3 Ways to Kick Start Your Daily Writing Habit
Experts say if you want to be a real writer, you’ve got to write every day.
They make you feel guilty when you don’t. You must not care. You’re not serious. If you were, you’d rise before the sun and write for two hours before work.
It’s hard to meet such a high standard. So rather than drag your weary body out of bed, you roll over and hit the snooze button. Tomorrow, you say. I’ll start then. Look out, world!
You don’t have to wait. I’m about to give you three ways to kick start your writing habit today. So grab your pen or your laptop. Put writing time on your calendar. The words that live inside you are about to come out and meet the world.
We’ll approach this with three common excuses. With each excuse, I’ll give you a way out.
You’ve got this.
Ready to change your life?
I don’t have enough time.
I’ve heard this so many times. If I had a dollar for every time, I’d have retired years ago.
And every time I’ve said it, I’ve lost money.
Most of the time we set our goals too high. I’ll spend an hour before work writing. That’s great if you can do it. But what if you can’t?
Do you have 15 minutes?
You can grab 15 minutes from your lunch break. It’s easy to get up 15 minutes earlier. You can go to bed 15 minutes later. There are 15 minute pockets nestled throughout your day. Use one or more of them and you might find that hour you didn’t think you had.
You don’t have to spend an hour writing at one time. An intense 15 minute session where you blot out everything else can do wonders. If nothing else, it can give you words to edit later.
Be willing to think outside the solid hour box and you can write that book you’ve spent years thinking about. Just like saving quarters adds up to dollars, 15 minutes here and there can build word counts you can be proud of.
I can’t think of anything to write.
Blank pages are intimidating.
That’s why you need to come to the blank page with something. If you write in the morning, give yourself a prompt before you go to bed. Your mind will toss it around all night. You can spill those thoughts into your draft the next morning.
Need more time to think? Give yourself that prompt in the morning. Think about it all day and all night. Talk about it with your family and coworkers. When you wake up to write tomorrow, you’ll have something to say.
Ideas are available. When we can’t find one, it’s because we haven’t given ourselves anything to look for. Prompts are like clues on a treasure hunt. When you have a goal, you’ll spend time finding ways to reach it.
Seth Godin does this. Even though his posts are short, he says he spends at least 16 hours thinking before he writes the first word.
Your mind will serve you if you give it a map.
I might write something that sucks.
You won’t please everyone.
Even the best selling artists in the world don’t sell everyone. Musicians that sell 100 million records are popular. But in a world of 7 billion people, that’s only 14 % of everybody.
Write for the people you can touch. Write because you have something to say. Write to solve someone’s problem. Write so people can take a vacation from their troubles. There are many noble reasons to write. Doing it for everyone isn’t one of them.
Focus more on being effective than being perfect. You’ll find typos in the bestselling books in the world. You’ll find mistakes in your favorite movies. So what? Only people with too much time on their hands worry about things like that.
Why do you want to write?
Do it for love first. If you don’t love it, it will always feel like a chore.
We need the best of you in your words. Will you spend 15 minutes a day to share it with us?
Do that and before you know it, you’ll have a habit that serves you and your readers.