Bad Author Habits to Avoid
Habits are things we do on a regular basis that our brain learns to do in a certain way so that it can process them faster. When you do something over and over again, it becomes a habit. This is why many of us remember to brush our teeth every morning or can’t stop clicking our fingers once we start. When we do the same thing over and over and make it a habit, a neural pathway is formed in our brains. This habit gets rid of mental friction, making it easier to do the action again and again until we can do it without thinking.
There is no right or wrong way to do these things. Both are made in the same way by our subconscious brain, which doesn’t know the difference between them. We decide whether a habit is good or bad based on how we see the world and what it does to us. You get in the habit of brushing your teeth, which makes you more popular and makes you look better by today’s standards. So, your conscious brain thinks it’s a good idea to brush your teeth. If, on the other hand, you bite your nails, people will judge you, and it will hurt. So, that one is bad in your conscious mind.
How can this knowledge help us as writers of “Book Publishing Company“? Well, if we know how habits form, we can change the process to make it work the way we want. Let’s say you want to get better at writing. To do this, all you have to do is find habits that you know are bad for you and get rid of them where they start: in your subconscious mind. Today, we’ll talk about a few things that successful authors say make it harder to be successful. By doing this, you’ll learn why people think they’re bad and how to minimise them, which will help you build a successful author business.
Pessimism is the first “bad” habit on our list. Pessimism can be a good thing if it’s used in the right way. In the past, pessimists lived longer because they thought that every rustling branch was a predator and kept an eye out for them. As a modern author, though, it’s not a good habit to have. Pessimism only makes people afraid of the unknown when there is no real danger. It makes you feel like you don’t know enough to write a book and that your plan is likely to fail. A 2022 article in Inc. said that pessimism makes the average person “make decisions with short-term goals in mind.” It gives up the possibility of happiness in the long run for “immediate certainty.”
You can, however, do the process backwards to get a different result. For example, we know that we can get rid of a bad habit by avoiding the thing that makes it happen, or we can make a good habit stronger by doing it more to create a new neural pathway. So, how do you change from being negative to being positive? Practice When you start to think negatively, stop yourself and think of something good instead. Say positive things every day. Think well of yourself. If everyone you know is negative, you might want to change your circle of friends. If you try all of these things, it will get easier over time to think positively enough about your writing services to make it a habit.
When you publish a book, you have to keep an eye on a lot of different things. When you add up all the different parts of a full life, it’s easy to see why a lot of us feel overwhelmed. But, if you’re always switching between tasks without taking a break, the problem could be all your fault. Maybe you have a habit that makes you more likely to feel overwhelmed. Do you, for example, watch a lot of educational videos on YouTube and always have several tabs open on your phone, never giving yourself a moment of peace? Or do you let family and friends ask you for favours every day and throw you off track? Both habits give you more work to do, which fills up your mind.
You can stop this bad habit, though, if you stop the flow. Take the way people use YouTube, as an example. If that’s you, you’re probably learning just in case you need the information. But if you stop opening new tabs, you can start looking for specific information right when you need it. This new habit will free up time you would have spent learning things you don’t need to know and shorten your own list of things to do. And you can deal with the habit of doing favours in the same way. Setting limits with friends and family will feel awkward at first, but it’s healthy and will get easier the more you do it. Together, doing these things on a regular basis will help you close open loops in your mind and give you more time to work on your author business.
Using screens too much
In 2018, Medical News Today published an article that said only 21% of adults regularly met the guidelines for physical activity. Time reported this year that people in their early twenties in the United States use their phones “an average of 28.5 hours a week.” Several studies have found a link between using digital devices and getting sicker. So, it’s official: we’re addicted to screens, which is bad for our health in many ways, such as:
- Back problems
- Sleep trouble
- Problems with the mind
- Injury from repeated strain
As modern writers, we’re especially prone to this. During the average workday, we spend a lot of time sitting down, and because of devices, we tend to make work last longer than it needs to.
The good news is that this habit and its effects can be undone by making a few simple changes to how you live. Try something like the Pomodoro technique. Work in 30-minute cycles, where you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5-minute break. You can make it a habit to work out during those breaks, which will help your posture and general fitness. If you have trouble leaving work early so you can sleep better, try giving yourself a “daily highlight” each morning. This is a high-priority task that, once done, gives you a reason to take the rest of the day off. When you use all of these strategies together, they will help you stop being constantly connected to your devices and improve your health, mood, and productivity.
Acting over and over
How often do you check your emails and book sales dashboards each day? Many authors who are struggling constantly look at both. It’s easy to see why. The urge to obsess is strong, especially when it turns into a habit. This kind of behaviour is hard to stop because it makes you feel good when you do things right. Even though it gives you good results, if you let it get in the way, it doesn’t give you enough of them. In fact, obsessive behaviour can hurt your results because it makes you doubt everyone else’s skills, work inefficiently, and sometimes burn yourself out by making you want to control everything.
Obsession distorts the truth and makes you think that what you’re doing is okay. So, if you want to change the way you think, ask yourself:
“Does my behaviour look like that of people who do well?”
“Am I making excuses?”
“Am I the right person to do these things?”
Be honest, because many authors who make a lot of money only do two things: they write a lot and they hire freelancers to do everything else. If you don’t work that way, you might want to think again. Continue looking at dashboards. Try going without the internet sometimes, and ask someone to let you know if your ads do anything strange. Checking the work of every one three times? Think about how important a mistake is. Most of them can be fixed, and let your helpers do it helps you tighten up your process rules. But the first step is to learn how to let go.
The second law of thermodynamics says that entropy, or disorder, will grow if nothing is done to stop it. It works just as well in business as it does in physics. For example, let’s say you do one thing at a time. To do so, you have to put one thing aside, which makes the chaos pile up. A lot of authors, unfortunately, always let entropy ruin their work. They spend too much time writing and not enough time making changes to their ads, or they spend too much time making changes to their ads and not enough time finishing their books. By the time they get back to the tasks they put off, their ideas have gone bad and they have to waste time re-capping or their ads have been spent way too much. Because they don’t have balance, they accidentally let sloppiness grow, which keeps them from reaching their full potential.
Make it a habit to look over your business once a week. This will help you fight the urge to work sloppily. What parts are falling apart? Should you put out a new book? Have you updated your list? Fix up your site? Keep your books? List everything in one document, with the most important things first. Take care of any small tasks that can be done in less than five minutes, and then move on to bigger ones. Try to give equal time to different parts of your business. Even this system will fall apart if it isn’t taken care of. But if you look over your list every weekend and make changes, you can always keep things in balance. It’s not easy to get out of the habit of being disorganised, but if you keep trying and failing, you’ll find a way to do it. Many people think that your identity shapes your habits, but the opposite is true. If you change your habits, you can change both how others see you and how you see yourself. Even if you don’t want to change your habits, knowing that you can is a powerful thing. Your habits shape both who you are and what happens in the outside world. So, you know where to start if you want to change them.