Doing This Stopped Me From Being A Consistent Writer
It might be happening to you too.
I had a hard time writing consistently. It started when I took a break from writing because of some other work.
It’s been a few days since I realized that my writing game had leveled down. It felt like I was not able to write like before.
So, I sat down to think about it. Why am I having a difficult time writing? What stopped me from writing every day like before? I asked myself these questions. Luckily, I found the answer.
Now, I am back on track. I write every day, and I am happy with it.
What went wrong?
Ever since I started free-writing, I have been consistent. I didn’t have to think much. I just wrote what I wanted.
There was no planning, no list of topics, no waiting for inspiration, nothing.
Of course, I edited my writing later to make it readable. Also, I did not necessarily publish everything I wrote.
After my “break” from writing, it was hard to get back to my previous writing habit. There was no flow. I even experienced writer’s block; I got stuck in the middle of writing something.
So, here’s what had happened: I was searching for writing inspiration.
I was looking for writing ideas. My mindset had changed from “I write whatever I want” to “What should I write about?”
“Action isn’t just the effect of motivation; it’s also the cause of it.”
This statement is a quote from Mark Manson’s book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. Mark calls it ‘the Do-something Principle.’
I remembered reading and writing about the do-something principle when I struggled with writing. I understood that my problem was waiting for inspiration to write.
I was searching for ideas. And, I skipped writing when I didn’t have anything to write about.
It is the biggest mistake you will make if you want to become a consistent writer.
As Mark explains in the do-something principle, sometimes, action leads to motivation. We usually think that it’s the other way around.
Plan ahead. But don’t stop writing if you have no plans.
It is a good idea to plan your topics. That way, you will always have something to write.
Successful writers often suggest listing at least 10 ideas every day.
But what if you did not plan your stories? What if you want to write but don’t know what to write about?
Write about not having anything to write. It’s weird, but at least you have something to write about.
You always have something to write.
Here are a few examples of what you can write about when you don’t have anything to write:
- Your thoughts
- Your feelings
- What happened to you yesterday (or this morning, or an hour ago)
- Something you read (or watched) online
- Your relationship with your friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, spouse, kids
You can write about these things anytime.
Practice free-writing when you have nothing to write. Use applications like Cold Turkey Writer that block everything on your desktop and allow you to focus on writing.
Surprisingly, when I start typing random things, it brings out many other things. And, by the time I think I have reached the word limit, I will have a story ready.
Writing consistency is about taking action. All you have to do is write and write some more.
The best way to become a better writer and build a consistent writing habit is by writing more. Don’t wait for inspiration, don’t wait for the right time, just write.