Maya Spikes

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How “Bad” Habits Help Your Writing


What is your bad habit? We all have bad habits and some habits are worse than others.

Almost any hobby or activity, even the good ones, can be taken to an extreme or unhealthy level.

But sometimes a hobby or an area of interest unfairly gets a bad reputation. This includes interests in things such as TV, movies, video games and comic books.

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Our favorite pastime can seem like a waste of time to others.

There are two ways a bad habit can help you as a writer.

1. A bad habit can become the main topic that you write about.

Do you like playing video games? You could start a blog about it. The blog could discuss your favorite games, feature the latest news about new or popular games. You could also review different games.

2. A bad habit can help you connect with an audience.

Maybe you’re more into comic books. Thanks to a ton of superhero movies released during the last 15 years and Comic-Con, comic book fans can easily find a community, online and offline, to share (and often debate about) their interests.

It wasn’t always like this. Liking comic books used to be seen as just a hobby for nerds, and that used to be considered a bad thing. But comic books became part of mainstream pop culture as more comic book geeks wrote about their favorite characters through early versions of blogs, creating fan fiction, and forming groups and gatherings online and offline. This led to TV shows and movies cashing in on this interest.

An Example: My Bad Habit

My lifelong bad habit is television. This habit recently turned into online shows, since I canceled my cable TV service and now watch movies and shows on Netflix.

Sure, there are other ways to relax than just watching shows.

However, knowing about popular shows, movies, music and other common pop culture references often helps me find new ideas and describe those ideas while writing.

Pop culture references seem to help readers, too. That’s why blog posts with headlines such as “Lessons I Learned From (insert movie/TV show/celebrity name here)” are so popular.

After all, we’re relating to the characters we see on TV or in a movie on some level. Heroes and heroines represent what we feel is right in the world while villains reflect what we think is wrong with society.

As I’ve said in a previous blog post, “People love good stories…Being funny and telling great stories are powerful ways to connect with your readers.”

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should seek out or develop a bad or dangerous habit on purpose to possibly become a better writer.

My suggestion is this: Writers often talk about finding a niche, or focusing on a specific topic to write about. Don’t let other people’s unfair judgement stop you from writing about the things you already enjoy doing.

Writing about your hobbies can help you discover a fun niche and help you find another way to earn money as a writer.


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Did this post inspire and help you? Share your writing experiences and questions in the comments section below.



4 Replies

  1. That’s interesting. I guess I’m out of the loop of “pop culture” as I gave up watching TV a number of years ago. But I do a lot of reading and reviews. And I am passionate about people reading the Bible. That’s where my niche has come from.
    Good post,

    1. Thanks, Janis. I enjoy studying the Bible, too. Cutting the cord for cable TV has made me more productive. I’m glad you found a great niche!

  2. Great post-Maya! Enjoyed the read! Love point 1… how you say that bad habits can be the main topic to write about! 😀

    1. Thanks, Cori-Leigh! I’m glad you enjoyed this post.

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