How to become a writer of habit?
A lot of authors will give the advice, Write Every Day. No exceptions.
A lot of other authors will give the advice, OMG, you don’t have to write every day. I don’t. You don’t either. Don’t listen to that advice.
Neither of these are correct and neither of these are wrong.
What you must do as a writer is create a habit. A habit that will last you through shitty days. A habit that will last you through null motivation. A habit that will last you through depression and writer’s block and burnout.
For some people, this habit needs to be every single day. And this is great. Whatever time comes around each day and you sit yourself down at your computer or in front of a notebook because your brain says, “Hey, this is supposed to be writing time, remember?”
But many people have inflexible schedules where this isn’t possible. So to those people, I say this: find a special time that WILL work. Maybe it’s once a week, Saturday morning at 6 am for one hour. Maybe it’s Tues/Thurs nights from 8pm-10pm. Maybe it’s every other Friday from 6am-3pm because that’s your CWS Friday.
I don’t know when you have time. But YOU know.
Find that special time, whether it’s an hour or ten or twenty each week. Find it and make it sacrosanct. NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE, can interrupt this time. If it’s 30 minutes during baby nap time, then it’s 30 minutes during baby nap time. If it’s sitting down at the kitchen table with your morning coffee before work or on your commute with an audio recorder.
Once you find that time, craft whatever setup you need to make it easiest to keep doing it so it becomes a habit. Put the notebook exactly where you know you’re going to need it. Add extra batteries to your pocket when you go for that walk with your audio recorder. Make sure to make your computer and your working files as easy and as organized to get to as possible. Any obstacles you can remove, remove them. Any way to make things easier, do them.
Set up meeting schedules in your calendar if need be. Set up notifications. Reminders.
And then! (And this is the super hard part)
HIDE YOUR PHONE. DO NOT OPEN THE INTERNET. IGNORE ALL ELSE DURING YOUR WRITING TIME.
I, personally, have a small netbook that is for writing only. Can’t even get onto the internet or it’ll probably die some horrible, virus-ridden death. It’s great, because even if i wanted to get on the interest…I can’t.
But really. Hide your phone or get yourself an app like Forest in order to turn off access to it for your special writing time that you’ve carved out to form a habit that you want to keep you going through the years <3