For Success, Every Writer Needs to Develop Habits

By W. Terry Whalin

As a writer, do you have habits?  I'm a creature of a series of habits which I've developed over my years in this business. 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. This year I'm reading Eugene Peterson's The Daily Message. It's part of my spiritual habit that feeds into my life as a writer and editor.  Your habit for meditation may be different but I encourage you to have some sort of meditation to begin your day.

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.


Are you developing writer habits? Check out these resources. (ClickToTweet)
W. Terry Whalin is an acquisitions editor at Morgan James Publishing. He is the author of more than 60 books including Book Proposals That Sell, 21 Secrets to Speed Your Success. Terry has almost 200,000 twitter followers and lives in Colorado.
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Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

I like to check my Amazon Vine account to see what they are offering for review that day. It doesn't take a lot of time, and it's sort of gets me started. Don't try to talk me out of it, Terry! I have to get my fingers in shape.

Terry Whalin said...


I don't use Amazon Vine so it is not one of my habits. I'm glad you find it worthwhile.


Karen Cioffi said...

Terry, great writing tips and tools. I like the idea of reading a different Bible every year. And, I love the idea of transforming one's life in as little as 3 minutes a day!

Terry Whalin said...

Thank you for the feedback. I'm always looking for new ideas to try and incorporate into my daily habits.


Linda Wilson said...

Terry, I enjoyed your terrific post. It's a big help to me because I'm preparing to launch my first book and need all the good habits I can get!

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