Helen Bradford running by the sea

Get into good writing habits

Do you want good writing technique to come naturally?

Here’s what I’ve learnt about creating good habits, from a change I’ve made to what I eat. I think the same principles apply to making good writing a habit.

Some of you may know I’m an amateur triathlete; swimming, cycling and running most days is very important to me. Last year I decided to try a plant-based or vegan diet. One of the benefits of this diet is purported to be quicker recovery from injury. Six days ago I sprained my ankle and within an hour it was swollen and bruised. Three years earlier, a similar sprain took six weeks to heal, yet today I was back on our wonderful Wellington trails and running pain-free.

Looking back over the last twelve months of being vegan, there are five things I think have helped me make plant-based eating a habit:

  • practicing it every day
  • making it easy
  • making it enjoyable
  • noticing the differences
  • celebrating the benefits.

The same principles apply to writing. If you use good writing techniques when you have something important to write, your document is more likely to be clear, accurate, consistent and concise. However, you need to use those techniques every time you write for the skills to become habits. These days it’s easy to find advice about how to write well: start by looking at my other posts. There are lots of free resources on the internet to help you practice, including quizzes, checklists and podcasts that make learning more fun.

If you practice good writing techniques, I guarantee that people will notice the difference. They may comment on how easily they can understand a document you’ve written or how few edits they’ve needed to make.

I may never know if I can attribute my quick recovery from a sprained ankle to my vegan diet. But I do know that seeing results from a behaviour change is a great way to reinforce that behaviour and make it a habit.