Writing is a funny thing. It’s something many people want to do, or wish they could do, but that strong desire is oftentimes met with an equal amount of resistance, non-motivation and lack of inspiration. Sometimes it feels like writing is something we want to have done, rather than something we want to do right now.
I think of developing the habit of writing as something similar to developing the habit of going to the gym. It’s hard at first, but the more you do it the (slightly) easier it gets and the more you wear away at that finicky ghoul, Resistance.
There are so many strategies out there for developing habits, so I’ve brought some of them together here and put a writing twist on them. Hopefully one of these challenges will lead to a long-term daily writing practice for you!
1. X Marks the Spot
This is a simple way to start a new habit. Pick a day to start this challenge and then write for 5-10 minutes. After each writing session mark your calendar with an X.
The idea here is to see how long your chain of X’s can get without breaking (i.e., without you missing a day of writing.) Do your best to write for at least 30 days in a row, as it takes about a month for a new habit to stick.
2. Little by Little
This challenge is slightly more complex. Start writing for just 5 minutes a day for 5 days, then 10 minutes a day for 10 days, then 15 minutes a day for 15 days. This will take you to the 30-day mark, and breaking goals down into smaller steps is a great way to develop a new habit.
3. Story Time
If you really want to push yourself out of your comfort zone, then we challenge you to write for 5-10 minutes a day for 30 days (gotta ingrain that new habit!) AND each day share what you’ve written with someone else.
Not only will this help you develop a writing practice, but the encouraging words from friends and family are sure to help keep you going.
Try one of these three challenges to help you start, or keep, writing! Of course, don’t worry if you get off track or miss a day. Don’t beat yourself up! Just start again the next day!