pen, notebook, laptop and headphones for post about writing habits

6 Writing Habits To Try In 2021

It’s a new year and so why not take that opportunity to incorporate some new writing habits into your life?

2020 was a tough year no matter who you are and for most writers it was been especially tough. For many writing folks inspiration and ideas come not from sitting at your desk but from getting out and about the having experiences. 2020 definitely put the dampeners on that!

I would like to say 2021 is going to be different and whilst I think eventually it will improve the first few months, especially for those of us in the northern hemisphere are going to continue to be challenging.

So with that in mind maybe changing up your writing habits and incorporating something new into your routine might just help to get the words flowing.

Wake up and write

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? Reach for your phone and scroll through social media? Jump up and make tea or have a shower? Read your book? Snuggle with your partner/dog/cat or even all three? What about writing some words? Get yourself a nice new shiny notebook and a pen and leave it by the bed. When you wake up in the morning spend 5 – 10 minutes writing something, anything in your notebook before launching into your day. You might have had a good dream, or even a bad one. Maybe you woke up and had a craving for something? Maybe your day is a busy one and you want to stay where you are. Just capture those thoughts. Don’t think too much about it. Just write

Set writing goals each week

Giving yourself a task to achieve can be a really powerful way of keeping you on task but it can also set you up for failure if you set the bar to high or for too long. Rather than setting writing goals for a year or 3 months or a month break them down into a weekly thing and so if you know your week ahead is going to be extra busy or likewise you know you have more time to write you can adapt them to meet those things. Whether those goals are word counts or blog post is up to you but make them achievable so you get that happy rush of a job well done as opposed to that feeling of failure.

Have a dedicated writing device

Rather than writing on the device where you look at social media or do other work have a device that is purely dedicated to writing. Remove everything from it apart from word or whatever you use to write documents so that when you sit at the device the only thing you ever do it write.

Clearly there is huge privilege in being able to afford a spare writing device but maybe you have an old laptop laying around that you no longer use or someone in your family does. Remember it doesn’t need to be fast. You just use it to write. However don’t forget to always back up your work so might want to make sure you save what you do each day onto a USB stick.

Create a writing space

Just like having a writing device make sure you create a writing space. Always writing in the same place can really help with the mental discipline of what you are meant to be doing. However there is also a lot to be said for shaking things up. So maybe try moving your work space, or just relocating for one day a week. Or what about writing standing up. It seemed to work for Virginia Woolf and Ernest Hemingway.

Listen to music

Or don’t listen to music. Whatever your current writing habit when it comes to listening try giving it a change and see if that makes things better or worse. As the saying goes a change as good as a rest!

Try the 2 minute rule

No matter whether you are feeling it or not sit down and write. At bit like the goals habit above setting yourself a long period of time to write can often lead to it feeling overwhelming and so you just don’t do it. The two minute rule means you sit down and write for exactly two minutes. If at the end of two minutes you are done then you are done but if you are not then keep going. Often two minutes is enough to get you into the flow and get past that initial reluctance and if not. Well you did two minutes and achieved your goal.

What writing habits do you swear by? Let us know in the comments below because we are nosy and like knowing how it works for other people.

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