HOW TO START A DAILY WRITING HABIT

I'm proud to call myself a writer. No shame. But even I struggle with it. Putting pen to paper, butt to seat, hands on keyboard - all of it is really hard. But I do it daily, even if it's only a few words. Keyword here: daily. The best way to get something done is to put a little work toward it everyday. For an article, a blog post, or even a novel, a few words everyday is still progress. So I'm giving you a few tips to help you build a daily writing habit and get your latest passion project finished.




START WITH SMALL GOALS

Try setting a goal that you know you can accomplish, then stretch it from there. Any daily writing creates a habit. I've had ambitious goals, like a 1,000 daily word count that I've since lowered for my own sanity. If you think about it, 1,000 words is a lot. A smaller, more achievable goal for me is about 500-800 words daily, depending on how crazy the week ahead may be. Small, attainable goals are key to creating a habit and making progress.



TRY WRITING IN THE MORNING

Write first thing in the morning - or, almost first thing. I write before everything else, except maybe coffee. And if your next argument is "but I'm not a morning person." I feel you. I'm not either. In fact, before coffee and a shower, I'm practically a zombie from a cheesy, over-done old Hollywood film. So, I keep a journal on my beside table to jot down some things in the morning while I'm still in bed. They're jumbled, incomprehensible (except to me) sentences, but it works. Later, when I'm feeling more refreshed and awake, I go through my notes and type out the scene or chapter on my computer and turn it into something legible.



FORGIVE YOURSELF

Writing is hard. Lots of things can also get in the way and when I'm unable to write one day, it discourages me and ruins my writing plans for the whole week. When that happens, I remind myself: the goal stays the same, the deadline changes. It's okay to not write one day, just don't let that one day take away from your writing goals.


The best writing advice I ever received when starting my first novel was to create a daily word count goal and to create a writing schedule. Both of these things can change later on, but it helps to have a starting point and a goal to work toward. I encourage you to give it a shot.

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