How To Develop A Writing Routine
When I started a travel blog several years ago, I quickly realized that keeping the blog monster regularly fed was hard.
On my off days, writing was a breeze. But during non-stop flying days, I didn't always feel like writing.
Yet in an effort to write more, I decided to sign up for one of those free writing challenges. No matter what, I committed to writing 500 words a day for 20 days straight.
Those first few days weren't that fun. I would sit down and have to be okay with writing pure trash. Sometimes I didn't know what to write so I would just write nursery rhymes and song lyrics from memory (yes, seriously, whatever it took to get my word count finished).
But by day 10, I could feel something magical beginning to happen. I started becoming inspired to write! I enjoyed the thrill of the challenge to write no matter what, when or where.
I soon found myself writing while waiting around for flights. If I couldn't open my laptop, I would type on my phone or grab a napkin, borrow a pen and just start writing on blog topics that jumped into my head.
There were even few nights, I went to bed and forgot to write. I flung myself out of bed and typed up 500 words quickly so I could get back to bed. Sometimes it was after midnight when I realized I forgot to write but hey, I figured somewhere in the world, it was still the same day.
During that time I was doing the challenge, I surprisingly wrote a blog post that went close to viral. It still remains one of my most viewed posts.
I'm a better, more disciplined writer because of the experience. If you're wanting to develop a writing routine, but are struggling to stay consistent, here are some other tips that have helped me on different occasions.
Find multiple accountability partners. Life gets busy, and your accountability partners many not be able to hold you accountable every day, so think about having more that one. Also, join an online AND offline writing group to surround yourself with others who are writing. If you have kids, let them know about your daily writing goal and incentivize them to remind you. Start small. If you've been struggling to write 500 words a day, start with just writing 250 a day. Once you've nailed writing 250 words consistently, up your word count.
Sign up for writing prompts. If you can't think of a topic on your own, sign up for writing prompts to be emailed to your inbox. Make it a game and choose the first one you see even if it sucks.
Write anything. To start off, just get to your word count. Eventually as you get more comfortable with the action of writing and be okay with writing stuff that's less than perfect. The only thing that should not count as writing is a grocery or two do list (that's just too easy).
Write, jot, scribble, type, text or transcribe. Don't get attached to using certain tools or being in a certain place to write. In fact, write inconvenient places that are noisy or crowded. Use your phone or go the old fashion route and use a pencil or paper. If you don't have pencil or paper, use your phone to record your words and transcribe later.
Start early in the day. Just like exercising, the more likely you wait until late in the day, the less likely you'll get it done. Set a time early in the morning when you can.
Write in short bursts. If you don't have ten or thirty minutes in a day to get your word count in, use five minutes here and there. Just get it done.
At the end of the day, to develop a writing routine, you just have to do it. It's hard but, I promise you, it'll be worth it.
Developing a writing routine is one important and doable steps to getting your book done well. You can find more important steps in my free guide "Finally Getting Your Book Done: How to 5 Steps To Finding the Time, Focus and Clarity" To request a free copy, go to www.wordsmithwonder.com .