19 May 2014

Quirky Writing Habits - What Are Yours?

For me, I don't think any of my writing habits are all that weird, but I do have moments of slight anxiety when I step out of the routine. And I was thinking of my writing habits, superstitions, and quirks, and wondered whether anyone else had any they wanted to share.

Here's a few of mine:

1) Handwriting my first drafts.

Although I'm sort of out of the novelling game right now, I would say this habit applies to lengthier works too. It isn't like I have never typed up a first draft, but something about seeing the handwritten draft encourages me to stick with what I'm working on.  I also have better luck going back to it and editing what I've done when I get to the revising process too.

2) My notebook always comes with me during the work week.

In all honesty, I rarely have time during the day to work on a story, but my notebook faithfully gets toted back and forth during the work week. There is something pleasantly reminding about having that notebook with me and just keeping it near me inspires me to write when I get home. I end up feeling anxious on the days I forget to take it with me.

3) I track my success on my wall calendar.

This is a habit I picked up this year, but each day I make a small note on what I've done that day for writing, whether it's a simple note of "got writing done" or more elaborate notes of "finished such-and-such story." I feel very good about myself if I see notes of writing progress on almost every day of the week.

4) I use clicker pens and cheap spiral bound notebooks.

I can't stand the idea of potentially losing a cap to a pen, so that's the reason for the clicker pen. Also, with cheap notebooks, I'm more likely to sort of let my creative side loose than when I use fancy schmancy leather bound notebooks.

5) I have to finish the story.

This is a bizarre quirk I've picked up that is entirely unexpected. These days it's absolutely rare for me to not finish a short story. Now, I may not go back to the story to revise it, but when it comes to first drafts, I can't move onto the next idea until the current story is done.

And a part two of that quirk is if I am stuck on a story, I go to the last event that took place and "undo" it and see if I should take a new direction to breathe life back into the plot line that stalled on me.

See? Mine aren't too weird. And actually I've managed to make mine work towards my success and stamina to keep writing.

Do you have any writing quirks or weird habits that get you going?


  1. Those are some quirks!

    I need music when I write. It's absolutely essential.

    1. I agree! Music makes me focus on the writing somehow. It's absolutely necessary. Even while reading, I enjoy have some tunes on low in the background.

    2. @Willian & @Matthew - music is essential for me too! It gets me in the zone!

  2. I always take a notebook everywhere too, and make a note of each days good work. Even something little can keep your motivation going into the next day, and the next ...

    I wish I could get into the quirk of finishing the story though. I get there in the end, but usually I leave it for too long. I guess that's a confidence thing though that will improve over time. Fingers crossed!

    1. yeah it has taken me a long time to get to finishing stories being a habit! Now if editing can just become a habit ;)

  3. I also like having a notebook with me wherever I go because there's telling when inspiration's gonna hit. My biggest quirk is having a different notebook for different projects. Like it absolutely has to be in that particular notebook or I can't write it down. worst case scenario, I write it in the back so I can tear it out later :-P

    1. Hahah I have a habit of doing that too! A different notebook for certain proejcts! It can get out of hand for me too!


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