I’m not. I can’t afford to be. Absolutely nothing helps you develop a regular writing habit better than deadlines. At the moment, I have 5:
- One Muffin blog post.
- The final draft of Women in Science.
- 7 Activities with photos.
- Chapter 1 and an outline for Women in Sports.
- The final draft of Women in Sports.
The first deadline is in just under two weeks. The last is in about 2 months. What it ultimately means is that I write Monday through Friday and often a bit here and there on the weekends. I don’t wait until I’m in the mood. I just do it.
If you are trying to develop a writing habit but don’t have paying deadlines, you may have to create or find deadlines. Some writers do this by entering contests. Others decide that they will write X minutes per day. Those who can’t stick to this kind of schedule without a bit of a nudge arrange to check in with a writing buddy. Still other people attend a regular critique group. Knowing that you need to have something to share can also be a great motivator.
Write regulary for about 6 weeks and you’ll develop a writing habit. Why 6 weeks? That’s about how long it takes any new practice to become habit.
If you have troubles making progress because you work and rework each paragraph until you achieve perfection, give yourself permission to create dreadful drafts. For more on how this can benefit you as a writer, check out my blog post for last Saturday on the Muffin.