Building a Writing Habit
I like to set aside an hour or two every day for reading and writing. Throughout the winter months, things were going great. I scheduled time to research and write blog posts, I participated in several book clubs, and I was able to maintain a digital journal. But in early March, I moved 1,000 miles away and took on new work and established new routines — and completely abandoned my good habits.
I think all writers struggle with this at some point. Even when you feel like you’re bursting with things to say, it can be hard to find the grit and determination to sit down and write on a regular basis.
If you’re in the same boat, I encourage you to check out the articles below. They inspired me to get back in the saddle, and I hope they will do the same for you.
How does a daily writing habit make a difference? “Writing clarifies your thinking.” The article lists several other reasons, but that one that strongly resonated with me. When I am overwhelmed by my own thoughts, writing is the one thing that helps me find solid ground again.
Every article I found listed “make writing a priority,” but this one lists it twice — and then follows up with the very important advice to write down why you want to write daily. Clarifying the motivation for a goal makes it much easier to stick with it on the tough days.
I do not have ADHD, but I think the advice in this article can be applied to anyone who has struggled to focus on a writing project. I like to do some of my weekly writing at the local library or coffee shop, so I especially love the idea of having a dedicated writing bag with all of my gear together and organized and ready to go. That would eliminate one of the biggest mental hurdles keeping me from getting out the door.
My favorite advice from this article is to create a writing plan. As I said before, I stopped writing because my life got unusually busy, but I also stopped writing because I didn’t like the topic themes I had chosen for March or April. I knew I didn’t like the themes when I created my annual blogging calendar in December, but I hoped the issue would solve itself. (Does that ever happen?) To avoid that problem in the future, I now have a monthly reminder to look at upcoming themes and change them if they no longer appeal to me. Knowing what I want to write (and when) eliminates another huge mental hurdle.
This is the quote I will be pinning to my computer every day for the next three months or however long it takes me to get back into my routine:
“Sit in the chair every day: even if you don’t write, plant yourself in the chair daily for a few hours and eventually the words will come.”
—Joshua Fields Millburn
Originally published at secondbreakfast.me.