Value of a Daily Writing Habit
You may be a blogger, or even a published writer, but have you developed a daily writing practice? And you may have been writing all of your life like me with a spotted publishing history. In my twenties, my book of poetry was published, I was editor of a weekly newspaper, and wrote feature articles for magazines. I continued to write poetry, plays, stories, and a screenplay with little publication or audience until I started my blog in late 2011. In 2013, I published a Kindle novella and e-book.
But, I did not develop a consistent writing habit until this year when I began writing 1,000 words a day. I got the idea from a video by writer Jeff Goins. He explained how he completed a book in 90 days writing 500 words a day and built a following by challenging his readers to do the same thing. Later, I read that Stephen King writes 2,000 words a day.
I don’t aspire to write like King but he is prolific. So I set a goal of 1,000 words a day. I knew I could write that many words while working 40 hours a week. When I began, it took me up to an hour to write 1,000 words. Part of the difficulty was not knowing what I wanted to write.
That problem arose because I couldn’t decide on a topic, even though my resolution for this year was to write and publish three books. Before February ended, I had started and stopped work on two books. The third idea was the charm and I’m in my last two weeks of the first draft.
I have succeeded in writing 1,000 words a day six days a week for the past seven weeks. On Sundays, I write less because that is the day I do my first edit of what I wrote two weeks earlier. On editing day I also plan the upcoming week’s writing. Planning my writing ahead enables me to complete 1,000 words in 30 – 45 minutes. To achieve this goal, I get up every morning around 5:00 am to write. Being a case manager in a busy community clinic, I’m pretty much brain dead by the end of the work day. But, occasionally I have had to come home and write a few hundred words because I slept too late.
Knowing what others have done provided inspiration for me to set a goal and to achieve it. In Goin’s latest book, The Art of Work, he writes about the unexpected teachers life places before us. He was one such teacher for me, showing how easy it is to develop a daily writing practice by simply setting a numerical writing goal and sticking to it.
The value of a daily writing habit is you can apply this process in all areas of your life. Just set a goal, plan use of your time, and define priorities. I’ve found myself getting more done at my clinic job and with tasks at home using this process. And of course now that I’ve achieved this writing goal, I feel empowered to work on manifesting other plans. So, what writing, or other goals, will you set for yourself today?