How to build and cultivate a habit of writing daily. As a blogger and writer here is how I did it and 7 key points to make it happen for you
Daily writing habit is my personality trait now. In other words, if I don’t write, I don’t feel like my day is complete. The same follows with programming too. I have cultivated the most fruitful habit of my career.
Undoubtedly, writing daily for my blog has brought a new dimension to me. Writing on my favorite topics have helped me improve a lot personally. Besides, writing gives me the ability to share my views and ideas with others.
But making it a daily habit wasn’t an easy job, at least for a programmer. At a point of time back in the past, all my blogs, including IMTips, was almost dead with no new content written by me for months. I couldn’t focus on generating good content for my blog due to other priorities.
After reading Tim Ferriss’ The 4 Hour Work Week all I had to take was just a decision to start writing. I took up 30 days of challenge to post daily.
My 30 Days Of Daily Publish Challenge
Clients, forums, consultation, trading, investing, partnerships, etc., and writing always took a backseat. I like writing, but I never had any self-commitment to write and publish daily.
I always knew to be a writer, and I need to write and publish daily. It is true for every profession. Whatever you are and whatever you do, you need to be doing it every day. Web developers do web development daily, project managers manage project daily, or traditional shop owner makes sales daily.
In Oct of 2016, I took the challenge of publishing daily for 30 days, where I made a self-commitment to publish for 30 days.
How Did It Happen?
It is not that you wake up one morning and commit to writing for the next 30 days, and it will just happen. There will be many trials to make it happen.
Initially, the plan wasn’t to publish daily on IMTips but only from Monday to Saturday. The reason being for my Investment Blog, I write on Sundays where I do my homework for investments. It has been a habit for quite some time now. So I only needed to publish on the other six days.
In April and May 2016, I wrote for five weeks from Monday to Thursdays i.e., published four times a week. It was tough.
So I reduced the frequency to publish three times a week i.e., on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in the coming weeks.
Worked for a few weeks, but if you aren’t writing daily, you don’t develop it as a habit. Slowly it was back to square one. A couple of months of random publishing, and in October, I decided to try and publish daily for a week.
So I decided to either publish for an entire week, and if I miss it, I will take a break for a week and post it daily for the next week.
I made a light schedule for Sunday. I only shared a video from Youtube that I liked and wrote a few lines about it.
It helps in many ways where post hardly takes any time, is a good starting point to daily publishing and make weekends writing enjoyable and fun.
What did this do to me as a blogger?
I am not talking about statistics and analytics of the site because those can take care of themselves but more about me and my personality as a blogger.
The most important of all is now I feel like a writer and blogger.
Every blogger should write daily. Not necessarily publish daily but definitely, have a schedule to write every day. Few drafts will not be published, and those can always remain as drafts.
It wasn’t My First Try
No way. I always wanted this to happen and have tried it many times and failed.
Is self-commitment enough? The answer is No. Self-commitment is never going to be enough because you can self-commit again in the future.
I committed to a friend (who follows my IMTips blog) that I am going to write daily. It helps me achieve results far easier than I thought.
Self-commit to write daily. Once you are committed, commit openly among friends to write every day.
Find someone who follows your blog and can ask you when your next article is scheduled? Then schedule to write daily to develop it as a habit.
Once I started to write daily, writing became part of my daily routine, and it has made all the difference.
After publishing daily for 30 days, the habit of writing and publishing daily continued, and I converted the challenge into 50 days.
However, in the challenge of developing a habit to write daily and complete the challenge, I chose topics that need less detailing over others.
So going forward, I managed to write daily but then no publishing daily. Thus for February, I will reduce only to publish three posts per week and follow a theme. It doesn’t mean I will write daily but will not publish daily and allocate more time to each piece of content I write.
Finally, I could achieve three articles per week for a long-time.
Apart from writing new posts, I also need to edit and upgrade existing ones that are outdated. However, if you plan to write daily, you can feel exhausted and need to replenish thoughts. You also need strong self-motivation to publish daily. It means one needs to read more and read often.
Why Write Daily?
However, as a writer, there is a lot more than blogging and money.
Adds a Self-Discipline to Life
Talking about a Netflix series that you recently binge-watched with friends is super easy. However, if I ask you to write about it, you will watch it with a different perspective.
And if you don’t want to write about it, you will watch something that you prefer to write about.
The point I am trying to make is we waste our precious time. We do things that don’t yield anything.
Why we waste time? Because we lack self-discipline.
Writing every day develops discipline.
Improves Persuasion Skills
Writing improves your persuasion (communication, conversational) skills. When you are writing, it’s just the words that you can use to lead the reader. There’s a minimal resource at your exposure to convince him/her.
Once you master the art, it becomes easy to persuade readers to use logical reasoning. But How can that happen? By writing more. The more you write, the more persuasion power you develop.
Makes You Aware of Your Thoughts
I call it self-awareness.
When you write, you translate your thoughts into words. Write daily to become more aware of your thoughts.
As a writer, you can become a visionary and better version of yourself.
Develop a Creative Thinking Mind
You have to come up with new topic ideas daily. I am sure there will be a point when you feel there is nothing much to write about. It is called a writer’s block.
With time, you will learn to overcome the writer’s block as well. It is the point where you start developing a creative mind. You look at things differently now.
When you vent out that’s boggling your mind, you feel calm and relaxed. Above all, writing inspires and makes you feel accomplished.
Makes you a Good Reader
The best way to get out of writer’s block is to read. Reading is a way to rejuvenate your thinking and fill your brain once again to write and express.
Consider your mind as a bucket filled with water. When you write, you are emptying the bucket. Reading will help fill the bucket again.
Reading is a habit of every super-successful person. So if writing can make you a reader, there is nothing better than being a writer.
Ways to Develop a Habit of Writing Daily
Now the question is – How do we develop a habit of writing daily? Here are the ways for you to start blogging and cultivate a habit of writing daily.
I mean, how long will you keep doing one single thing every day. It’s a tough business, huh!
Here are five ways that can help you with that:
1. Even if You Fail, Take the Challenge
The most crucial aspect of developing a habit of writing is to challenge yourself to write daily. Even if you fail to write and publish for 30 days and only manage to write for seven days. So now, your blog has seven articles.
Keep on doing that, and you will pass one day for 30 days.
Don’t let the fail in the challenges discourage you. Take them as a step to have more content for the blog. Over time, you will pass the challenge, but the failed challenges got you the content for the blog.
The critical aspect is to challenge oneself to write daily for a month. Initially, even if you do it for three days, five days, seven days is not essential.
What is more important is to keep on taking up a month-long challenge.
Make sure to write for more number of days than the last time you failed in the challenge. Failure is part and parcel of writing and blogging.
No one will succeed in the first attempt. Even I didn’t after being a blogger for years. It took me a few challenges before I could pass the 30 days one and keep it doing for 50 days.
2. Start Writing, Stop Overanalyzing
Writing is not everyone’s cup of tea. The idea of writing itself is intimidating in the first place. I have come across a fleet of writers in my blogging journey. Most of them could have done great, but they never aspire to write.
The first-ever blog that I wrote was just two paragraphs. Yes, only two paras. It was hardly 100 words all-inclusive. Look at the audacity that I even published it on IMTips. Writing is a journey, and it’s an experience that teaches you new things every day.
If you think you will compile an article of 3000 words on the first day itself, then that’s not going to happen. Every pro starts as a newbie.
Overthinking and overanalyzing is a problem here. Don’t compare yourself to the best author in the niche. Take aspiration and inspiration, but still, you need to write first, and over time you will write like him.
We tend to make things perfect in one shot. On the other hand, we forget that perfection takes time.
You will read, research, write, delete, think, hustle, cut, crop, and do a lot more with your content. Over time you will gain expertise.
3. Writing Daily Must Be a Top Priority
People change with time, and so does their priorities. We can’t do everything in one go. We need to assess what shall be done now and what later. To counter your preferences, make a list of stuff that matters to you the most. Start from the morning and boil down till late at night or when you sleep.
Your list contains spending time with friends and family, doing good at a job or business. Watching a new series on Netflix could also be a priority for the time being. That’s how life goes on, and that’s how it works. Now, where’s the writing on the list. Not on the top or not even in the top five.
In the back of your mind, you might think – How writing can be on top?
How will my friends, family, or baking a cake hinder the writing process?
If writing isn’t your topmost priority, the only way to write consistently is to scrap everything above and below it.
Every single thing on your list must fall below writing, whether it is friends, family, baking, beach, or the final season of Money Heist. If it’s not a top priority, then it will never be one.
4. Find Your Motivation to Write
Motivation is the most crucial ingredient to write. If writing doesn’t motivate you, then you won’t make it happen. Motivation is a part of an endless loop containing action and inspiration. You write something, readers read, they applaud, and you get inspiration to write even better stuff.
However, it doesn’t start that way, and you need the motivation to write when no one is reading commenting or applauding.
You are reading this because you look forward to becoming an ace writer. But only reading won’t help; your involvement is necessary. You will have to write something.
I don’t care what you want to write, but just start writing.
What happens is once you start writing and publishing, even a small success will inspire you to write more. Unknowingly you are sending signals to your subconscious mind. “I can do better, in fact, a lot better.”
I don’t have a boss who tells me what to do and what not to. Hence, I am on my own, where I have to take nerve-wracking decisions.
At times I have intuitions of failure, doubt, disparity, and uncertainty. It will often happen when there’s no one around to push you. You feel getting stuck at a point. During my initial days of freelancing or blogging, weeks would go by without writing even a single word. There were no significant developments, and it can be enough to put you off without self-motivation.
5. Set Realistic Goals
The biggest hurdle that will keep you away from writing is procrastination. And the best way to encounter it is to set deadlines to achieve a goal. The same applies to any given task in daily routine.
A thousand words per day are possible. However, as a new writer, you will find it tough to express yourself in words. Moreover, you aren’t doing it full time.
A key point here is to set a realistic writing goal.
Don’t overstretch yourself. For example, writing a 3000-word blog article in two days is unrealistic.
When you are learning to write, you need a sense of accomplishment as well.
I will write at least 1000 words daily, and I will start my blog and earn millions, publish or self-publish a book, and more. That’s where you need to control your horses. Avoid doing it because you will crash land easily.
Unachievable goals are major turn-offs. The trick here is to write and not to measure how many words you write in a day. You can start by writing vanilla articles. A 400-500 word count is achievable.
One can’t be a pro writer overnight.
Anyone aspiring to write daily is an avid reader and a staunch follower. You read and follow the top bloggers for sure. A step further, you want to write and publish articles like them.
You write 400-500 words articles first. Now invest in learning skills that will help you write 1000 words.
Once you master the art of writing a 1000 words, learn a new technique to write 5000 words. That’s what I call a learning mindset instead of a dreaming mindset.
So blogging and writing is not about getting started. It is all about to keep hustling.
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