Making Writing a Habit

One concern I hear a lot is that people want to write, but they can’t find the time. Life is busy and there’s an endless supply of distractions to keep us away from our beloved craft. How can you carve out time to write and make it an ingrained habit?

  1. Figure out what time of day works best for you – It’s not uncommon to have a time of day that works better for you whether because that’s all the time you have available or because that’s when your creative juices are flowing the best.
  2. Schedule blocks of time to write – Pencil it in. Mark it in your Google calendar. Write it on a note and pin it to your mirror.
  3. Get rid of distractions – Once you have a time, make the best use of that time. Shut off Twitter and Facebook. Put your phone on silent. Let everyone in the house know that you’re not to be interrupted. Turn on whatever music or background noise that works for you and get to working.
  4. Set goals – Goals help us feel like we’ve made progress and can lessen the feeling of being adrift at sea in our work. Feel free to vary your goals. Maybe a page or 500 words on a harder day, 1000 on a day you’re on a role. Even writing just a sentence can be a goal some days.
  5. Give yourself a break – Try to stick to your schedule, but don’t feel bad if you miss one day or a string of days. Sometimes you’ll just need a break. Just get back to your schedule as soon as possible.
  6. Take advantage of extra time to write – Take a few extra days off of work to catch up on writing and editing if you get the chance. Get up early or stay up late if that works for you. Some of my best writing has been done at 4am when a good idea struck.
  7. Work on something else – Struggling with your current WIP? Sometimes temporarily working on something different can get the creative juices flowing and jump start the desire to write again.
  8. Take time to read – This sounds counter-intuitive, but reading can help replenish creative energy and serve as a much needed break.
  9. Reward yourself – Writing is hard work and even when you love it, there are going to be days when it’s exhausting and frustrating. When you’re really struggling reward yourself with a good book, a nice dinner, or whatever works for you.

Writing doesn’t always come easy, but the results are well worth it. Find the time and circumstances that work for you and stick with it.

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