As an aspiring author or a seasoned bookseller, finding time to write is critical to your success. Writing, like everything else in life, is a skill to be finely tuned. Like other skills, some people are naturally talented while other people must work hard to hone their craft. It does not matter if you are naturally talented or a hard-working writer, the best and most consistent way to become better at your craft is to write every day!
The Right Time To Write
Write every day; it sounds simple but we must take the time, and effort, to create a habit of writing. You do not need to spend all day writing; in fact, all we suggest is finding 15 minutes every day when you write. I want to highlight three important areas of daily writing:
- Forming a habit
- Scheduling your time
- Write anything
The Writing Habit
All the way back in June 2017 I took a closer look at what habits are and why Habits Are Hard To Come By. I won’t rehash the blog here, but I do want to point out two ways habits are formed: reinforcement and repetition. These two words are the basis behind every habit anyone creates, whether consciously or not. First off, a habit is an action which is repeated and which leads to further use of the action and a greater ability to perform said action.
Repetition is the key to forming a habit. It’s necessary to consistently perform the action you are trying to instill as a habit many, many times. The experts have a wide range of how long it takes for a habit to form, but they all tend to agree the more complex an action is, the longer it takes to create a habit. Repetition is a must when working on creating your writing habit as it is a rather complex action. That is why our suggestion for authors, especially new authors or business people, is to spend at least 15 minutes each day honing their craft.
Next is reinforcement. Reinforcement is basically how you reward yourself for completing a task. You may reward yourself by watching the next episode of your latest Netflix binge or grabbing a scoop of ice cream. There are many ways to reinforce your behavior but you must be consistent with your reinforcement to make your habit stick.
Schedule Your Time To Write
A great way to reinforce your habit is by scheduling a time to write. Find time at the beginning of your work day, before you leave the office, during lunch, or whenever you can consistently have 15 minutes to write. Set an alarm on your phone for when you plan to start writing and then set a timer for 15 minutes while you write. Be sure you have your notebook or laptop with you and ready and just start writing.
For the first couple of weeks you may need to find a time which works best for you; for example, I do a lot of my writing early in the day or later in the evening when I have less on my mind. I have learned I am least productive, at least with writing, in the afternoon. Take some time to find your productive times and then make sure you prioritize your writing during those times.
PSA: You can spend as long as you want or need writing each day! What matters is you spend at least some time writing!
It doesn’t matter what you write about during your 15 minutes of writing, all that matters is you take the time to write. You might have an outline written up for your book; that’s great! Find something in your outline to write. Maybe you don’t have an outline or you are not feeling inspired to write on your book today. That’s okay too! Find anything to write about. Ask yourself a question and answer it, write a short explanation of your weekend, or find one of the many writing prompt books on the market and carry it with you. There is no shortage of what you can write!
Your Own Time To Write
If you have thought about writing or are in the process of writing a book, it is imperative you take the time to write every day. Commit yourself to creating a habit or writing, find a time which works best for you, and write whatever you can! If you are looking to start writing your book we’d love to help you set up a schedule and plan for your writing; send us a message!