• Mauro Herrera

5 Habits I Quit To Be A Good Writer

Sometimes, in order to excel at something, we have to make changes in our life.

If you want to be a bodybuilder, it's not enough to work your butt off in the gym. You have to change your diet, sleep well, avoid alcohol and tobacco if you want to see results.

It's not enough to dedicate a few hours a day to it. You must adopt habits and mindsets that help you improve, even when you're not practicing.

The same happens if you want to be a writer. It's more than just constantly writing and knowing proper grammar. There are many factors in day-to-day life that can affect your writing and your creative work in general. If you only wear your writer hat for an hour, you won't reach your full potential.

Fake it until you make it has never made more sense.

You must recognize the behaviors that will benefit you in your work, and also those that make it difficult for you.

It's not always easy to identify these habits, but once you do, you can begin to correct them and see improvement in your writing.

Abandoning these 5 customs has helped me write better stories and be more satisfied with my work. Keep an eye open in case one hits too close to home.

1. Take things personally

One of the peculiarities of writing on the Internet is that feedback comes instantly.

Many times, getting rejected from a Medium publication annoyed and frustrated me. I spent more time complaining about stupid editors than considering their notes. When actually, most of the time I just didn't follow the guidelines.

When I began to accept criticism and understood that they are not personal attacks, I managed to apply bits of advice and opinions in my work.

2. Write in autopilot mode

At first, you want to write about the topics that everyone is talking about. That's why I went into Google Trends and ended up writing an article about the new pregnancy of one of the Kardashians/Jenners, even when I don't give a damn about it.

I stopped looking for the next trendy discussion and started looking for a twist that would interest me on each topic. Writing about something that you really like and are interested in will always be reflected in quality work.

3. Expect every day to be good

If every day I don't write my best work so far, it was a wasted day.

Thinking that way is a waste of time.

You cannot expect that every day you will be excellent, there will be some that we will be average or downright bad. That's perfectly fine, so don't stop writing.

If a piece didn't turn out right on the first draft, I would throw it away. I was unaware of the importance of editing after writing. A good hour of rewriting and editing could make up for a whole mediocre workday.

4. Separate my work from my personal life

Hundreds of times I ended up writing opinions that weren't mine, just because I believed that they would be better received.

We are writers, we get inspiration from everything around us. Family, relationships, anecdotes, hobbies. Use what you have at your fingertips to make a great story.

Don't try to write from a character, the best stories are usually the most real and personal.

5. Write only when I feel like it

I like to compare writing to exercising. You must have a schedule and be disciplined to follow it.

If you only go to the gym when you feel motivated, you will never achieve results. If you only write when you feel inspired, you won't grow as a writer.

Write as an exercise. Try different styles, themes, and genres. Even if you don't like the result, practice will make you better at what you do enjoy.

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