How To Form A Daily Writing Habit
by Writing Workshops Staff
A year ago
How do you form a daily writing habit? The thought of doing ONE thing consistently (and doing it well) every day is overwhelming. Believe it or not, setting the bar low is a great way to trick yourself into sitting down and getting started. It is a cliché, but slow and steady wins the race. I believe what Richard Bach said: A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.
In my writing practice, I aim for 250 words each day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, and it isn’t. I can hit 250 words every day, but something else happens that feels like magic—most days, I shoot right past that word count. I might write 350, 500, 750, or even 1000 words in a day!
Other days, I might only be able to wrestle 250 words onto the page before I’m ready to put the work away and try again tomorrow. But the words you write gather into sentences that make paragraphs that create whole scenes that eventually get you to “THE END” of your project. In this way, setting the bar low can get you to where you want to be.
Bill Gates famously said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” This is true for writing, especially if you are trying to write a book. There comes a time when all you can think is I’m writing a book, which can get in the way of the actual writing. The task can feel too large, too out of your grasp.
And yet, poems, personal essays, flash fiction, screenplays, and book manuscripts are all written one word at a time with the aid of consistent work. Just imagine where you’d be one year from now, three years from now, seven years from now, or ten years from now as a writer if you didn’t think everything had to happen NOW.
Finally, Darius Foroux offers this advice on creating a daily writing habit:
Read & study
Set a daily reminder to write
Set the bar low
These are all great habits to get you writing, but first, you simply have to start. Set the bar low, and just maybe you’ll reach the big goals you have for your writing.