How can I develop good writing habits?

Flannery O'Connor

Dear Literary Ladies,
With a full-time job and a thousand other things on my plate, my writing time is catch as catch can. Is it important to have regular writing times, so that writing becomes a habit?

I’m a full-time believer in writing habits, pedestrian as it all may sound. You may be able to do without them if you have genius but most of us only have talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical and mental habits or it dries up and blows away. I see it happen all the time.

Of course, you have to make your habits in this conform to what you can do. I write only about two hours every day because that’s all the energy I have, but I don’t let anything interfere with those two ours, at the same time and the same place. This doesn’t mean I produce much out of the two hours.

Sometimes I work for months and have to throw everything away, but I don’t think any of that was time wasted. Something goes on that makes it easier when it does come well. And the fact is if you don’t sit there every day, the day it would come well, you won’t be sitting there.

Flannery O’Connor (1925-1964), from a letter


Flannery O'Connor stamp


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