Novel Writing

How to Create a Consistent Writing Habit

Writing seems so easy when we start out, doesn’t it? When an idea hits you square in the forehead, and you are in awe of your imagination. You picture yourself tucked up in the corner of a cosy cafe, latte steaming, and with pages of magnificent prose on the laptop before you.

I wonder how long it takes the average writer to realise their idealistic views will not materialise? We all reach the point where our coffee sits beside us, stone cold, and we despair at the task ahead.

When this happens, it is so easy to let our motivation wane and to put our writing on the back burner. Stopping when writing gets hard is pure folly. Think of writing like building muscle in the gym. If you were to stop exercising the moment you felt a prickle of sweat, there’s no growth, no improvement, and no point even starting. It’s the same with writing. You will never write a novel if you give up when it’s hard. 

So how can we keep our motivation levels high and build a consistent writing habit?

Set aside dedicated time – If you only write when you fancy it, eventually you will stop altogether. Let’s face it, sometimes an hour watching Netflix is preferable to an hour spent writing. You can generally find something else you’d rather do than write (sleeping in for instance), so you need dedicated time which is devoted to writing and nothing else.

Celebrate mini victories – Celebrate when you hit a word count milestone, or when you’ve written every day in a week. Reward your hard work, and don’t let progress go unnoticed.

Push through the wall – When you sit down to write, and everything you attempt to write seems wrong, keep going. Just write the rubbish that comes to mind and keep going, after all, you can fix things later on. If you push through, most of the time the words will start to flow in earnest.

Ensure you have enough fun in your life – If your whole life is writing it might just kill the joy of it. Personally, I have to ensure I spend time with my friends on a regular basis, because I am an extrovert and writing is quite an introverted activity. For others, it may be running, or painting or computer games. Just make sure that you plan in fun time. Not only does it energise you, but it also gives you more ideas about what to write.

Make yourself Accountable – Find someone who will ask you how your writing is going, and then answer them honestly. This could be a spouse, or a writing coach, perhaps even another blogger. Just make sure that someone is keeping you accountable.

Best of luck fiction writers, I hope that this post has helped you. I would like to leave you with some wise words written in a comment on my blog earlier this week by Stephen R Gann

“Consistency builds connection, which leads to a strong, concise completion.”

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18 thoughts on “How to Create a Consistent Writing Habit

  1. Really enjoyed this post, I was full of enthusiasm at first and am now a little overwhelmed at the enormity of the task ahead. Writing at the moment feels a little like opening a door slightly to peep through then slamming it shut in case what’s behind it is not something I want to see… I’ll be taking your advice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. We like to pretend writing is fun, but most of the time it’s damned hard. Like exercise, I like to tackle it early, preferably right after breakfast and the first cup of coffee. Then i can spend the afternoon basking in self-congratulations. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I especially love that you mention the importance of overall fun in life. My husband had been beating himself up with guilt because he hasn’t touched his story in two days. I’m like, darling.. you’re allowed two days, at least. So hush. Ha! But seriously, you have to guard against burn out and pay attention to other hobbies as well so your mind can rest and you can find inspiration. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just need to push through the wall. That’s my only problem. I think about writing all the time and those stories that are yearning to get finished. But I just can’t. Writer’s block isn’t always the problem, either. I just need to do it! One day I might lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great tips Thank you. I rise before the sun when the house is quiet for my dedicated writing time. 5am – 7am is my time to write with a nice hot cup of coffee. No temptations of everyday life are around to allure me away. With my writing time completed early, I can begin my day of tasks, chores and work.

    Liked by 1 person

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