Kick start good writing habits

For those who want to write THE END  or see our work published, we need to write. Put in the time and get those words on the page. For some, it’s writing daily and for others, it’s writing when we can, between bouncing that baby and the day job.

Whatever is eating your time, having a simple plan will help get the words out. It’s important to note that every plan needs tweaking and adjusting. I tinker with mine each year as I learn to write for longer periods (but not necessarily faster) without distractions. 

While none of these are new, they are often overlooked.

Here is how I started.

  1. Write a plan for the week. Make it simple. We are more likely to execute goals that are simple and uncluttered. Lists are great, but I get overwhelmed seeing all those to-dos. I’m also a fan of seeing progress on paper. 

Goal: 500 words per-day

Day One/Monday        Day Two/Tuesday

250 words                250 words

250 words                250 words

Repeat the process depending on your goal and the number of days you intend to write. Write in one sitting or bit by bit. Either way, check off your accomplishments as you hit them. Even 500 words a day adds to a full-length novel a year. I’ve attached a simple daily planning sheet below.

Repeat. Write. Repeat.

2. Reduce distractions during writing time. Yep, that means Facebook and other social media. Honestly, this is a challenge. By day five, I was dying. But no one un-friended me for not responding during my writing hours.

3. Find a buddy. Can’t claim every buddy will have your commitment either. Finding an accountability buddy to share our experience with will help reinforce good habits and writing behaviors.

4. Be positive. Negativity sneaks in unexpectedly and often we don’t hear it in our language. Negativity will zap your creativity every time. Make it part of your daily routine to speak one positive statement about your writing, your success, your dreams, etc. And for Pete’s sake, celebrate all those daily word count checkmarks.

I would love to know what habits work for you.

Stay safe and happy, and maybe just a little naughty!




1. Writer’s Block or Story Stalling

An empty page is not inspirational, many times we stare at one until we go blind, hoping for lightening to strike, to get the juices flowing again. This usually occurs when you are not as familiar as you need to be with your characters. You need to go back to the beginning, when you first introduced them and find out more of what makes them tick. They have a story to tell and you need to do it.

2. Stop Writing When You Still Have Something to Write.

When you know what is going to happen next it is easier to get started when you get back to it. The momentum isn’t lost, you just continue the flow you had at a later time. You won’t be facing a blank  page because you know where the story is going. So stop in the middle of a great scene or some intense dialogue, you’ll find your fingers will move you along quickly when you return.

3. Don’t be Afraid of Deadlines

Photo by Prateek Katyal on

Deadlines can be your friend, they push you to write, even  if you don’t have a contract. Make a contract with yourself. Some great novels have taken years to write, then their sequels come out quickly after, that is the value of a deadline. They push, gently, but you are aware. Be fearless.

4. Keep a Word Count Tally

Writing can be daunting at times (most times), but a word count tally at the end of  every session will show your progress. On a day when you feel you’ve accomplished nothing, a word count tally will prove you’ve accomplished something, sometimes more than you think. It is encouraging when you are feeling less so.

5. Take a Break

If the words aren’t flowing, go for a break. Step away from the computer, doing a mindless chore like washing the dishes, taking the dog for a walk ( that’s good for you too ). When your brain is focused on other tasks you might just find a solution to your problem. It works for me, many a good idea has come while taking a shower.

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