Our Most Effective Writing Habits

WD Writing Habits

The editors on the Writer’s Digest staff are often asked what their favorite habits are for overcoming writer’s block and finding inspiration. Following are the ones they’ve found to be the most effective:

  • “When I have trouble focusing, I listen to white noise — like the whir of a fan. It helps me calm myself and step away from “busy work,” be that cleaning the house or talking on Twitter. White noise settles me, and I can get more good writing done when I’m settled.”
    Chuck Sambuchino, Editor
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  • “When I’m stuck, I always read over what I wrote the day before. It jogs my memory and gets me excited about the scene I’m about to write. Researching is also really good for writer’s block. I’ll learn something small but fascinating and think, ‘I have to find a way to put that  into the story.’ And then I do.”
    Rachel Randall, Managing Editor
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  • “What inspires me to write the most is to read the writing of new voices. Also, getting out into the world and finding new experiences and listening to stories from other folks.”
    Robert Brewer, Senior Editor
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  • “My writing habit is being virtually in complete silence, with (sometimes) only instrumental jazz playing softly in the background. Oftentimes, though, I’ll have the TV on and my laptop Internet open but both of them are on mute. Visual stuff doesn’t bother me, but sound is too distracting when I’m trying to write seriously — especially when I’m dealing with writer’s block. Weird, but it works for me!”
    Tiffany Luckey, Associate Editor
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  • “I find if I write in one spot for too long, I get into bad habits and lose my drive. Even just moving from my desk in my bedroom to the kitchen table can kick things back into gear, and getting out of the house in a new space with the right balance of privacy and low/moderate white noise can sometimes get me through a lull. Change is good.” 
    James Duncan, Editor
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  • “Whenever I’m in a writing rut, I’ve found the cure tends to be reading. The more I read by other writers whom I admire and respect, the more inspired I get. And if that doesn’t work, try eavesdropping on others’ conversations at the local coffee shop. Not even your imagination can prepare you for some of the things people say.”
    Brian Klems, Online Editor
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Let us know what works for you! Share your own writing habits in the comments below.