10 Tips for Starting a Writing Habit

Writing habit Darius Foroux

Writing is one of the most powerful tools, one that can transform your life in unimaginable ways. But how do you start a writing habit that sticks?

It can be an outlet for your thoughts and emotions, a means to articulate your ideas, and the vehicle that leads to personal and professional growth.

But the secret to reaping these benefits lies not in the act of writing itself, but in making it a daily habit.

Consistent, daily writing can sharpen your thoughts, enhance your creativity, and give you a profound sense of accomplishment.

But starting a writing habit can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are some strategies that have worked wonders for me:

  1. Set the bar really low: Forget about writing 1000 words or a full page in your journal. You don’t have to churn out an entire blog post, chapter, or journal entry at once. Focus on getting down a few words. Once you break that initial barrier, the words tend to flow more easily.
  2. Embrace simplicity: Close all unnecessary browser tabs and programs. Just focus on your writing tool. Don’t get caught up in finding the perfect text editor; use what you’re comfortable with or the simplest one at hand.
  3. Eliminate distractions: Turn off all notifications on your computer and phone. Do this preemptively, like scheduling it on your calendar the night before you plan to write. With Apple devices, when you have something blocked on your calendar, you automatically get a notification to silence all notifications. The key is to minimize potential distractions before they can interrupt your flow.
  4. Plan ahead: Think about what you want to write beforehand. Even deciding on the first few words can help when it’s time to start writing. This pre-writing stage is incredibly helpful in overcoming the initial inertia.
  5. Acknowledge resistance: We often resist starting because we fear the outcome. Recognize these points of resistance and let them go. Remember, you’re not trying to pen a masterpiece right away. You’re just starting to write. Everything else can be worried about later.
  6. Remember why you write: You’re writing because it has benefits like better thinking and career opportunities. When you write, imagine yourself in a future state that you have those benefits. This mental image can be a powerful motivator to get the words flowing.
  7. Just start: The most important step is to begin. You don’t have to write for a full 5-10 minutes. Just start. Once you’ve taken that first step, you’ll likely want to continue, but there’s no pressure.
  8. Set a routine: Establish a regular writing schedule. It could be early in the morning or late at night. Whatever works best for you. Consistency is key to building a habit.
  9. Create a writing space: Designate a specific area for writing. This physical space can signal to your brain that it’s time to write, helping you get into the zone quicker.
  10. Be patient with yourself: Lastly, be patient. Building a habit takes time. There will be days when the words don’t flow as easily, and that’s okay. The important thing is to keep at it.

As the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu supposedly said:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

That’s so true. But in our case, the journey starts with one word written.

So start writing.

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