10 Surefire Ways to Make Writing a Habit
When you want to become better at something, it helps to establish some type of habit or routine. Creating new habits and routines of any kind takes time and effort. There are specific ways to start getting into the habit of writing regularly.
These are some of the ways you can learn how to write more frequently and get better at writing as well.
1. Decide to write.
A big first step in the right direction is deciding to write. If you do not make that decision, you may never write. You need to decide that you want to become a better writer. You need to be willing to take the necessary steps for yourself so you can follow through and create that habit. It can also help to come up with reasons that you want to become a better or more regular writer.
2. Believe it can be done.
Something that holds people back from writing is a lack of confidence. Maybe you think that you cannot do something that you are not good at or do not have experience with. In reality, mindset plays a big role. I won a Write! Canada Novice contest and attended the Write! Canada conference too. Sometimes things like this can be the encouragement one needs to know they can write. A little boost of encouragement from a contest, conference, or another event can be the boost to move forward and create that habit.
3. Set a specific time to write.
Part of creating a habit is making sure it is done regularly, and you can start by setting aside a specific time each day to write. This may mean waking up an hour earlier or going to bed an hour later. This might mean less time watching TV. Having a set time allows you to turn those goals into habits and make sure it happens each day too. That dedicated time should not be put aside for anything else. It can be a good idea to test out different times that work best to find the most convenient and efficient time of the day for you.
4. Find a place to write.
Having a specific place to focus on writing can help you stay focused. Eventually, the brain recognizes that spot as the place to write. The perfect place to write varies by person. It should be a relaxing space with everything you, as a writer, need to be successful. It should be reserved solely for writing as a way to limit distractions. The space should have writing materials, such as a computer or paper. Aside from that, inspirational quotes, goals, or checklists might be helpful to have in your writing space. If you have limited options, at least go to the same place to write.
5. Seek accountability.
Having accountability is key to success. People with accountability partners or groups, like InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship, generally meet more of their goals. There are accountability groups online and friends make great accountability partners too. Accountability will help you make more of a commitment to your goals. You will also be more likely to stick to your goals long-term. This is a great way to stick to the habit of writing.
6. Turn off social media.
Eliminating distractions is essential. You may struggle to stay on track if you check social media or get a social media notification. Checking social media for five minutes can quickly turn into a 20-minute break. Logging out of social media or using an app to limit daily social media use can help writing time to be very focused and thus more productive.
7. Turn off electronics.
Electronics, like social media, are a common distraction. In the digital age, it can be hard to escape from electronic distractions because many people are using their computers to write. Any electronics not being used for writing should be put away. Then, your focus can be entirely on writing. It is important that notifications and any sounds are turned off too.
8. Treat writing time as an appointment.
When you set your own schedule or work times, it can be easy to get off track. This is because it is typically easier to let yourself down rather than letting others down. Think about it. You probably do not often cancel doctor’s appointments, coffee dates, meetings, and other things on your schedule if you can help it. You feel that you need a reason to cancel on someone else. Then, if you need to, you cancel on yourself. You probably do not give it a second thought. By treating writing time as an appointment you would not cancel, you are more likely to stick to it. Plus, then writing can be done every day at the same time.
9. Set a weekly writing goal.
Setting weekly goals is a great way to work towards achieving greater goals over time. Some people set a goal to write 10,000 words per week. Others may aim to write a chapter of their book each week. Another way to approach goals is to write for a set amount of time each week. It is okay to change goals. Sometimes you may try to achieve goals after setting them and realize they are far too lofty. Modifications may need to be made. Welcome the changes instead of feeling guilty. It is important to find a balance between keeping the set goals and being willing to modify them if they end up being too ambitious.
10. Celebrate small successes.
Not every milestone met needs to be an ambitious one, like completing a book manuscript. You need to celebrate small successes, especially when you are working on establishing the habit of writing. Maybe you want to celebrate writing every day for a whole week. This is a small step in the right direction, and it should not go unnoticed. As you reach goals, even those insignificant goals, they should be celebrated. Celebrations can be small. Go for a walk with a friend. Purchase a new writing notebook or pen. Do something you enjoy! It’s important to recognize your successes, no matter how big or small they are in the grand scheme of things.
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