The Habit of Writing

I wrote last week about how difficult writing has been lately. Still true! But I know that some of that difficulty is because I got out of the habit of making writing a habit. Here are some ways I’ve been working to make writing a habit again:

  • Remember: writing is hard! It’s so helpful to remember that, yep, writing is hard. Even on good days, even when I have an idea I love, even when I’m overflowing with words: writing is hard. There’s nothing wrong with me for struggling.
  • Journal regularly. Journalling helps me to keep the words flowing, to be honest with myself, and to stay in touch with God. It helps me release my emotions enough that I can write unselfconsciously, write by listening well–if I don’t journal, my head is way too noisy of a place for listening and writing to happen well.
  • Set aside time for writing. I’ve built time into my schedule to write almost every morning. Having that time makes it easier for me to sit down and write.
  • Remember: no time is perfect. I always want to wait to write until conditions and I both feel just right. Yeah, not gonna happen. I’m pastoring two churches, and have friends, family, an apartment, emotions, emergencies… Let go of the need for perfection and just write. Editing exists, which is glorious, but for now, just write.
  • Set goals. I’ve been recording how much I write each day, which is super satisfying: I have actual proof that I’ve been writing! And it means I can set goals for how many words to write or how much I’d like to write per day.
  • Read more. Reading sparks my creativity in ways that watching shows does not, so I’ve been consciously cutting out TV time and reading more instead. I’m currently working my way through some Virginia Woolf, but what really has sparked creativity lately was the Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin. It was FANTASTIC: emotional and honest, with a fascinating society and magical system and brilliant writing.
  • Give myself grace. I haven’t been perfect about any of these. But I’ve been working on it. I’ve been writing.

How do you work to create habits?

2 thoughts on “The Habit of Writing”

  1. No habits here. I just wait until I *want* to write. Not a great strategy, I wind up sitting down for a long session about once per week. Come to think of it, this is how I approach running too. And I’m always rusty at both.

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