conte. There is something fascinating in listening to the world around us. Not that we have to agree with everything we hear, but the fact that we writers DO hear is key in developing a good narrative voice and can even inspire us on our subject matter.


These are just a few of the habits of a healthy writer.

(I know I've forgotten a few: keep checking the blog, for I will most likely be updating this post in the next few days).

Let's Chat! 
1. What do you think are some good habits for a healthy writer?
2. Do you believe that habits can be contributive to a strong writing lifestyle?
3. What are some UNHEALTHY habits for writers?

Comments

  1. I think observation is a good habit of a healthy writer. it goes right with listening, but it adds another layer because you learn how things look or feel.
    Yes, definitely.
    I think an unhealthy writing habit is to just wait for the inspiration to strike. Waiting for the inspiration to hit is going to slow growth as a writer(I speak from experience). In my experience I rely more on brainstorming than inspiration because its so sporadic and infrequent.

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    1. Yes, I agree! I forgot who said it, but some author said "Waiting for inspiration to start writing is like standing at an airport waiting for a train." Lol. XD Same. I think that is actually one of my biggest issues.

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  2. Some good habits for healthy writers is making sure to eat and get good sleep. I know that all writers have that inspiration at midnight(I've experienced the same thing) but with a tired mind, you tend not to be as creative and thoughtful when tired. Also, good nutrition helps with energy and the though process. Reading is probably one of the best options for writers who need ideas on what style their book should be written in. The better the reader, the better the writer. One of my best qualities is taking criticism with grace and not staring at a screen all day is best for anyone in the long run.
    Oh yes, I completely agree.
    Unhealthy habits for writers is staying up way to late writing, not sorting out priorities, and procrastination(I suffer mostly from procrastination, the other two are just ones I've heard about).

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I ABSOLUTELY AGREE. Nutrition and sleep are SO important, and it's cray how much they're intertwined with the mind. I think I may do a post sometime in the future that will focus a lot more on the actual lifestyle routines or whatever of a healthy writer instead of literary ones. You know, like scientific things and their byproducts on creativity. Idk. It's a vague idea.. Thank you so much for the feedback!!

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    2. No problem ;) I'd like to read your future post about that.

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