What are your bad writing habits?
Why is your manuscript still in your computer and not in the hands of an editor or publisher? What keeps you from submitting your work? What stops you from completing that book or story you want to see published?
Some of the bad habits many of us can’t seem to break include the following:
Self Editing – Do you read over each sentence before you write the next one? Do you have to correct any punctuation of spelling errors before you can go on? Break this habit now. Let your thoughts, your creative mind flow like a moving stream. Let it dictate the words you spill out on the page. After your story is on paper there will be plenty of time to go back and edit.
Don’t stop until the story is on the page. -- It has been said there are no great writers only great re-writers. We must revise and that takes time. But don’t revise your work until your authentic voice has disappeared. 1.Write. 2. Put away for a while. 3. Read. 4. Revise or rewrite. 5. Put it away again.
But you have to let your manuscript go, no matter how afraid you are that it is not perfect.
Second-guessing yourself about your story. – I’ve been there and I know. After the story is done, you become afraid that the story is all wrong and is not ready to go just yet. You think you have to change the main character in some way to make him better, or change the direction of the story. Suddenly the whole thing is just too much to fix and the manuscript ends up never seeing the light of day.
Fear of the consequences if you mail your manuscript. – You ask yourself these questions: What if my work is not good enough, if it is really terrible and is rejected and no one will ever want it? Can I stand the embarrassment, the personal rejection I will feel, and will I ever write again? What if I am a complete failure?
Remember, the rejection is only one person’s opinion. Don’t take it personally. The next time you submit your work it could hit on the desk of just the right editor, the one who loves it. But this will never happen if the manuscript stays hidden in a drawer or lost in a file on your computer. Don’t let fear of failure stifle your writing.
Do you have any bad habits that hinder your submitting your writing? Let us hear your thoughts on this subject.
Glenda C. Beall is Director and Instructor of writing classes at Writers Circle in Hayesville, NC. Visit her online here.