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7 Ways to Make Writing a Priority Until It Becomes a Habit

make writing a priorityHow do you make writing a priority in your already busy life? Here are some tips that will help you do just that.

Know why

The first suggestion is to know why you want to make writing a priority. Seriously. If you’re having trouble writing regularly it may be time to examine your motives. It’s totally okay not to write, ever, or for this period in your life. Most people don’t write and many of them get along just fine.

On the other hand if you find yourself writing in the cracks of your schedule because you more or less must, it may be time to make writing a priority.

It’s just an experiment

However you decide to make writing a priority, keep in mind it’s just an experiment. Even if you find the absolutely perfect for you method of making writing a priority this week, the chances are your needs will change as your life changes. And your life will change. You get married or don’t, have kids or don’t, change jobs, move, and so it goes. Writing can stay a priority through it all, but how and when you write is apt to change. Don’t expect certainty.


Write daily or at least predictably

Writing every day is great if you can work it out. It removes any doubt and limits the temptation to put it off until tomorrow.

The notion that you have to write daily, however, to succeed is just that, a notion. It works for some and not for others. Frank  McKinley wrote Stop Feeling Guilty For Not Writing Every Day and I think I just fell in love!

Find your own pace as writing becomes a habit. Just be honest with yourself – if you’re procrastinating, stop it.

Plan too how long you will write in each session or how many pages, or words. Some measure like that can act as the motivation just when you need it most.

Write early

Okay, I’m an early riser by nature. So I write early in the morning. One advantage of writing early is it gets done before the day gets busy with other stuff. Even if you’re not up early, it might be worth starting first thing in the day until the habit settles in.

By the way, BrainPickings has an interesting article called How Long It Takes to Form a New Habit and it can be considerably longer than 21 days. In fact 66 days may be more like it.

Plan what to write next as your writing day ends

If you know what you’re going to write when your next writing session starts it will be much easier to get started and keep writing. You can make a what’s next note where you leave off.

Bookend with a buddy

Bookending is a great way to create accountability. Find a friend you can call every day and say something like “I’m going to start my 3 hours of writing now.” You want someone who will respond with no more than ‘okay’ or something similar. This isn’t time to talk. Then when your 3 hours are up call back and report that you did it or you didn’t. Again, just report.

Somehow if I tell someone I’m going to write it’s actually much easier to do it than if I don’t.

Make writing a priority for you

When someone calls me about ghostwriting a book and says “everybody tells me I should write a book,” my response is, “great, but how important is it to you?”

Sure, we often write ‘content’ and other such about things that we’re not truly excited or passionate about. That only works if we’re passionate about actually putting words on the screen.

Write because you love to write – anything else is just plain silly.

Write well and often,

 

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Hi
    I love the ideas of writing early. I get up at 4am and always find this to be the best time to write my blog posts before the kids and the rest of the world start pulling me from pillar to post.

    • I love the early mornings for writing too… yet one of the best writers I know writes deep into the night, often going to bed about the time I get up. There’s no single way to do this… or much of anything else come to think of it.

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