Oh no! It’s hit – the dreaded writer’s block, the lack of motivation, absolutely no inspiration… Now what are you going to do? You know you have readers who are relying upon you to publish regular content. In fact, you’ve worked hard to set-up your editorial calendar so that it is reliable and consistent, but seriously?! You have zero ideas and have no desire to sit down and write.
The above scenario doesn’t have to happen, ever. Really!
There is a way to create a writing routine so that you are never at a loss for content. There are even ways to create months worth of ideas in one fell swoop, but we’re not going to be focusing on that part today, today we’re focusing on creating a daily writing routine. This way the drive to sit down and write on a daily basis becomes ingrained and automatic.
How to Create Your Daily Writing Routine
1. Determine when you feel most creative.
For some, this will be the minute they wake up, for others it may be at midnight when the rest of the world is sleeping. It doesn’t matter. Simply determine what works best for you, and set that time aside for writing. Do not allow anything else to fill that time slot, it is dedicated purely to writing and it will be used daily – which leads into my next point…
2. Remove ALL Distractions!
Remove every single thing that could cause you to become distracted. Your phone, Facebook notifications, Emails – anything that could deter you from being focused on your writing, simply shut it down or put it somewhere out of sight (especially in the case of your phone).
3. Create a Writing Space that Makes You Feel Zen.
Sitting down to write in a space full of chaos isn’t going to get the creative juices flowing. You definitely want to create a space for yourself that you WANT to be in, that is inspirational and peaceful, all at the same time. This may seem frivolous, but seeing as you’re going to be spending more time writing, making a space that you want to be in, is completely worth it, I promise!
4. Write Every Day.
There are going to be days when you don’t feel like writing, or the resistance becomes so strong that you think skipping that day’s writing session won’t matter. Fight through it, it does matter! The resistance is wrong, you absolutely need to write daily. Make it a routine, one that is impossible to skip because it becomes automatic for you to sit down at your computer / notebook / typewriter, at the same time every day, and then just let the words flow.
5. Set a Timer.
If you find that you are someone who is easily distracted and will start working on something else, even if you know it’s writing time, set a timer. Most smart phones, have them, and if not, you can download many for free. Set the timer for 25 minutes, and push yourself to not stop writing until the time is up. I can almost bet that you’ll have a couple hundred words written, especially if you skip the editing, until the very end (we’ll get to this in a minute).
Once you’ve used your first 25 minute span of time, take a quick break – Get up, walk around, do a couple squats, then sit back down and set the timer for another 25 minutes. This method is called the Pomodoro Technique and can be incredibly motivating!
6. Do NOT Edit.
Now, I’m not saying you skip editing your post altogether, but you should never edit yourself while you type your first draft. Just let the words flow out of you. Don’t worry if every sentence makes sense, or if you have a run-on sentences, just keep your fingers moving.
You may be surprised at some of the amazing things will come up, by not editing as you go. The first couple of times you write this way, you may struggle through, however if you keep at it and ignore the little things, it will become a habit to just move through your writing. Once you’ve said all you have to say about a topic, you can go back through and edit your grammar, spelling and formatting.
7. Aim to Write for a Specific Amount of Time or a Specific Amount of Words.
This is especially important when you first start your routine. In the beginning, you may want to quit writing as soon as you start. That’s why having a specific amount of time or words that you want to hit, determined earlier on, will help you know when it’s quitting time for the day. That’s not to say that if you are feeling inspired, you should stop, definitely not! If the words are flowing, just keep writing.
Think about it, if you sit down every single day and write out, let’s say, 500 words, and at least 300 of those are considered high quality content, you’re going to have a loads and loads of posts ready to go. You’ll never have to worry about the dreaded writer’s block hitting, because you’ll be ahead of the game in regards to your blog posts.
Here’s my biggest piece of advice for you… This will be difficult in the beginning. You’re likely going to hear a little voice in the back of your head telling you that skipping one day is no big deal, that’s the resistance talking. Ignore it, and sit down anyway. Even if you just write, one sentence over and over again, getting into the habit of writing will help fight this resistance in the future.
Do you have a writing routine? If so, what are some of the steps you follow to stay focused?
And, if you give any of the above steps a try, we would LOVE to hear how they worked in the comments!
Jillian, a work at home mom, is a virtual assistant & social media manager, hoping to help other moms enter the world of entrepreneurship. You can visit Jillian at JillianOKeefe.com.