Professional writers write consistently. Every day. No matter what. Most writers aren’t professional writers, and many of them struggle to maintain a regular writing habit because of the numerous facets of life that deplete time and energy from the day. Trying to build a consistent writing habit is a noble goal, but saying you’re going to write 1,000 words every day when it’s something you’ve struggled with in the past or never done before will be a huge challenge. So rather than set a lofty, daily writing goal, here are four writing goals to help you set a consistent writing habit and build a writing routine that fits your writing style and schedule.
Write 50 words a day
Even on your most trying days, you can manage 50 words. It’ll only take a minute or two. It’s one paragraph or a few small lines of dialogue. 50 words is as unscary as you can get.
Hopefully the 50 words are enough writing encouragement to carry you through to writing more words. 50 words easily lead to 100 words, 200 words, and 1,000 words. But on the days where you can’t muster any more words, at least you wrote.
50 words is infinitely better than no words. At least you wrote something every day, and that’s where the habit of writing begins and the stories are created.
Write 10 minutes a day
Everyone has 10 minutes that they can spare, and it’s a lot easier to find 10 minutes than a full hour. If setting a word goal isn’t for you, try setting a small time goal. 10 minutes is all you need to write daily.
On good days, you’ll find 10 minutes becomes 20 minutes or 40 minutes, or that you’re excited to keep writing so you find another 10 minutes at a later point in the day. On bad days, you’ve still written for 10 minutes.
10 minutes is progress. 10 minutes is plot progression. It’s enough to keep you invested in the story when you’re too tired or busy to write any more. As you aim for 10 minutes, and you’ll be surprised what those 10 minutes a day can do for your writing.
Write in a journal every day
Journaling is writing, too. If you struggle to write consistently because of writer’s block or creative exhaustion, write consistently in a journal. Your experiences in life may provide the inspiration you need for a future story, and you can expand your journaling habit into a creative writing habit later on.
Report to a writing buddy once a week
If having a consistent writing goal doesn’t work out for you (some of us fail that one each year), consider reporting to a writing friend what you wrote or accomplished that week, whether it be word count, plot progression, outline progress, research finished, etc. Be accountable to someone, and it may be all the push you need to get yourself writing during the week.
Looking for a buddy? There are a variety of options for connecting with other writers.
- Check out the #writingcommunity hashtag on Twitter
- Join one of the many writing groups on Facebook
- Google writing groups in your hometown
- Ask your local library if there are any writing groups or chapters that meet there
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