How to make writing a daily habit

I don’t specialize in writing. However, I do write a lot. Is it the best piece of writing you will ever read? No way! But, I don’t let that stop me. I try to write something most days. I believe that’s the key to improving any area of your life. Do it every day. Be consistent.

My writing process is pretty simple. I use a couple of tricks to ensure I never get in my own way.

Break writing into phases

Back at primary school we learnt to break our writing into 4 phases.

  1. Research
  2. Draft
  3. Proof
  4. Publish

Of course, for most of us this was a long time ago. We’ve all since thought that this was a bit slow, and we could easily combine the phases and get things done faster. However, in my opinion this is not the way to making writing a habit! Here’s a break-down of how I treat each writing phase.

Phase 1: Research

In this phase you collect every bit of information you think you’ll need for the topic you want to write about. Read articles, listen to podcasts, watch videos and most importantly take notes. Write down anything you think is relevant or useful.

Now go over your notes. Give each item you wrote down some time. See if you can simplify your note-taking into something easier to digest. You might understand it fine but, would a layman?

Now, leave it alone. Don’t do phase 2 until tomorrow. Sleep on it and let your brain organize some of this information.

Phase 2: Draft

Before we start writing, go over your notes from yesterday. This will ensure you have the key points in the front of mind.

Next we need to set a timer. How long can you write for while still staying motivated. For me, it’s about 15 minutes. Figure out what your number is and set a timer. You are going to write non-stop for that amount of time. Absolutely no editing! Ignore your spelling and grammar mistakes. If a sentence doesn’t make sense, don’t worry. You will be fixing all of these the next day. Just write non-stop.

Editing distracts you from the writing process. It stops your flow. Just keep writing for as long as that timer goes.

When that timer finishes, asses how you went. Did you finish you post? Do you still feel motivated?

If your not quite finished but you still feel motivated, set another timer and keep going.

If you not finished and not motivate, you can leave it for now. We will pick it back up later.

Phase 3: Proofing

Don’t do this part straight after phase 2! Do it the next day. The goal is to make writing into a habit You do that by making it easily achievable. By spreading it over time you will avoid burning yourself out.

When proofing use a grammar checker like Grammarly. This will save you time when editing and greatly improve your writing.

In this phase you can identify if any part needs to be rewritten. If this is the case you can either do this now or leave a note to rewrite this and repeat phase 2 the next day.

If you didn’t finish your writing in phase 2, and you’ve completed phase 3 (you have a proof that you are happy with), just pick up writing where you left off and reproof you writing.

Phase 4: Publish

Now you have an article the is proofed and ready to be published. Give it a re-read and make sure everything flows nicely.

Tip: is to use the extension read aloud to have your writing read back to you. This way your ears might pick up mistakes your eyes jumped over.

Get someone else read it to see what they think. If there are any fixes to be made, make them. After you’ve done this, load it up into your blogging platform of choice. Add any links, images, or videos that you think would compliment your post. Now, hit publish and send it out to the world to read. Alternatively you could schedule it for a later date.

By breaking writing up into these phases I’m able to ensure that I write on a regular basis without feeling overwhelmed. If I try to do it all at once I quickly get sick of it and out the window my writing goes until the next time I’m feeling motivated to do some writing. Make it a weekly habit to go through these phases of writing and soon enough you will have a library of content ready to put out to the world.