The ultimate guide build a daily writing habit.
Having a full-time job is tough, isn’t it?
You run from one meeting to another (or shift from one Zoom screen to the next). There are frantic calls in crises. Some urgent office event comes up. Meanwhile, your manager allocates task after task to your team.
Where’s the time to do your actual job?
On top of that, if I talk about writing daily, I understand if you open this article with skepticism.
There’s a routine that helped me write 30 articles a month, and no, it didn’t happen naturally. I had to make conscious efforts every day to build a habit of writing.
Before I dive deeper into the tricks I formulated, here’s an interesting insight.
When I wrote 90 Medium articles in 90 days from June-Aug 2020, this is what happened:
- I gained 100+ new followers every day
- My monthly revenue crossed $500/month
- I received multiple comments and thoughtful feedback from readers across the globe
In hindsight, the writing sprint of 3 months became the launchpad to kick-start my writing career. Today, I’m a full-time writer with 160k+ followers and multiple income streams. All of this happened because I wrote an article every day for 90 days.
Are you ready for a similar transformation in your life? Here are 5 fail-proof tricks that helped me get into the practice of writing every day:
1. Have an idea book
Do you know the main reason most people can’t write daily?
Because when they finally take time out from their busy schedule, they spend it all on ideation and not on actual writing.
I’ve made this mistake too. Most of the time, I ended up staring at a blank screen and finally shutting down my laptop.
Skip this vicious cycle by jotting down 10 ideas for articles every day. Regularly create detailed outlines for 2 of these ideas. You don’t need a physical journal for this. Simply start on the note-taking app on your phone or computer.
The goal is to have a space to collect all your ideas and outlines. This way, when you set your heart to writing, you won’t have to start from scratch.
Your idea and outline will be in one place. All you need to do is fire up your creative juices and get writing.
Keep in mind that every idea won’t translate into a full-fledged article. Not all topics will have enough data just yet. So keep sidelining them in a discarded pile and revisit this list from time to time for inspiration.
2. Plan for the upcoming week over the weekend
As a full-time employee, I craved weekends. That was the time to refuel my burnt-out engines.
But when I started this practice of writing daily, weekends got more fun and productive. Instead of spending the entire day on Netflix and chill, I took some time out and sat with my planner.
I picked out 7 topics from my idea book to work on throughout the coming week.
Picture this: I had to choose 7 ideas out of 70 (collected over the last week). Doesn’t it sound easy? It was. Try it out for yourself.
Planning for the week ahead gets easier when you follow the first step and have an idea book in place.
Now, note down this weekly schedule for easy access and enjoy stress-free writing for the whole week.
3. Fix a time slot for writing
I’ve found it easier to finish tasks when I allocate a specific time slot to them.
My day job was pretty hectic, as I assume most people have these days. So I fixed a time slot from 9 PM to 11 PM daily to sit and write. That was the only time my schedule permitted, but you can pick any time as per your preference.
For these 2 hours, I kept aside all the distractions and focused on deep work. This meant keeping my phone (set on silent mode) away, turning off notifications, and even keeping my pet in the other room.
You know your distractions well enough. Put them all away and dedicate these 2 hours to writing. Initially, you’ll find it hard to focus your mind. But as it becomes a habit, this fixed time slot will make it easier to write daily.
4. Don’t wait for inspiration
This is one tip I wish someone told me when I started writing daily with a full-time job.
When you’re functioning on a time crunch, you don’t have the luxury to wait for hours for inspiration to strike.
If you’ve already fixed a time slot to write, get in front of your screen at that hour. You have these 2 hours, and you have to complete an article.
Even though you’re thoroughly uninspired, glance at the outline and start writing. Yes, force yourself. Your intro won’t feel right. It’s okay. Keep typing mechanically.
The flow state hits after the first 200 words. You’ll get into a writing flow as the words naturally start pouring.
Concerned about that uninspired intro? Get back to it while editing and fix it to have a publish-worthy article ready.
5. Have a publishing schedule
I almost didn’t mention this: I didn’t publish the article I wrote on the same day. I kept a repository of publish-ready articles.
This is how you can make a functioning content publishing model:
- Complete a 1000-word article in 2 hours, then let it sit for the night.
- Before you start writing the next day, pull out your previous day’s work and edit and proofread it. Leave it for the night again.
- On the next day (2 days after writing), give your article a final read and hit publish.
These steps can sound like a lot of work, but they can make your process simpler and more efficient.
Simultaneously, work on this mindset shift — Your writing will never be perfect. The goal is to publish, not wait for perfection.
Final Words: It’s Time to Get Started
I was teaching alongside researching for my Ph.D. when I got into the practice of writing daily. Think of these as two full-time jobs rolled into one.
If I could focus on writing every day and achieve great success on Medium, I’m sure you can do it too.
To build a habit of writing daily, I swear by these 5 practices:
- Keep an idea book to note down ideas every day.
- Utilize weekends to have your next week planned.
- Have a dedicated time slot to write.
- Don’t wait for inspiration to start writing.
- Follow a publishing schedule for daily posting.
When you finally begin, the first few days will be awry. You may find this time investment worthless. But trust the process and keep going. When you make your first dollar by writing online, I’d love to read your comment on this article.
Charles Duhigg writes in The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, “If you believe you can change — if you make it a habit — the change becomes real.”
All you need to do is believe and act. Your daily writing challenge starts now.
Love writing but don’t know where to start? Join my FREE 5-day course. It’ll teach you the successful writer’s framework that took me 5 years to master.
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