What I wanted…was a daily writing habit.
What I had instead…a daily thinking habit.
I thought about writing. I thought about it a lot. I wanted to write every day but typically, I didn’t know what.
A blessing or a curse, I am interested in many forms of writing.
Should I write nonfiction – blog posts or an educational eBook?
Should I write fiction – rework my script, flesh-out my script into a novel, rework my YA manuscript or start on a new passion, a fiction cozy?
PROBLEM – When would I sit down to write?
I needed a writing habit.
It was mid-October, Nanowrimo was fast approaching.
I have won Nanowrimo before.
I loved it.
I realized with a daily word count and a deadline, I would get writing done.
But, I wanted a new challenge and remember…I had no focus. What would I write for Nanowrimo anyway?
So I decided to be gentle with myself.
“Just write,” I thought.
In the morning.
I am at my best in the morning.
I wake up quickly to exercise and then shower.
So now I just added my new writing habit to my already solidified chain.
SOLUTION to: When would I sit down to write?
I made a new habit chain: get up–exercise-shower-write.
PROBLEM – What would I write about?
I needed predictable writing inspiration.
Though I am familiar with morning pages, established in book, the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, I wanted something more than a therapeutic brainstorm.
So this is what I did.
I have a book called…A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves.
It has 365 prompts.
But not the usual prompts…like…write about a favorite season…rather…prompts like…Driving through the fog…or…The hand you were dealt.
So…this is what my writing ritual looks like:
- I open a new word document
- Record the date
- Record the prompt and then…
- I write.
SOLUTION to: What would I write about?
I used a book of prompts and a predictable writing routine.
As the days went I on…
I was playful. I was determined. I kept my commitment.
Each day, when I saved a post, I numbered it and added the date.
As Nanowrimo started I felt reassured that although I wasn’t doing that challenge I was creating a habit that I could sustain.
I discovered it takes me about 15 minutes to write 500 words.
15 minutes over 50 days was 25,000 words.
I learned that I could write fast when I took the pressure off.
I let my mood guide my writing.
When the prompt inspired fiction, I would embody the main character for my new unplanned fiction cozy and write.
No story outline…nothing.
I let the character reveal new things to me.
And this is what happened….I discovered new antagonists, other characters and plot points.
When the prompt inspired a free write, the words reflected; my state of being, my wonders, my confusions my questions about life, work, parenting and relationships.
And this is what happened…I discovered new writing directions, recurring patterns and sometimes answers to my problems.
When I didn’t like the prompt…I discovered that I could reach back into yesterday and write a poem or the rough draft for an article.
And this is what happened…I discovered when I trusted he process, writing that needed to happen…happened!
PROBLEM – How would I stay with this habit?
QUICK Solution – Announce it to others…public accountability.
That’s what I did. I announced my milestone and wrote this post because I realized that I could help others.
If you haven’t already started your own habit consider the power of small things.
You see, I sweat the small things in life.
And a daily writing habit is a small thing but over time…it grows more writing than you could ever imagine.
I won’t stop my new habit.
I don’t think I could…I’m addicted!
Love Coach Brandi