The majority of us write on a daily basis. We utilize our writing skills in a variety of ways: answering emails, preparing applications, and producing reports.
Few of us, however, take the time to stop and think about how we might improve our writing skills.
This behaviour is detrimental to us. Effective writing abilities have a positive influence on both work and personal life. Take it this way: the abilities required to write a well-reasoned argument in a research paper or a work proposal are the same skills required to negotiate personal limits or express yourself in a private disagreement.
Strong writing skills give you more confidence in your ability to express yourself clearly.
As a result, the stress that most authors experience throughout the writing process is reduced.
It only takes time and a little discipline to enhance your writing abilities. Over the years, we’ve learned from great writers and editors, and we have identified five important healthy writing habits that have proven to be quite beneficial. We are confident that incorporating these habits into your personal writing process will help you:
- Reduce tension throughout the writing process,
- Develop a style of writing that is clear and concise.
5 Healthy Writing Habits for Less Stress and Better Writing
1. Always Have an Outline in Mind
Writing is more similar to being a wilderness guide than a secluded creative genius in many ways. It is your job as a writer to lead your reader through your content.
Moreover, you must build a path that is either well-reasoned and organized or packed with well-crafted twists, turns, and fascinating mysteries, depending on who your reader is.
If you don’t know where you’re going, you can’t guide someone else there successfully, let alone with style. Outlines force you to have your destination in mind at all times, which has two benefits.
Firstly, it relieves the tension of writing into an undefined void. Secondly, this habit encourages concise writing since you’ll be more likely to develop compelling, straight routes to where you want your reader to go if you know where you want them to go (rather than, say, sending your reader down a series of unrewarding side trails).
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t deviate from your plan sometimes. That’s how some of the finest writing happens. Writing with an outline in mind, on the other hand, enhances your chances of having a stress-free writing experience and pushes you to write more clearly and concisely.
2. Make Breaks a Necessary Part of Your Writing Process
Writing is a creative process that takes a lot of time and effort. You can’t do anything on autopilot, and you can’t do it successfully if your creative energy is running low. Few people in the world are capable of writing for eight hours continuously every day.
It’s necessary to divide your writing time between regular, non-creative tasks. This provides you with the time and space you require to redirect your concentration and return with a clean brain. These breaks relieve the stress of creative burnout while also ensuring that the quality of your material remains strong.
You’ll be far more likely to write meaningful, concise sentences if you’re not exhausted, rather than desperately typing a string of words to achieve your word count.
Consider using the Pomodoro Technique if you’re having difficulties incorporating lengthier breaks into your schedule or if you’re working on a tight deadline.
This popular approach includes concentration for a 25-minute period of time before taking a five-minute break. It’s particularly useful if you have a lot of distractions in your office, such as kids who need constant attention.
3. Accept That Your First Draft Will be a Disaster
Perfectionism is a problem for many writers. It’s a major cause of stress in both the writing and editing professions. It’s a recipe for disaster to constantly question the quality of your work and attempt to make every line flawless (especially while writing your first draft). It’s a time-consuming practice that will speed the reaching of your deadlines.
Accept that initial drafts are about making mistakes. Moreover, it’s critical to give yourself permission to create a poor first draft for the sake of your writing process’s health.
Great writing isn’t a magical process that happens all at once when you’re fueled by caffeine. Rather, it is a multi-step procedure that needs several revisions.
The initial draft isn’t the final product. It’s the first step. Within the context of your complete work, it’s where you’ll be able to see what works, what doesn’t, and what’s clear, and what’s confusing.
It’s a good sign when you look back on your first draft and realize how bad it was. It demonstrates that you’re working on your present writing assignment while also improving your long-term writing abilities.
4. Make an Investment in a Skilled Editor (Use Them as a Test Audience)
Anyone who writes understands the importance of having a good editor. Having an outsider’s opinion on your work, whether it’s a friend, a professional, or even your mother, is priceless.
However, if your family and friends are tired of reading your draughts, hiring a professional is usually the best way to get an unbiased assessment or keep the peace.
Aside from it has many other perks, editing is a great way to put your work to the test. It’s an opportunity to assess what your reader connects with and what could be confusing.
This is especially beneficial if your reader doesn’t have as much information about a non-fiction topic as you do, or if you’re introducing them to a fictitious world they’ve never heard of.
Investing in a professional editor might make you feel less stressed. Writing is a solitary activity, so bringing someone else into the process may be a nice relief. With an editor, for example, it’s not just you who is concerned about misplaced commas or mistakes.
You now have the assistance of a trustworthy professional who can help you discover errors, correct confusing text, improve your tone, and get your work ready for publication.
5. Learn How to Say Goodbye
It might be tough to let go after spending so much time revising your work. Perhaps you know an academic who has been working on their manifesto for more than a decade or a friend who is always writing a script. Or maybe you belong to the quiet majority who constantly rewrites their emails.
The act of revising is an important element of the writing process. It enables the generation of clear, concise writing and the improvement of writing skills.
However, like with many wonderful things, having too much of it may be problematic. You could theoretically keep editing your work forever. If you do, though, you are effectively limiting the impact your words may have on the world.
Learn to believe in yourself and your abilities. While editing is necessary, don’t use it as an excuse to never share your work with others.
Enjoy writing that is less stressful, clearer, and more concise.
With that, we’ve come to the conclusion of this article. Reduce stress while increasing the clarity and concision of your writing with these five healthy writing habits.
Any change requires time and patience to adopt, but these habits are well worth the time and effort. You should be pleased not just with your writing, but also with the time you commit to it if you use these tips.