The Bookish Fox

5 Ways to Develop a Writing Habit

You know you need to develop a habit. No, not the kind that is painfully depicted in Requiem for a Dream.  A writing habit. Novels, blog posts, books, and courses are not written without one. Sure, you could try writing inconsistently, but you will get inconsistent results. If you actually want to see your name in print (or on the web), you need to be writing every day. Or at least really regularly (at least five days a week).

Sounds intimidating? I have five ways to make developing a writing habit as easy as binge-watching Gilmore Girls. 

1. Get to Know Yourself

I know what you are thinking: “I already know myself. I have lived with myself my whole life.” (Or is that just me? I never understood the concept of going to find oneself unless it is in Train’s “Drops of Jupiter.” Because it is set in space. Things make more sense there.) 

No, you are not going to leave your family to do this or even need to travel to India. You just have to keep track of your time and energy levels. When do you feel most energized? How are you wasting time throughout the day? Actually write these things down. Pretend you are Harriet the Spy observing your own life.

After you have written down everything, analyze it. If you write best in the mornings, write then. Spend two hours watching TV every day? Use that time to write a blog post or a chapter in your novel instead. 

2. Write at the Same Time and Place

I have said it before, but it bears repeating: Write in the same place and at the same time. Every day. We only have so much capacity/willpower for decision-making. If you already have a time and place planned, you won’t have to think about it. You will just do it. 

3. Set a Daily Word Goal

Nothing is quite as motivating as actually having a goal. If you don’t feel like you are working toward something tangible, you will be less motivated to do the work. If you know you have to write 2,000 words a day to get your novel done in a month, then you will be more likely to write, so you can play the Chariots of Fire theme song as you type “The End.” 

4. Raise the Stakes

I have talked about rewarding yourself, but it also helps to actually have a “punishment” hanging over your head. There was an episode of Nathan for You where people had to put embarrassing photos in an envelope. If they failed to complete the challenge, the photos would get sent to important people (like their boss). Amazingly, only one person didn’t finish the challenge! Use a similar principle for your writing. It doesn’t have to be as extreme as an embarrassing photo; it could be sending money to a charity you hate. Sites like stickK [sic] can help you implement this principle for your writing.

5. Be Accountable

Easiest way to make sure you keep to your writing habit? Be accountable to someone. There are multiple ways to do this. You could announce your goals on Twitter, or you could ask your best friend to keep you accountable. Even better? Meet another writer at a cafe or another location to write regularly. 

Struggling with implementing these ideas? Want a writing buddy? Want to finally develop a positive habit that will last for life? My special writing habit package is only available for a few more days, and the spots are filling up fast. Check it out here.

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