Tuesday, 9 April 2013

H is for Habit

Image courtesy of kjnnt / freedigitalphotos.net
It is generally agreed upon that if you want to write more and become a better writer, you need to make
writing a daily habit, like brushing your teeth and getting dressed. But how can we cultivate this habit?

The best way is to fit your writing into a routine that has already become habitual, such as first thing in the morning after brushing your teeth, or as soon as the kids have gone to bed. This way, the routine that you have attached it too becomes a kind of trigger and your brain becomes hard-wired to using this as writing time.

Set your self realistic goals for these daily writing sessions, whether it be 100 words or 2,000. Use a figure that you know you can write comfortably in the time you have assigned yourself. Having an unrealistic goal is just setting yourself up for failure. It's far better to have a lower figure in mind and feel a sense of achievement in passing it, than a higher figure that you consistently fall short of and beat yourself up about.

Another important factor is keeping a record of your writing time, whether this is simply a red cross on a calendar to show that you have written that day, or a record of your word count. This visual reminder of how far you have come and how much you have achieved will act as a motivator for you to keep going.

Finally, writing is hard work so don't forget to reward yourself. This could be a small treat like a bar of chocolate or a glass of wine on the days you get your writing done, or something bigger when you reach a certain milestone like a completed first draft.

Do you make writing a daily habit? If so, how? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you.

I'm going to be away on holiday until 15th April, but I have scheduled all the posts for while I'm away. I will try and log in once a day to check everything is running smoothly and reply to as many comments as I can. If you leave a comment I will visit your blog when I return and reciprocate. Happy A to Z'ing.


  1. Great post! Getting into the habit of writing is so important. I try to post on my blog on a weekly basis, but I soon realised it wasn't POSTING regularly that was improving my skills, but WRITING regularly.

    A to Z Participant (A to Z of Travel Bucket List Inspiration)

  2. Writing used to be a daily habit of mine, but I'm busy with work as an English teacher. I think I'll do more writing when I'm older and work less!

    Keep Calm and A-Z
    An A-Z of learning English
    Round the world from A to Z

  3. It's so true! If I go for a long time (several days, or even... gasp... weeks!) without writing, it is so much harder to get into it. When I write daily, it is always easier to stay in the flow of it.

    I like the idea of keeping tabs on daily writing, I am going to steal that idea and use it myself! Thanks!

  4. I set goals for myself to train good writing habits. If I didn't keep a visual record of my work I would get sidetracked into all sorts of random acts of procrastination.

  5. Thanks for the suggestions. Starting a good habit can be hard, especially when it comes to writing.

  6. For myself, I schedule my writing time into my calendar, that way I'm accountable for it and have it planned. If I'm working on a new project, I set a word count goal for myself every day. If it's editing, I more go by feel as to amount accomplished, and try to meet a time goal (one or two hours, etc.). But making a daily (at least Monday-Friday) goal for myself is vital for my success! Thanks for the thoughtful post.

    Visiting from A to Z.

  7. I write as soon as the kids go to bed. Usually I do it before I tackle anything else, at least until the story starts flowing. Then while I'm doing my housework I have my story working itself out in my head.Simply Sarah