How you can apply these to build a daily writing habit.
I’m writing this article sitting at the Kolkata airport. I was at the city to speak on “Personal branding as an author” at the Kolkata Literary Carnival 2024.
A few years back, speaking at a major literary fest was an unattainable dream. But now, thanks to the work I’ve out out there in the world, such opportunities keep coming.
Of course, this would never have been possible if I hadn’t been consistently publishing my work online.
I started writing on Medium in 2020 and have completed 850 articles since. It’s something I built from scratch that now allows me to live the life of my dreams.
Here’s a glimpse of how my life has changed after writing so much:
- Have a strong portfolio ready
- Gotten incredible sponsorship opportunities
- Attracted high-paying inbound leads from the world over
- Made friends with some of the best online writers in the world.
This consistency wasn’t easy to build, of course. I needed discipline and a dedication to see through with my goal.
Here’s exactly what I did to achieve my daily writing goals without falling into the trap of distractions or creative blocks. I developed 4 habits that aren’t directly related to writing but helped me churn out almost 850,000 words in the past 3 years.
Feel free to replicate these non-writing habits if you’re feeling stuck or struggling to write every day. They will help you create a consistent writing ritual that most writers struggle to form.
Create an idea bank
Most writers are guilty of waiting for a spark of creativity to kick in before they start writing anything. I was no exception. In my early writing days of 2020, I wasted many hours staring at a blank screen wondering what to write.
On some days, I got ideas effortlessly, while on others, I struggled to pen even a single line. Many times, I ended up turning off my laptop, feeling frustrated and exhausted.
I realized depending on this ‘spark of creativity’ won’t allow me to write consistently. I figured out a way past this uncertainty that helps me write without waiting for any creative sign.
I made it the #1 rule to start my day with an idea journaling ritual.
How you can do it
- Set aside one hour every morning with a journal and pen before touching your laptop
- Jot down 10 random ideas that come to your mind
- Outline at least two of them to have a basic structure before you begin working on these ideas
- Do this every day to build your idea muscle and generate a pool of ideas about the topic that interests you.
Pro tip: Don’t focus on making these ideas perfect. The only intention behind this habit is to maintain consistency even on days when you don’t feel like writing.
Schedule an appointment with your inner writer every day
It wasn’t always easy to push myself to write every day, even after having ideas and article templates ready. It’s no secret how our brain always finds distractions and excuses to delay working on ideas.
I kept blaming it on lack of motivation, but that didn’t help.
I wanted to take full charge and become more intentional about my writing goals.
To beat this procrastination, I devised a non-negotiable plan that worked out perfectly for me.
How you can do it
- Dedicate a fixed time exclusively for writing
- Choose the number of hours as per your convenience
- Devote this time to doing nothing other than writing
- Plan these writing hours away from any distractions.
Pro tip: Start typing even if you feel it’s not working out. Once you’ve written 100–200 words, you’ll get into the flow state.
If you do this every day, you’ll train your brain to write without trying too hard. You’ll also notice an improvement in the speed and quality of your writing as a bonus.
Embrace boredom in the era of “Netflix-and-Chill”
This is an underrated hack to let your creative juices flow. In this instant information age, we keep consuming content all the time without having a minute to process any of it.
I’ve got the most interesting ideas for my writing while doing boring activities like taking a shower, doing dishes, or waiting in a queue.
I started embracing boredom instead of scrolling through social media to get an instant dose of dopamine. I created no-consumption hours for myself, where I won’t look at my phone, TV, or any digital screen. I just let my mind wander in those no-consumption hours.
I had to be strict with this routine, but it was worth it. Taking a mindful break from the digital noise gave me enough time to:
- Reflect on things I learned
- Develop fresh perspectives on various topics
- Think mindfully and establish my opinions.
This simple habit of “doing nothing” brought me closer to my creativity and improved my consistency in writing better.
Make mental note-taking your superpower
It’s easy to fall into the trap of creating monotonous content when you sign up to create content every day.
Avoid this mistake by bringing your unique touch to everything you write and keep your audience excited.
All you have to do is be open to the world around you.
Here’s how I try to do it:
- I take everyday life experience as an opportunity to create stories
- I actively interact with my friends and family to understand other people’s points of view about topics
- I collect quotes and bits of wisdom from the books I read or movies I watch.
Once I started observing everything closely, I learned to present a story from multiple angles. This became an add-on to recreate more stories around the same topic.
“The only place where ‘success’ comes before ‘work’ is in a dictionary.” — Vidal Sassoon
I achieved my goal of writing consistently for the past 3 years because of my “behind-the-scenes” efforts. I developed reliable systems to create content whenever I wanted instead of waiting for the perfect idea to begin writing.
4 non-writing habits that helped me achieve this are:
- Journal 10 ideas every day, and outline 2 of them to flesh out an article outline.
- Schedule a fixed time to write every day.
- When you’re bored, allow yourself to be bored. The best ideas come to you when you aren’t actively doing something.
- Take notes from the world around you. Observe, imbibe, learn, and reproduce.
These habits worked wonders for me and helped me build a business around writing. Try implementing them for yourself and take your writing game to the next level.
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