How To Make Writing A Habit And Maintain It

I have many bad habits, but I also have a few good ones.

This is my advice for building a habit like writing and not breaking it three days in.

Be realistic.

Especially when you’re first starting out. You don’t want to set your sights so high that you have trouble reaching them. That can get discouraging real fast. Look at your life and lifestyle right now. How much time can you realistically commit to writing without letting other things slip or worse, suffer? It’s important you’re honest with yourself when making beginning a new habit.

Block out time.

Whether it’s ten minutes or two hours. Your creative time is sacred. Unless your house is burning down, don’t get up from your seat until you’re done.

Set goals.

Short and long term. Daily, weekly, monthly, yearly. Maybe you want to work for half an hour or perhaps write a thousand words. Besides, it isn’t as daunting to write 500 words every day as it is writing a 50,000 word novel. Having a clear idea of what you’re trying to accomplish ultimately gives you smaller benchmarks to hit with each writing session. At the very least, you’ll feel like you’re getting things done slowly but surely. It all adds up over the course of a year.

Track your habit.

There are a number of ways to do this. A notebook. An app on your phone. After a few days, you might feel less inclined to break your streak. Hopefully, you’ll push through and keep going even on days you don’t want to.

Hold yourself accountable.

Better yet find a friend to make sure you follow through with your habits and goals. Have someone check in often by asking you about your progress. You can always return the favour.

Use incentives.

Rewards are a great motivator when it comes to getting work done. Take advantage of the things that make you more willing to put pen to paper.

Have non-incentives.

On the other hand, you can have consequences when you procrastinate or make excuses. Monetary ones work well. Give your mom, sister, whoever five dollars every time you skip out on writing. Suddenly you aren’t as inclined to miss a session, huh?

Although I use writing as an example, the advice above can apply for almost any habit you’re trying to establish.

Good luck maintaining your habits!

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20 Lessons I Learned As A Reader

I spent nearly all my life around books, so here are 20 lessons I’ve learned as an avid reader.

  1. Start.
  2. Try to finish.
  3. Timing is everything.
  4. Read what you want.
  5. Read when you want.
  6. Read how you want.
  7. Just read.
  8. Study what works.
  9. Never stop learning.
  10. Books are great teachers.
  11. Seek out other readers.
  12. Some stories won’t resonate with you.
  13. You can still take something away from a novel you didn’t like.
  14. Give books a chance.
  15. Step outside your comfort zone.
  16. Enjoy the act of reading.
  17. The right book at the right time can change your life.
  18. Leaders are readers.
  19. Make time to read.
  20. Happy reading is the best kind of reading.

What is something you’ve realized as a reader of books? I’d love to know down below.

Reasons Why You Should Quit Writing Right Now

  1. You suck.
  2. You’re bad.
  3. You’re busy.
  4. You’re lazy.
  5. You hate writing.
  6. You love not writing.
  7. You think writing is hard.
  8. You think writing is easy. 
  9. You rather do anything else than write.
  10. You rather do nothing else than write. 
  11. You haven’t published anything.
  12. You haven’t been paid to publish something. 
  13. You don’t have a bestseller. 
  14. You don’t have a movie deal for that non-existent bestseller.
  15. Your mom doesn’t read your poems.
  16. Your dad doesn’t read your stories.
  17. Your entire family hasn’t read anything you’ve ever written in your whole life. 
  18. You have a blog that no one reads.
  19. You have several blogs that no one reads.
  20. You don’t have time to put words on a page. 
  21. You don’t have the energy to lift a pen and place it on a piece of paper.
  22. You read a blog post from an unpublished writer telling you to quit writing and took her words seriously.

Advice For Aspiring Writers 

I love giving bad writing advice. 

  • When you want to quit, remember why you started.
  • You don’t have to get your story right the first time. Or the fifteenth.
  • Your piece should be as long as it needs to be. No more. No less.
  • Read what you want, when you want, where you want. Just read something.
  • Write often. Even when you don’t feel like it.
  • Turn off your inner critic while writing. Turn on the critic while editing. 
  • Let that idea in your head make it into the paper. A bad page is better than a blank one. 
  • Have fun with the first draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. First drafts are supposed to suck. Editing exists for a reason.
  • Get better and better with every failure. Not trying is worse than failing.
  • Adjust. Change what doesn’t work. Improve what does.
  • Stop worrying. You’re wasting time you’ll never get back.
  • Make the most of what you have. Even and especially when you don’t have much. 
  • Keep learning. Don’t ever stop learning.
  • Live your life. Then relive your life through writing. 
  • Never settle for anything less than your best. Why do anything if you aren’t going to give it your all?

I also love soliciting good writing advice.

Why I Don’t Always Hit Publish

I try to post every day, but I don’t hit publish if…

  • a post isn’t ready yet.
  • I’m not proud of what I’ve written.
  • the poem, story, etc., begs to be longer.

I have more reasons, but the above three are my main ones.

My excuses include:

  • I’m tired.
  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m uninspired.
  • I’m not motivated.
  • I’m horrible at managing my time.
  • I’m amazing at procrastinating all day and posting at night.

I’ll spare you the rest of my excuses.

Blogging isn’t easy. It never will be.

3 Reasons Why I Write

I write for many reasons. Here are three:

  1. To kill time. If I couldn’t write, I don’t know how I would spend 24 hours a day every day. But because I do write, 24 is not enough. It’s never enough.
  2. To kill characters. I hope you read the previous sentence the way I meant it. To kill characters who are based on people I don’t like in real life. Trust me when I say there are many. 
  3. To kill my soul. Writing has taken me to dark places I didn’t know I needed to go. But I’m glad I did.

I’m going to assume you write. Why do you?

    What Readers Need

    Readers don’t need much. They just need more… 

    • money
    • books
    • time
    • space
    • money

    I could really do with more money. Then again, doesn’t everybody?

    I Don’t Have Proper Email Etiquette?

    First of all, etiquette is a word I always struggle to spell.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I can finally get a few things off my chest.

    I’ve sent my fair share of emails in the nineteen years I’ve been alive. And no one has ever complained about my email etiquette. Until today.

    If you know nothing else about me, know this: I dislike wasting my own time, and I dislike wasting other people’s time even more. OK, that’s not entirely true. You get what I mean though. I hate wasting time. I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.

    Since I’m a writer and blogger, I like to think I’m concise. At least I try to be as much as possible. But I guess I also run the risk of seeming rude.

    I finally crossed the line into terse territory by sending an email to my TA without enough “description” to his liking. So he proceeded to tell me what isn’t “a proper etiquette” and what is. His words, not mine.

    Maybe I should teach him a thing or two about you know what.

    Why I Started Blogging

    I started blogging almost four years ago. It’s tough and challenging, but I’ve enjoyed every moment.

    Sometimes I like to remember why I created a blog in the first place, not to mention why I continue blogging.

    I’m imagining fifteen year old me. She was probably bored all day long and in desperate need of something to do to pass the time.

    Nineteen going on twenty me is only bored during class time and wants twenty-five hours in the day.

    Funny the difference four years make.

    Losing An Hour

    If you reside in Canada or the US, you lost an hour earlier, thanks to the lovely phenomenon known as Daylight Savings Time.

    How does it feel to lose an hour of sleep? How does it feel to lose 60 minutes where you could have been reading or writing or blogging? How does it feel to lose 3600 seconds and do less of whatever it is you typically do on a Sunday?

    On any given day, I could use additional hours to work or rest. So losing one is not ideal, to say the least.

    Unfortunatley, I was not as productive today as I normally am. I blame the person behind this DST thing. How dare you steal an hour from the insufficient 24 in a day.