How to Develop a Writing Habit
If there is one thing writing gives, it is the ability to express oneself fully, share an idea, teach, create books, videos, courses etc.
Personally writing has been my preferred method to share my ideas, create books that serve as healing tools in people’s life and above the way I use to answer difficult questions about myself.
Writing is important and for most writers, they cannot imagine their life without writing.
But just knowing the benefits of writing is not enough developing a habit that enables habit this is a usually for most writers a struggle, I have struggled with and here I believe are some tips I have used to create this habit.
By the way, there is an excellent book by James Clear on Atomic Habit get it from Amazon Here (I would be reading and posting the book review soon so watch out for it ).
The question then is – How does one develop a writing habit?
Here are some basic things about developing any habit a desire and a commitment to start.
Habit does not jump on people they are created and you have to decide you want to start it whether it is to read more, study more, write daily – you need to make up your mind to start but not just start you need to tell yourself when you will start.
Also, for any habit to become a part of your everyday life you need to do it consistently for a while, the same things go for writing – for you to have a writing habit you must write consistently.
But where do you start? – I will share some insights I believe can help in this regards
Understand why you want to develop one
I cannot stress the power of knowing your why in any endeavour, be it a habit or a goal. Once you can connect with your why the rest is usually less of a struggle. Your why is your inner motivator it’s what will keep you going when you feel discouraged and don’t want to continue anymore. Define your WHY – why do you want to have a writing habit – only you can answer this.
Be realistic with your reality
if there is another area people struggle with – it is being realistic with their reality. An example would be you saying you want to write for 3 hours every day when you wake up quite early to get to work and come back home quite late – you are already planning to fail before you even start so how do you solve this.
Realistically look at your schedule – if you are feeling clueless about what your schedule looks like try documenting everything you do for a week by a stretch of an hour meaning every hour you write down what you did that hour – you will begin to see some pattern, habit and things you do without thinking about it. From this pattern ask yourself what can I do better, more quickly or even delegate to someone else.
The fact is we cant create a new set of time we can only manage what we have, meaning there won’t be 25 hours tomorrow because you want to write so if your 24 hours is already filled up with a patterned schedule ask yourself what has to go for me to write?
That is why connecting with your why is important because it would be a simple question of what can I give up for the value I see in my writing and then you begin to see areas where you can let go.
Also, I would like to note that some individuals feel more creative at certain times of the day so do consider this when looking at the time you can free up for your writing.
Start small, not big
Now that you have set the time to write. Start small not big – why? like every new thing you want to give your mind and body the time.
It needs to get used to the habit. starting small doesn’t mean you never increase the time allocated it just means you get to tick that day off as a successful writing day even if you only wrote one word in the time allotted. so start for a few minutes probably 10 minutes and then add to it after a while till you can write for hours without stopping.
It is this simple write don’t edit (there is a time for this), don’t think too much about what you are writing just write.
You don’t have to feel creative at that moment just start writing. just write whatever comes to mind – this is also usually called stream of consciousness writing that is writing anything that comes to your mind down on paper the more you do it the easier it gets.
Create a Book project
This isn’t compulsory, you can write for your blog, write for an article but I always believe we all have a story so why not tell it and what better way than in a book. so if you are up to it create a book project you would desire to complete and write it with that in mind.
The reason for this is you always want to have direction on what your writing would result into. what the finished product could be, the possibility of this finished product is also a driving motivator to sit down and write when you are bored and the last thing you want to do is write.You remember your finish product, you remember your why and then you write with that in focus.
Celebrate small wins
We all like when we have accomplished something marvellous – finished a book, a guest blog with our article, won a continuous writing job – but we tend to forget the little thing that accumulated to give us this big-time goal we achieve that might look like an overnight success.
Every day you show up to write give your self a clap, celebrate yourself – yes no one will see you but you know that by showing up you are becoming a better person than you previously were.
In conclusion, I usually say writing is not the easiest of thing to do because you stare at a blank page every day with it telling you to fill it up with your ideas and thoughts while it is not easy it is worth it.
The things you write can become a book, it can become a blog, it can be converted into a video, it can be transcribed to audio, but as a favourite mentor of mine usually say – it’s all starts with writing.