How do you get in the habit?
- Find the time of day when you can most avoid interruptions.
If the baby wakes up at 6:10 am, then 6:00 am is not a good time to choose. If you are perpetually late to work because you can’t get up on time, then you probably won’t get up early to write. If Aunt Maggie always calls between 2:30 and 3:00 pm, then planning anytime just before or just after won’t work, unless you turn your phone off.
Frame your writing space.
Where will you write? What objects of inspiration will you locate near your writing space? Do you want music? Are there writing tools you need? Create a space and make sure that everything is set and consistent, then you don’t have to think about it. If there is not one spot where you write or you have to assemble a place on the dining room table or the patio, then anticipate your writing time and prepare that spot in advance before it’s time to sit down to write. If you have a favorite space at the beach or a local coffee shop, keep what you need in one messenger bag or backpack so that it’s ready to go when you are.
Figure your writing goals for the day in advance.
Will you write for 30 minutes or 1 hour? Will you commit to writing 2 new pages or editing 5 pages? Figure out what your goal for the day is or how you will use your writing time so that you start with a plan.
- Form the habit.
I once read research that says it takes 30 days to form a habit. However, it only takes a few days to break a good habit (but a lot longer to break a bad one). Commit to the time you’ve allocated for the next three months and see if you can form a habit–the discipline to write.
Several years ago I wrote over 600 pages for a single manuscript in 2 years by committing to at least 15 minutes per day before I could go to sleep. Sometimes I had the luxury of several hours to write, and some days I was typing in my sleep, but at the end I had the first draft of a major project completed.
You don’t have to have hours and hours, you need to have a habit of disciplined writing.