Best-selling Authors Reveal Their Daily Writing Habits

daily writing habits
5 Min Read

Daily writing habits will be essential to your growth as a writer.

When you look at the top performers in any field, there’s one thing they all have in common. It goes much deeper than intelligence, intuition, or skill. They possess a willingness to do the work that needs to be done. They are the masters of their daily habits. Best-selling authors are no different.

Here are some examples of daily writing habits by famous authors and how you can also start your diligent writing routine with LivingWriter.

Jodi Picault: 7 times the #1 New York Times Best Selling Author

“I don’t believe in writer’s block. Think about it — when you were blocked in college and had to write a paper, didn’t it always manage to fix itself the night before the paper was due? Writer’s block is having too much time on your hands. If you have a limited amount of time to write, you just sit down and do it. You might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page. You can’t edit a blank page.”

Sit down and write. Sit down and write anything, it doesn’t have to be perfect and the first effort rarely is. Terry Pratchet once said, “the first draft is you telling yourself the story.”

A popular method of getting past the initial phase of writer’s block that LivingWriter’s have used is the “Conversation Method”.

How does it work? Make a new chapter in LivingWriter called Conversation with [Insert Character Name Here]. Start asking one of your characters questions in a fictional room through your writing, interrogate them, and write themselves out of your questions. You’ll almost certainly start to see your characters stronger in your mind and your writing will thank you for it.

Barbara Kingsolver – Pulitzer Prize Nominee and New York Times Bestseller

“I tend to wake up very early. Too early. Four o’clock is standard. My morning begins with trying not to get up before the sun rises. But when I do, it’s because my head is too full of words, and I just need to get to my desk and start dumping them into a file. I always wake with sentences pouring into my head. So getting to my desk every day feels like a long emergency. It’s a funny thing: people often ask how I discipline myself to write. I can’t begin to understand the question. For me, the discipline is turning off the computer and leaving my desk to do something else. I write a lot of material that I know I’ll throw away. It’s just part of the process. I have to write hundreds of pages before I get to page one.”

Routine, routine, routine. Pick a time you’re going to write and make it one of your daily writing habits. Whether it’s during your first-morning coffee (my favorite) or right after your lunch break. Train your body to get into the creative state with sense cues.

If you’re the type of person who dreams up their stories and plots, then you should jump on your laptop and load up LivingWriter as soon as you get up. If you don’t, you’re doing yourself and your creativity a disservice. It’s a gift to be able to dream up stories, but as we all know, they don’t last in our memories for too long after we wake. Write it down!

A.J. Jacobs – Author of Four New York Time Bestsellers

“My kids wake me up. I have coffee. I make my kids breakfast, take them to school, then come home and try to write. I fail at that until I force myself to turn off my Internet access so I can get a little shelter from the information storm. I am a big fan of outlining. I write an outline. Then a slightly more detailed outline. Then another with even more detail. Sentences form, punctuation is added, and eventually, it all turns into a book.”

George R.R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame once called himself a gardener. He plants the seeds of his stories and watches them grow as he writes. A lot of authors write this way, Stephen King as well, and they’re all notorious for having unfinished or rushed endings.

If you’re the other type of writer, an architect, then outlines are for you. LivingWriter gives you easy access to the top novel outlines around. If you’re having trouble planning out your book, watch this video by Kat O’Keeffe 27 Chapter Plotting. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the plot, just fire up LivingWriter and click on the 27 Chapter Plot template (by far the most used template by LivingWriters)!

Nathan Englander – Pulitzer Prize Finalist

“Turn off your cell phone. Honestly, if you want to get work done, you’ve got to learn to unplug. No texting, no email, no Facebook, no Instagram. Whatever it is you’re doing, it needs to stop while you write. A lot of the time (and this is fully goofy to admit), I’ll write with earplugs in — even if it’s dead silent at home.

As I’ve said before, an empty mind is a wizards workshop! Unplugging and having a clear mind going into your writing should be paramount. Creativity flows out of you when your mind is clear. Inspiration strikes when your mind is clear. Creativity never comes about when you are forcing it through clouds of distractions.

Take a few minutes to clear your mind. Unplug everything but LivingWriter on your laptop. You’ll witness magic flowing through your fingers!

Try LivingWriter today!

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At LivingWriter, we believe that great writing is about more than just putting words on a page – it’s about crafting a story, screenplay, or research paper that resonates with your readers.