Writers’ Winning Ways

Winning Writing Habits
Although neither sacrosanct nor replete the list below reveals some of the winning habits of writers and creatives across the world.

1. Enjoy and celebrate your creative journey—the mistakes too. Goethe once said: “By seeking and blundering we learn.” Sound advice indeed.

2. Read voraciously. Stephen King reminds us that if we don’t have time to read, we don’t have time to write. Watch plenty of good movies too. If novels and short stories teach us about the inner journey, as well as character complexity and depth, movies teach us about pace, the outer journey and economy.

3. Join a writer’s group for networking, information, feedback and moral support.

4. Know your industry. Read dedicated magazines, subscribe to relevant blogs and websites. Try to learn something new about your craft each day.

5. Dispel negativity from your writing life, despite the growing number of rejection slips. Dean Koontz garnered 75 such slips before his first sale. Each book or screenplay represents enormous effort, dedication and faith. Negativity eats away at your resolve, self-belief and energy. It has no place in your process.

6. Write regularly—every day if you can. Not each session has to produce inspired or superlative work. The point here is to support the writing habit and it will support you.

7. Don’t second-guess, or edit your work while writing. Let the material pour out of you. Correcting and polishing are for the editing stage.

8. Be persistent and committed. The great concert pianist Vladimir Horowitz once said: “Never give up, never give up, never give up.” You shouldn’t either.

9. Believe in yourself and in your abilities. If you don’t, why should anyone else?

10. Learn to take criticism. Feedback, fair or foul, is requisite and inevitable. Paz Octavio, the Mexican poet and writer said: “What distinguishes modern art from the art of other ages is criticism.”


Becoming a successful writer often involves traveling down a long and difficult road—it is not for the faint-hearted. Fostering healthy habits that develop and sustain stamina ought to make your goals easier to achieve.

Published by

Stavros Halvatzis

I'm a writer, teacher, and story consultant.

7 thoughts on “Writers’ Winning Ways”

  1. Hi. Thanks again for your ongoing comments and questions. I’ve already done a preliminary fly-through of your site and liked it. I’ll also take a look at some suggestions for review gathering incentives soon.

  2. Hi Stavros,

    Thank you so much for replying and for your kind congratulations. And, yes, it is wonderful being a writer. My collaborator’s name is Michael Silversher and we have learned much about the writing process through trial and error as we delved into the Judah and Tamar story. It has not been an easy process, but as we near publication of the first book in the trilogy, we feel that we have learned a lot and still have much more to learn!

    I would be interested in what you think about the website and the resources we have there. I would also love to hear your thoughts about how you find people to review your books. Maybe you have a post to that end?

    Again, many thanks,

  3. Stavros,

    My writing collaborator and myself continue to glean valuable information from your posts and observations. Thank you for doing what you do!

    Right now we are finishing up our edit of the first book in our Judah and Tamar trilogy, finding book agents to contact and also getting ready to self-publish. We figure that if we get through this process without throwing things at one another, we will have a lot of fun during the interviews and digital book signings that will follow!

    Many thanks,
    Joy Sikorski

    P.S. I don’t want to bog down your comments area, but if you want to take a look at a project that definitely benefitted from your posts (especially the ones about story structure) you can see it here. And please consider this comment a testimonial, if you would like to use it as such. Again thanks!

    1. Hi Joy (and collaborator). I’m so glad you’re still finding my posts helpful. And congratulations on nearing the completion of your first book in the trilogy. It’s wonderful being a writer, isn’t it? Best of luck with the book, and with all future ones! (Will definitely take a look at your project!).

      1. Stavros,

        I never saw your last answer in this thread until day. Not sure how that happened, but am glad to be able to thank you again for your astute insights about writing, how helpful they have continued to be for our Judah and Tamar Trilogy, and how kind you have been regarding that project.

        Thanks again,

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