Bad Habit #1: Say You Are Going To Write, But Never Actually Do. I used the word \”writer\” for a reason. A writer is someone who says that they write, but rarely put pen to paper. An author is someone who writes, loves writing, and writes daily. Be an author and write something; stop talking about it.
Bad Habit #2: Write Without A Plan. Writers who sit down and want to write a book, article, or anything else will usually fail unless they know where they are going first. There is a place for freewriting and brainstorming, but your next manuscript is not it. Outline your book, use Mind Maps to visually see where you are going, and move forward with a real end goal in mind.
Bad Habit #3: Become Satisfied With The Book In Your Head. Dreaming big is part of doing anything successfully, but writers who want to write will often become satisfied with their idea rather than putting words to paper. Dreams are motivating and without them, no good writing would be done. Just make sure that you do not feast on the dream instead of doing the work, or the dream will only be wishful thinking.
Bad Habit #4: Write For Money, Not Your Real Goals. Are you writing to work towards your own goal, or someone else’s? What does success look like for you? Surprisingly for most authors, money is not the main motivation. If your goal is to change people’s lives, write for it and strive for it. If your goal is to tell your story and let the chips fall, do it. Your publisher, editor, agent, family, and many others have goals for your book; make sure you are writing for your own goals, not theirs.
Bad Habit #5: Read Sparingly. There is no more obvious misstep that authors make than neglecting to read enough. It is apparent to any editor, publisher, and future reader of the book. Read widely, deeply, and constantly if you want to be an author. There are no shortcuts (but there are some things you can do to make your time more effective).
Bad Habit #6: Stay In Your Comfort Zone. The miracle of a new book, of words on a page that have never been arranged in quite that way before, is awe-inspiring. When you write, push the boundaries. Talk about things other authors in similar books haven’t. Get out of your comfort zone and jump into the unknown, and your book will be truly your own work.
Bad Habit #7: Stop Writing. Do you know the best way to sell one book? You keep writing more books. The reality is that it is just as easy to market five books as it is to market one. Your work builds on itself, your audience grows exponentially, and getting books to the people who will love them becomes much easier. Don’t get discouraged if your first book sales are slow; write more. It is the best thing you can do and if you are an author with stories to tell, its the only way you will be satisfied.