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Creative Motivation

Building a Writing Habit

Building a Writing Habit

I like to set aside an hour or two every day for reading and writing. Throughout the winter months, things were going great. I scheduled time to research and write blog posts, I participated in several book clubs, and I was able to maintain a digital journal. But in early March, I moved 1,000 miles away and took on new work and established new routines—and completely abandoned my good habits.

I think all writers struggle with this at some point. Even when you feel like you're bursting with things to say, it can be hard to find the grit and determination to sit down and write on a regular basis.

If you're in the same boat, I encourage you to check out the articles below. They inspired me to get back in the saddle, and I hope they will do the same for you.

Zen Habits | Write Daily →

How does a daily writing habit make a difference? "Writing clarifies your thinking." The article lists several other reasons, but that one that strongly resonated with me. When I am overwhelmed by my own thoughts, writing is the one thing that helps me find solid ground again.

The Huffington Post | 8 Steps to Starting a Writing Habit That Sticks →

Every article I found listed "make writing a priority," but this one lists it twice—and then follows up with the very important advice to write down why you want to write daily. Clarifying the motivation for a goal makes it much easier to stick with it on the tough days.

Jeff Goins | The ADHD Guide to Building a Writing Habit →

I do not have ADHD, but I think the advice in this article can be applied to anyone who has struggled to focus on a writing project. I like to do some of my weekly writing at the local library or coffee shop, so I especially love the idea of having a dedicated writing bag with all of my gear together and organized and ready to go. That would eliminate one of the biggest mental hurdles keeping me from getting out the door.

TheWriteBurgessTaylor | Building Your Writing Habit →

My favorite advice from this article is to create a writing plan. As I said before, I stopped writing because my life got unusually busy, but I also stopped writing because I didn't like the topic themes I had chosen for March or April. I knew I didn't like the themes when I created my annual blogging calendar in December, but I hoped the issue would solve itself. (Does that ever happen?) To avoid that problem in the future, I now have a monthly reminder to look at upcoming themes and change them if they no longer appeal to me. Knowing what I want to write (and when) eliminates another huge mental hurdle.

The Minimalists | Creating Daily Writing Habits →

This is the quote I will be pinning to my computer every day for the next three months or however long it takes me to get back into my routine:

Sit in the chair every day: even if you don’t write, plant yourself in the chair daily for a few hours and eventually the words will come.
— Joshua Fields Millburn

Mid-November Writing Inspiration for #nanowrimo and #nablopomo

Mid-November Writing Inspiration for #nanowrimo and #nablopomo

5 Reasons You're Experiencing Writer's Block →

Susan Reynolds starts this article by dispelling the myth that "writer's block" is an actual malady, but she is also quick to acknowledge what every writer knows to be true: writing is hard work and has its own set of frustrations and challenges.

Writing is not for sissies, and if you intend to write novels, screenplays, or plays, it will not be easy, and you will often come up against a wall of resistance. Just don’t call it ‘writer’s block,’ call it what it is: not being prepared to move to the next level.
— Susan Reynolds

On Writing Badly and Redefining Failure →

Everyone should read this article. Fear of failure is not unique to writers who set lofty goals for #nanowrimo and #nablopomo, and we could all use a reminder that it's okay to be bad—it's even okay to fail. Don't give up; keep writing. (For more inspiration on redefining failure, watch the beloved interview series with Ira Glass, particularly the second segment.)

3 People Every Writer Needs in Their Creative Collective →

This post by Todd Henry sums up amazing advice that I know to be true: people who do creative work need to surround themselves with reliable sources of support and good feedback.