11 Tips for Maintaining a Daily Writing Habit

This summer I’ve made a deal with myself — write something new every morning, Monday-Friday. I can’t move on (with submissions, revisions, etc.) until I’ve written something new. At first it was like scratching nails over a chalkboard. I’d talk myself out of it for at least a dozen different reasons. It’s been a few weeks now, and I’m on the daily writing train showing no signs of derailing. I decided to share 11 tips that have helped me so far:

1. Set a schedule and stick to it!

2. Make new writing the first thing you do in your writing time.
 
3. Avoid Social media and the Internet at all costs.
 
4. Ignore the little voice in your mind that says “Aw…can’t I do this later? Or tomorrow even?
 
5. Even if you don’t feel ready, go to your writing space and open your work in progress.
 
6. Having more than one work in progress or an idea file comes in handy, just in case you’re truly stuck on your main project.
 
7. If all else fails, write a journal entry.
 
8. Don’t stop until you’ve reached your allotted time or word count.
 
9. Reward yourself for a job well done! Some writers allow themselves one jellybean or skittle after every hundred words. Others enjoy a special cup of tea or coffee or a trip to Starbucks. Find out what works for you.
 
10. Keep a daily writing log to track your progress. Being able to see what you’ve completed in a week visually is a huge motivator. (A sneaky side note for highly visual folks: You can replace your daily writing desktop icon to one similar to the photo above. That way you know it’s a special writing only file.)
 
11. Sign up for a writing forum to discuss your progress with other writers. It helps knowing others out there have similar goals. Sometimes it’s the highlight of my day knowing I can share that I’ve made my daily writing goal with others.
I hope some of these tips help you maintain a daily writing habit. Happy Writing!

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