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Don’t beat your head against the wall: Try these tips to develop a daily writing practice

A friend once told me that the best way to stop a bad habit was to replace it with a good one. At the time, she was trying to eat healthier and lose a few pounds. She said she found that trying to eliminate certain foods from her diet just made her want to eat more of them. She struggled with losing weight for years.

One day, she decided that instead of restricting her diet, she would add to it–healthy snacks and foods, including a plethora of fresh fruits and vegetables. A few of her goals: drink a green smoothie in the morning, eat vegetables at every meal, eat at least one salad a day, and snack on apples between meals.

She also allowed herself, within reason, earlier “forbidden” foods like chocolate and pizza. Guess what? She not only lost the weight but had fun doing it because she was discovering all kinds of new foods that she’d never tried before. Jicama anyone? Or, how about some durian? (Okay, maybe stay away from that one since it smells like an overused outhouse). 

I started thinking about how this could relate to writing. Instead of beating my head against the wall several days a week because my business overtook my writing time yet again, I decided that I’d develop some new, good writing habits including: setting timers for 30-minute writing spurts, focusing on one aspect of a scene or character at a time instead of the entire enchilada, and writing in the morning before the hubby and cats awaken and before I check e-mail.

I also read through some earlier posts Carly and I wrote for more inspiration on cultivating my daily writing practice. I hope you enjoy them:

What one writer has learned so far about her 2013 daily writing challenge,” by Carly lists three tips to establishing a daily writing routine and a post by Amanda Martin on how daily writing is changing her life.

Turn your goals into daily habits,” is a post about how I used a daily writing log during NaNoWriMo to help me track my word count.

I found “How I Write: More articles about the daily routines of well-known authors,” to be especially inspiring. If these people can figure out how to write daily around infants, and families, and work, then there’s hope for me too.

What are your daily writing habits? What keeps you motivated and focused? Thanks for sharing!

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