5 Steps to Developing Great Writing Habits

Overcoming the Struggle

Do you find writing frustrating or difficult? Do you struggle to just sit down and do it most days?

hands typing on a laptopThis is a common problem for many people starting out in writing or blogging so at least you can take some solace in the fact that you are not alone. This is a common problem for anyone just starting out who wishes to write on a regular basis.

Choosing to write for fun, part-time, full-time, to earn a living or as a profession is a big commitment. Writing takes time and effort and a lot of practice to get to where you want to be as a writer.

Whether you want to write as a blogger, freelance or write and publish your own book it all times time and commitment.

However the more you write the easier it does become. For those just starting out, it can be a very frustrating process from not knowing what you want to write about and coming up with ideas to sitting down and getting those words out. Time is one thing you need and one thing you will need to commit to.

You will need to set time aside to write. Time to write down your ideas and time to put those ideas into blog pieces, stories or articles, whatever it is that you are going to write.

Right now it might sound that time is more important than the writing itself and to some degree that is true as without spending the time practising and perfecting your writing, you will never become good.  Most good writers will tell you that what they wrote at the start of their writing careers is embarrassing to what they now write.

Everyone needs to start somewhere and your time to start is now, well after you finish reading this article!

So now we’ve established that your writing is going to require some time and effort on your part let’s crack on with what steps you should take to start seeing your writing flourish in the next few months.

We are going to look at some steps that you can take to start building both momentum and confidence in your writing.

If you follow some of these basic exercises you may look back in as little as 3 months time and wonder why you used to either avoid it for as long as possible or get yourself so anxious that writers block came knocking.

Writing Daily

Some people find this the most daunting task. Why? They think they need to write something to publish or meaningful every day but that doesn’t need to be the case.hand holding a small clock

10-15 minutes per day writing is really not that hard and it can be completely up to you what it is that you write. The main thing here is to set aside the time to write. You can choose if you want to write about your day, write down ideas for new posts, do a little work on your blog, a few paragraphs for your book. You don’t even need to stick to continue from where you left off the day before, the idea here is just to get into the practice of daily writing.

The same goes for how you write each day. You don’t need to go and sit at a desk or pull your laptop out either. Why not try using an app on your phone or tablet to write. there are many apps out there that will sync with your computer so anything you do write is safely transferred over for you to continue or edit for publishing once complete.

See this article for a few good apps that allow you to write and sync your work.

I personally love using these as it means I can write almost anywhere, you don’t need an internet signal to write only to sync your writing to your computer or laptop. This means I can write while in the car, at the park, waiting to be seen at appointments, wherever I have my phone basically and I have produced some good work this way too.

 

Writers Block

Many people say they experience writers’ block once they sit down. Does this sound like you?

man sat at laptop holding his headWriters’ block happens for many reasons. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself to get it right the first time. Fear is another factor for writers’ block. Fear of what people may think, fear that it won’t be good enough, fear that nobody will read it.

This happens often when you first start writing, especially if you are going to publishing your work online. The truth is most people won’t really care, if they don’t like it they will just move on to reading something else. We all have to start somewhere and we all produce less than great work at times but guess what? It DOESN’T MATTER! You will get better, if you are writing daily you will get better, you will be constantly learning, constantly improving and that IS what matters.

You need to write and put your work out there or you will never know. And guess what? people will read it and once you see that people are reading it you will get a little confidence boost that will make your writing a little easier. Don’t get me wrong you may also get the odd comment that can give you a little knock but that is life. If everyone liked the same styles of writing it would be a boring world.

If you can’t write about what you planned to sit down and write about, move on to something else. As long as you are writing that is the main thing. Open up another blank document and start something else. A new post, a new chapter, a letter to someone, your future self even, and if you are really struggling write a to-do list or grocery list. Anything as long as your fingers are moving about that keyboard and you are not just sitting in front of a blank screen.

 

Keep a Note of Your Weekly Word Count

This is a great way of giving yourself a little confidence boost. As we commit to making writing a daily choice it will become easier. You may only set aside 15 minutes per day but find that once you are in front of that screen the words flow and you lose track of time and an hour later you look up to see just how much you have completed and think wow!   Now not every day will be like this but it will happen more the more often you write.jumble of numbers

A great way to keep track of your weekly word count is to use apps or programmes such as Grammarly or Pro Writing Aid, these will keep a track and give you clear insights into your writing. Not only will they keep an accurate wordcount for you but they can be integrated into your taskbar and used across emails, word, google docs, social media apps, within online writing apps too.

I used to love getting my weekly insights from Grammarly as I not only could see my word count growing week on week but also the number of mistakes I made with spelling and grammar reducing.  And not that is a big deal if your spelling and typing ain’t that great but as you get better as a writer and these lessen it means less time editing before publishing which is also a great time saver.

 

Write Outside Your Comfort Zone Once a Week

This might sound a little strange but it really can get your mind working. Once a week for 10 minutes try writing about something you are not too familiar with. This exercise is also good for helping to overcome writers’ block. Choose a topic you know little about and just write for ten minutes about it. Even if you can’t write directly about it, write what you think, what questions you would ask someone who does know the subject, if it interests you or not.

This may sound strange but often once you get going you realise you know more than you first thought, you just need to give your brain that stimulation. Even if it is a topic from that week’s news. See we subconsciously hear and see lots of information over a week. From TV, radio, snippets of conversations and our brain will soak up that information. This exercise will make you appreciate just how much you know without realising it.

 

Re-read Your Older Writings or Publications

Now, this may be a little hard if you are just starting out but if you are going to keep the daily writing practice you only need to wait a week in order to do this.

Each week read something that you have written or published in the past. It doesn’t need to be very long, a two or three-minute read will do. letters

Now I want you to think about how you have improved since then. Think back to what you thought when you wrote the piece. Did you think it was good, how long did it take you to write, how much effort went into it, what do you think of it now?

Now if you are just starting out you may not see vast improvements at first but in time you will be able to go back over an older piece of your work and most likely trash it, have a good old laugh or head scratch but the lesson here is to realise just how far you have and are coming as a writer.

PRACTICE AND PERSISTENCE WILL PAY OFF AND YOU WILL SEE IT!

 

So this is 5 easy ways that will help YOU find your writing mojo, allow you to become a better and more proficient writer and help to build your confidence.

Like everything in life if you want it bad enough you will do what it takes to get it. You want to become a writer you must dedicate time to write and work at improving each and every day through practice and persistence.

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