Building A Daily Writing Habit: the 6-week Challenge

If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.

Stephen King

Spring and New Beginnings

daily writing and reading habit in action
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Spring is here, (well, almost here for those of us who live in the mountains). And during this time of year I tend to feel inspired to begin new things, to make a new start or accomplish something I’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps this is why I am feeling inspired right now to start a new daily writing habit.

Spring is a perfect analogy of my life at this moment: all the new awakenings and new paths to explore coming after such a long, hard winter. My life gets just a tiny bit more hopeful and promising every day.

As a musician, gigs are finally being scheduled again and that is a very good thing. As an artist, I’m feeling inspired to draw and paint again, practices I’ve let fall by the wayside for far too long. And for my writer-self, this new publishing company is coming to fruition and blossoming. It’s all very exciting and fulfilling!

Dream Big Dreams, Every Moment Counts

Girl with spring flowers

There have been some big changes in my life over these past twelve months and even though it has been difficult at times, the changes bring into perfect focus the vision of how I want to live my life from here on out.

I plan to step into my dreams wholeheartedly and without fear. One of the dreams that I’m stepping into is being the writer I have always wanted to be. This is leading me to set an intention to develop a daily writing habit. If I am to write, then I want to write well. And from what I’ve read and heard over the years this how you do it, there’s no replacement.

I want to be more disciplined as a writer. Part of me feels that the habit of writing every day is essential to improving. Another part of me balks at having something creative that I “have to do.” And I find myself asking “how can I make myself start this new habit?” I want it to be inspiring and fun–not some joyless, forced writing activity.

How to Start a Daily Writing Habit?

One Day or Day One? You Decide. Quote by Paulo Coehlo
~Paulo Coehlo

Today is Day One. Twenty minutes a day, that’s my “how.” That’s my promise to myself. I will write twenty minutes a day, every day for six weeks. I heard that it takes six weeks of consistently doing something to form a new habit, that’s why I plan to keep it up for that long.

You can’t get better at something if you don’t practice!

Even bad practice is better than none at all. That’s what I know to be true about music and art and of course, it applies to writing also. Writers needs consistent practice to hone our skills. Practicing DAILY is the key, or as close to daily as possible.

Let me live, love, and say it well in good sentences.

Sylvia Plath

What If I Don’t FEEL Like Writing?

person trying to develop a daily writing habit
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Right now I’m in the middle of writing and editing several books and not every one of them calls to be worked on every day. In fact, some of them are difficult to approach. They activate hard feelings and yuck from the past comes up. I don’t always FEEL like getting into those topics. But that doesn’t mean I should stop writing all together, just because I have nothing specific to write or that I feel like working on. Writing needs to become a habit!

I’ll use a journal to catch random thoughts, whatever doesn’t fit into the article, book or creative work I’m inspired to add to. Today and every day for six weeks, I am committing to writing for twenty minutes. Every. single. day. No exceptions.

Even if I’m dragging myself into bed after work, even if I’m exhausted and cranky and my kids are whining, I’m still going to write for twenty minutes. 

One Hour Every Day for ME!

Me, the author

As part of this practice, I’m also making a commitment to play music for twenty minutes and do art for twenty minutes every day, maybe even longer! So this means I will set aside one hour to spend on my loves, on my passions, every single day. Out of a day that is mostly spent on other people or on working, one hour doesn’t seem like too much to ask, does it? Don’t I need to also take care of myself? Fill up my soul and let my creative side have space to roam without expectations?

So, this is me, making a promise to myself. I will give this time to myself until it becomes a habit.

At the end of the six week period I hope to have created a new routine and learned some new aspects of my creativity. Consistency, time and practice are my new mantras.

Do you want a Daily Writing Habit too?

Do you want to do this with me? No matter what else happens, we’ll wind up six weeks further along towards the goal of creating a daily writing habit. Perhaps we’ll even end up with better writing skills, increased creativity and more inspiration too! Have you always longed to have a consistent writing practice?

It doesn’t matter what you write about or if you ever let your writing see the light of day. Write what comes to you, whatever’s on your mind, write about what you saw or heard today, write junk and throw it away. Just let go and write! You might be surprised what comes out of you.

If you want, feel free to post your personal writing goals, your progress so far or whatever inspires you about this challenge on our Facebook & Instagram pages, you can use the tags #voicesrisingpress #dailywritinghabit and/or #sixweekwritingchallenge.

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