(This posting originally appeared on The Melt-Ink Pot)
Came across a blog posting this week that made me laugh, called, “You Might Be A Writer If…” Y’all should go read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Just don’t forget to come back, okay?
So after I read that and laughed, I got to thinking. The reason it’s funny, of course, is because it’s about things we all do. Maybe we don’t do all of them (I don’t have kids, but if I did, I probably wouldn’t name them after famous authors), but we do at least some of them.
But they — or at least most of them — are also habits we’ve gotten into because we write.
I’m still editing my Regency romance (almost halfway done, yay!), and as I’ve been going through, I’ve found myself thinking, “Why did I ever write this scene that way? Didn’t I realize that it’s wordy, that it’s overwritten? Do I really need to tell the reader the entire guest list of Annalise’s breakfast party?” (Yes, I edited that out today. For a guest list, it was actually reasonably well-written, but it still needed to go. But I digress…)
And then I realized that the reason some of what I’m editing is so cringe-worthy is because I’ve developed new writing habits since I wrote this story. I’ve gotten much better at recognizing passive voice, for example, and knowing when I’ve included too much exposition.
Which doesn’t mean I don’t still write that way sometimes. But at least when I get around to editing, I’m better at recognizing what to take out.
I’ve also gotten used to writing (and now, editing) in short bursts. If I have a spare half-hour or so, that can be 500-800 words written, or half a chapter edited. I don’t need to wait until I have half a day free to get anything done.
Of course, some habits are less beneficial, like my need to hop into a hot shower when I have a plot point to resolve. Makes it mighty inconvenient sometimes!
What writing habits do other people have? Have they changed over time, and if so, how?
(p.s. Bonus points to folks who figured out that posting to this blog is another habit I’ve been trying to develop!)