The Writing Habit

David Huddle

Facing the blank page of the empty computer screen requires an unswerving belief in possibility, a steadfast assurance that something can and will come out of nothing. In The Writing Habit, David Huddle demystifies the writing task and shows that what may seem like alchemy is in reality a habit: the work itself, not magic, unlocks the writer’s potential. “A real writing life is not something you do merely for a day or a month or a year,” Huddle asserts. “For a writer, the one truly valuable possession is the ongoing work–the writing habit, which may take some getting used to, but which soon becomes so natural as to be almost inevitable.” Drawing from his own experience as a teacher and writer of poetry, fiction, and essays, Huddle explores the questions all writers–from novice to professional–face: Why write in the first place? How can writers fashion their lives to accommodate that all-important habit? What are some ways to deal with failure? What roles do memory, reality, and inspiration play in the creative process? How can prose best be crafted, characters brought alive, universal truths revealed from the bits and pieces of everyday life?

Paper: $22.95
ISBN-13: 9780874516685
Pages: 219 | Size: 6 in. x 9 in.
Date Published: January 1, 1994


  • Huddle has things to teach. As an accomplished short-story writer, he can say something about sentences and paragraphs, but his lasting contribution lies in the regimen he recommends. In such admonitions grounded in experience as that the ‘beginning writer must learn at least some disrespect for the intellect, just enough disrespect to keep his mind from spoiling his material.


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