Of course, it’s hard to ‘get time’ to write something for your book each day. That’s why you must make writing a habit. I’m sure if you’ve read the book ‘Atomic Habits’, you’ll know just how powerful it can be to instil some good habits. Look what it did for me!
Does a certain amount of time go past before some tasks become an entrenched habit?
According to two experts at MetaFact, it is unlikely, and certainly not the mythical 21 days. Wendy Wood of University of Southern California says,
“Until you have laid down a habit in neural networks and memory systems, you must wilfully decide to repeat a new action again and again, even when it’s a struggle.”– Wendy Wood
There is hope for those who want to write more often habitually though. Wendy states, “Adopt a new behavior, do it repeatedly for two months and a week, and you’ve significantly increased that automated feeling.” (Full answer). Nine weeks is quite a time to write daily for, and I am sure you would even miss it once you stopped.
For myself, writing each weekday is difficult, with lots of editing work to do. But it’s easier to MOTIVATE myself to write one post a fortnight by some quick planning. Just doing this gets me excited to move to the next stage, of writing the piece.
What about writing a book?
The same works for creating a book. I was just doing a mind map exercise based on a series of old posts and I ended up drafting the first part of an entire book. It was easy because of the logical connections my brain made and the contents list I worked on. You can see this mind map exercise in the 3-Step Book Outlining course I created.
It’s easier to MOTIVATE myself to write one post a fortnight by planning out the specific topic and brainstorming article headings. (Jennifer)
Another way is to write long-hand… some people feel this pen-to-paper way stimulates ideas more, however, the planning part is still important.
For writing coaching clients, I try to help them form a new habit of writing by getting them to say when they will write. I find it is usually better to write a book in two-hour blocks, as you will spend the first 15-30 minutes just getting re-acquainted with where you’re at.
If you tend to have ideas on the go, then take a notebook and record these. When looking back on them later, you might spot a few of the same topic area and can write them up in an organised way.
Daily writing habit: in summary
Hopefully, you picked up a good idea from this article and will be able to keep the writing flowing, rather than have a blank screen blinking at you…
Welcome to the indie & self-publisher blog. Jennifer Lancaster is a book writing coach, working with businesspeople who write non-fiction. She lives in beautiful Redcliffe, the pearl of Moreton Bay, mostly sitting in her little office overlooking the garden.