Distractions are often the downfall of many writers. Do not let them be your Achilles’ heel. Developing a consistent writing habit is not necessarily easy. Following the tips below can help you keep yourself on track and become a more productive writer.
Start with an Easy Goal
There is no shame in starting off with an easy goal. Small goals help you reach larger ones. If the ultimate goal is to complete a particular piece of writing, such as a novel, then any amount of writing you do moves you closer to that goal.
To begin, set a simple goal that you know you can easily achieve or even surpass. For instance, you can set a daily writing goal of 100 words or one paragraph. That is an easy writing goal that only requires a few minutes of time during the day to reach it.
Large goals can become overwhelming. Sometimes you don’t know where to begin. When the goal is small and you know you can easily achieve it, you will be more likely to actually complete it.
Check Your Progress
Distractions and setbacks will occur. Other things will get in the way of your writing time. Those things might even make it difficult to reach the smallest, easiest goals. What you can do about it? Check your progress, and reassess where you are after three weeks. Have you been keeping up with those easy goals?
If you’ve been exceeding the easy goals, then it is a good time to make those goals a little more challenging. If distractions are getting in the way instead, then make adjustments. Try writing at a different time of day or in an alternate space away from the usual distractions. Most importantly, do not stop writing. Make writing a regular part of your life.
Aim for Two to Three Months
Setting manageable writing goals and sticking to them for two to three months is a great way to develop a strong writing habit. Sometimes writers want to plan further ahead, though. For instance, they might envision themselves completing a novel over the next 12 months and map out a writing schedule for the entire year. In reality, planning out a full year is difficult. Anything can happen to derail your writing plans.
Focusing on a shorter time period of just a few months can actually help you get more writing done. Maybe you have a goal of completing one chapter of your novel within two or three months. You have set a fairly easy daily writing goal for yourself, and by sticking to it you will reach your overall goal completing that chapter. After writing consistently for two to three months, you will have developed a writing habit.
The funny thing about writers is that, as much as they love writing, they don’t always get a lot of writing done. By setting easy goals early on, reassessing those goals after checking your progress, and sticking to it for two to three months, you can get into a consistent writing habit.