Writing regularly can be hard, especially with other life responsibilities. I’m a wife, mom and active member of my community among other roles, like I am sure you are many things as well. So, I don’t have to tell you that finding time to write is difficult but necessary. Instead, I’d like to share a little more about making writing a habit. Like brushing our teeth, we do it daily and many times feel incomplete when we’ve skipped that step for the day. Likewise, as writers, we should feel a bit uncomfortable on the days that go by when we haven’t written a word. Here are a few tips to help develop the habit of writing:
1. Do it daily at the same time. Setting an alarm is helpful. Writing at the same time each day ensures that writing has a place in your life. Maybe it’s when you first wake up or the last thing at night. Choose a time that works and write something!
2. Keep a log. A simple check or dot on the calendar will do. Make a notation of the completion of your writing each day. Kn
3. Write the goal down. Somewhere you will see it as a reminder works best. Writing down the goal of writing every day and placing it somewhere you’ll see it (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, etc.). will allow you to face your goal multiple times in a day and internalize it. Your internalization will then lead to actualization.
4. Set a specific goal. Think about what you want to accomplish through writing each day. Make it a specific goal. Some examples include:
a. Writing nonstop and uninterrupted for a designated amount of time each day (increasing the increments over time, particularly if you’re experiencing difficulty staying focused).
b. Competing a certain amount of information (i.e. one paragraph, one page, an entire chapter)
c. Writing every day for a specific amount of days.
5. Reward yourself. As you reach milestones, reward yourself. Take the time to acknowledge your accomplishment. I do not recommend celebrating consistency by taking a day off from writing, especially if consistency has been the enemy of your writing habit.
6. Be accountable. Find an accountability partner to share your goals with. Allow them to hold you responsible for incomplete progress and to celebrate your advancement.
7. Choose your way. Write in a way that is most effective for you. Some people write in bed, others choose outdoor destinations. Some people draft in longhand while others approach their efforts on a computer. Find that way of writing that works for you and do it!
As you develop the habit of writing, remember your way may be different from other ways, and that is okay. If it works, write it out. If it doesn’t, write anyway.