As new writers we all tend to ask ourselves the same thing from time to time. Am I writing enough? Is there something different that I could be doing to write like a pro? If the answer is yes, then you already have some well-established writing habits and you’re probably related to Stephen King who writes at least 6 pages a day. Habits help form routines, and as writers we all know that discipline is crucial to staying focused if we want to finish our next best seller.
If the answer is no, then you’re probably an aspiring writer like me who’s simply looking to become an even better and more serious writer. We all have writing habits whether we realize them or not. But it’s also nice to know that well-established writers were once in our shoes before they became household names and even probably asked themselves the same very question—Am I writing enough?
But even the greatest writers had to start somewhere. And much of their success could be attributed to their personal writing habits. And who doesn’t want to write like the pros? Knowing that you may have similar writing habits may just be that little nudge that boosts your confidence. Or at the very least, perhaps you can learn new habits from those who’ve tested and proven them to work.
Here’s ten writing habits straight from the pros:
- Stephen King – Writes at last six pages a day.
- Haruki Murakimi – Runs for ten kilometers or swims fifteen hundred meters a day.
- Ernest Hemingway – He writes every morning at first light.
- Kurt Vonnegut – He does push-ups and sit-ups regularly.
- Simone de Beauvoir – She sees her friends and goes out to the movies.
- Charles Dickens – Took three-hour walks through the countryside or streets of London.
- K. Rowling – She writes wherever and whenever she can.
- B. White – He writes in a closet that’s both bright and cheerful.
- Maya Angelou – She rents a hotel room where she usually writes.
- John Steinbeck – He writes just one page a day.
If you want to read more about these writer’s personal writing habits, check out Mayo Oshin’s article on Mission.org, The Daily Routine of 20 Famous Writers (and How You Can Use Them to Succeed).
Personally, I work best in quiet spaces either inside in a well-lit room or outdoors on a sunny day. One of my writing habits, and I do this consistently while I write, is that I listen to music. While I enjoy all music genres; classical music, alternative rock, country, and even pop—I listen to Motion Picture Soundtracks. Yes, that’s right! I listen to background music for films. Imagine watching your favorite movie! It’s like adding a soundtrack or theme song to your short story, or your fiction novel. I’ve written many creative pieces, from poetry to flash fiction while listening to motion picture soundtracks. And it’s a habit that has helped me along in writing page after page for my fiction novel that I’m currently working on.
Here are a few of my favorite artists (maybe you’ve heard of them):
- Clint Mansell (famously known for Requiem for a Dream)
- Daniel Pemberton (Steve Jobs Soundtrack)
- Hans Zimmer (Inception & Interstellar Soundtrack)
I could listen to their soundtracks and write unique stories all day and still be inspired countless times over. If you haven’t listened to any of them, give them a try, and tell me what you think.