There are so many things that pull at our time, energy, and money. Often the thing we really want to do, like write a book, gets put on the backburner. Have you tried to write a novel or nonfiction book for ages but can't seem to find the time to write it? Or maybe, you started writing but then hit a brick wall. I get it. We're all busy! But how much do you REALLY want to put your words out into the world? Why do you want to?
If you aren't sure why you want to write your book, it leads to procrastination, which creates stories about WHY we can't write.
We can talk about discipline all day long, but every writer has a vision of what sitting down to write looks like for them. You want to be in the flow, writing regularly, and turning out fantastic writing every time. The truth is it doesn't necessarily work that way. We have to start with a strong foundation. This magical foundation is your writing routine.
Forming a regular writing habit builds your confidence muscle, holds you accountable for reaching your goals and keeps you on track to publish your book.
If you want the Muse to stick around for guidance, you need to show up even when you're unmotivated and uninspired.
Writing is work. It's not a walk in the park where the words flow like a waterfall every time you sit down. Your writing routine will be different from the most popular authors and include your atmosphere, time availability, and intentions.
Try these 5 Secrets to Create a Writing Routine you'll love and, more importantly, stick with.
1. Create an enchanted atmosphere. What makes you feel magical and in the mood to write? I have two rings and a necklace that I put on any time I create magick, including my writing time. I also light a candle and ring my witch's bell. This sets the atmosphere for me to connect with my words and the Muse.
Gather your writing tools, equipment, notes, and journals into one area, even if it is a folding table in your bedroom.
Set the atmosphere for writing that feels good to you. Do you want candles, silence, the bustle of a coffee shop? What do you need to spark your writing Muse?
2. Create a magical mindset. Once your atmosphere is created, it's time to get your mind ready for writing. According to Einstein, both time and space are essentially illusions created by human consciousness. We cannot even conceive of the limitlessness of Universal creation.
Imagine if you could tap into this limitless energy for your writing. Our magical words require coherence on all levels of our being, including our thoughts. With that in mind creating a magical mindset means:
Knowing what you value deep in your core.
Honoring what you want.
Believing that every day is magic for writing.
Trusting in your heart of hearts that the Universe is abundant. Scarcity and lack, and the resulting fear and worry are illusions.
Know why you want to write your book.
Put those words on a Post-it note and keep it in your writing area.
Meditate on these words before you begin to write.
3. Schedule your writing time. Choose a time of day for writing. Are you more creative in the morning or at night? When does your energy wax or wane? Avoid times you know you'll be tired. When you set a specific time, your brain is tricked into thinking that time is specifically for writing and nothing else.
Make this time non-negotiable, but make it realistic. If you can't write every day or only have 15 minutes each day for writing, make whatever time you have sacred.
If you need to, experiment over a couple of weeks to figure out which day and time work best for you. Then lock it in.
Open your phone or your calendar and schedule your writing time.
Be sure to add a reminder so you're notified that it's writing time.
Make the amount of time and the time of day realistic for your life.
Be 100% committed and honor the writing time you set.
4. Progress Not Perfection. The progress you make needs to be celebrated each and every time. To achieve progress, setting tiny, achievable goals puts the control and power in your court.
Human beings love little wins. Hitting small goals motivates you with a spike of dopamine.
There is no doubt that writing can be frustrating, so set an achievable writing goal, such as word count.
If you set a goal to have your first draft manuscript done in six months, this can translate to words per month, week, and day. Track this when you're done writing to see how well you're doing.
The best part of keeping track of your progress is rewarding yourself. As you cross goals off your calendar, physically print the pages you've written and add them to a done pile, it gives you a visual sense of achievement.
Remember, you are going for progress, not perfection.
Know your big goal (publishing a 250-page novel).
Break the big goal down into smaller chunks (word count per month, week, or writing day).
Choose a reward system. How will you celebrate each goal achieved?
Make a list of rewards for reaching your goals.
Keep the list in your writing area, so you don't have to think about how to celebrate.
Celebrate each win when it happens.
5. Share it with your audience. Your audience of friends, family, and followers are a tremendous asset when you write your book. When you publicize your writing goals, the pressure is on to achieve them.
Your audience helps in two ways: It enables you to stay on track and builds your author platform at the same time.
Tell your friends, family, fellow writers, and followers that you're writing a book.
Give them the working title.
Ask for their help if you get stuck.
Give them bits and pieces to read that gets them excited to find out more.
Let them know that you'll share your process as you write.
If you feel called, start a blog and share your progress to give you an added incentive.
You've got this!
Know that what works for you as a writing routine may not work for another writer. Set yourself up for success by defining your own atmosphere, mindset, writing time, progress, and sharing.
Whether you love the bustle of a coffee shop or the silence of your bedroom, you know what works best for you and when you produce your best writing.
A writing routine gives you direction, even if you are setting the deadline and the goals. It gives you a way to measure and define your success.
Writing is a challenge and its own reward. The biggest secret is to stick with it. Dedicate yourself to the process. It says that you believe in yourself and that you can write the book on your heart.