One of my resolutions for 2017 was to establish a daily writing habit. For the first two weeks, I thrived. Every day, I made sure that I wrote at least 300 words. Then, life got in the way. Up until three weeks ago, my daily writing habit was non-existent. Now, that’s its back, and I’m once again seeing an improvement in my writing, I wanted to share with you the steps that worked for me.
· Write It Down: If you want to form the habit, then you must be committed. Write your goal down and stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day. Be specific: When are you going to write? For how long are you going to write? What will you write? How many words will you write? Use the above questions to guide your goal but be flexible. For example, I find that when I force myself to write about a specific thing, my WIP for example, if I come across a day where I’m just not feeling it, then nothing will get written. I also find that I do my best writing in the morning, before work. So, my writing goal that I’ve posted on my bathroom mirror reads: “I, Jade Young, WILL write a minimum of 300 words, on any topic of my choosing, every morning.
· Hold Yourself Accountable: Chances are, if you’re the only person who knows about your writing goal, it isn’t going to be a big deal if you miss a day, or two, or ten. But if you tell your family, your friends, your co-workers, your Twitter feed, or your blog you’ll be motivated to stay on track, and they’ll be there to hold you accountable if you don’t.
· Log It: This could be as simple as putting a check, or a star, on your calendar every day that you sit down to write. Or, if you have a blog, you could log each entry there. Another idea, and something I plan to start today, is to start a write chain which you can do here. I love this idea, because once you miss a day, or fail to reach your target, your Write Chain breaks and you start all over again. Also, breaking my chain would cause me an insane amount of stress (Hello Type A!), so it’s the perfect outlet, not only to help me log my writing, but also to help me be accountable.
· Establish a Pre-writing Routine: Like I mentioned earlier, I tend to do my best writing in the morning, before I leave for work. But I can’t just jump into it. I usually take about an hour in the morning to get ready, eat, browse the internet, catch up on social media, and meditate, before I open my laptop and start to write. Haha, yes this means I usually wake up around 5:30 in the morning, but I'm a morning person, so that's okay. The point is, do whatever helps put you in a relaxed frame of mind. Drink some tea, coffee, or wine, go for a walk, walk your pets, or sit on the porch and observe nature.
· Be Balanced: So, you followed all these steps perfectly, but you still screwed up and missed a day. It’s ok. Don’t beat yourself up. Figure out what happened and find a solution so it doesn’t happen again. The important thing is that you keep going.
Do you already have a daily writing habit? If so, what do you do? Did you read this entire blog post and still feel like a daily writing habit isn't for you? If so, why not? Leave me a comment down below and let's get a conversation going.