If you are a writer like me then I am absolutely sure of one thing. You love writing! You think a lot about writing and probably even dream about it. But often I hear people say that they don’t find enough time to write. So I thought of helping you guys out. In this article I have tried to cover the points that helped me and shall help you to establish your writing habit.
Please read the article till the end to squeeze out all the valuable stuff!
If you serious about habit building then it is important that you follow some kind of a schedule. Otherwise, you’ll never really develop it. Some people say it takes thirty days to build a habit. Some say it takes forty eight days. For me it took twenty one (21) days to build my writing habit.
I did the most important thing. I followed the same schedule every day.
Let’s get straight into it-
1. Create twenty minutes time slots- When I started writing, I was a full time teacher, my son was hardly two years old and I was living (still living) in a joint family. So there was a lot of work that needed my attention. BUT, as writing is my passion I had to give it my undivided attention as well. Here’s what I did.
I would wake up at 4:10 am every day and write for twenty minutes on my smartphone. Just twenty minutes of uninterrupted, peaceful writing. And by giving only twenty minutes every day I completed my first novel in six months.
There were times when I wasn’t able to write a single word (having hit the writer’s block) still, I continued waking up at the same time and following the same routine, like a ritual.
You can either create a single or multiple twenty minutes block and write your heart out.
2. Follow your routine- Success comes to those who take it seriously. Make sure to follow the routine that you have set every single day, no matter what. Your routine is sacred to you. If you live with your family, then explain how important writing is for you. I’m sure they’ll lend a listening ear if they understand your passion. Don’t be afraid to set a routine that is flexible yet rigid when it comes to habit building. You’ll have to sacrifice a few trivial things if you want to be a successful writer.
3. Make small achievable word goals- Start small. Maybe 500 words a day. Or anything that is comfortable in the beginning. Once you are comfortably achieving your goal every day, increase the number. Like this you’ll understand where you stand and where you can go up to.
Don’t get intimidated by writers who write 5000-10,000 words every day! Yes, such people do exist J I’m not one of them, but maybe someday I will be. Right now I’m enjoying where I am and that’s what I want you to do as well.
I’m not where I want to be but I’m glad, I’m not where I was.
Reward yourself on these small wins, they will boost your morale and motivate you to be a better writer.
4. Don’t ponder over the first draft- I’ll confess something to you today. I pondered over the first draft of my upcoming novel for months. I even thought of giving up. I was afraid it wasn’t good enough and it really wasn’t. But after a couple of months I started writing again. Not novels but short stories. It helped me understand the flaws that were there in the first draft.
After writing three short stories, lots of articles and reading eighteen books, I started working on the second draft. And guess what? It’s much much better now.
If I had given up at that time I would have never been able to push myself as a writer. So I appeal to all of you. If your first draft isn’t good enough, it’s okay. Don’t keep worrying about it. Start writing something else, read more books, find a mentor (if possible). These things will give you a new perspective on your writing and will also help you stick to your writing habit.
5. Write first, edit later- This is an extension of the point mentioned above. Too many writers worry about editing their draft. Don’t! We have editors for that. Your job is to be as creative, imaginative and expressive as possible. Be that. Write without hesitation. Once your first draft is done then read it again and weed out the unnecessary and correct the grammar. After that hire a good editor and refine your story but then again, don’t ponder too much.
These were some of the points which helped me a lot and I hope will help you as well.
If you’d like to add something, I’d love to hear it in the comments section.