Journal logo

How Fighting Perfectionism Allowed Me To Create a Daily Writing Habit!

by Samantha Scott 15 days ago in workflow

Access the secrets of a 3-step process to successfully writing every day.

How Fighting Perfectionism Allowed Me To Create a Daily Writing Habit!
Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Becoming an aspiring writer or wanting to better your writing habit can sometimes be tough to maintain. It can feel so daunting when you’re just staring at the blank screen (or page), struggling to write!

There becomes a long list of excuses to pick from, a lack of motivation, a busy day at work (outside of writing), writer's block, or just a sudden lack of interest.

Whatever the excuse, know that there will always be one.

Like most things, you get out what you put in so if YOU’RE not willing to find a way to fit writing in your life, who else will?

You are responsible for holding yourself accountable.

Before developing a writing habit for myself, I found myself doing everything and anything else, apart from sitting down to write.

Checking emails, scrolling through social media and I’ve even found myself emptying the dishwasher because…it’s impossible to focus.

“The motivation will come soon, I just know it”

— yet, it never does.

Developing a writing habit felt impossible, I lacked focus, productivity and even after taking many takes, I still struggled to get into any form of flow.

We’ve all been there, right?

By Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Through plenty of distractions, procrastination, and very much being on the edge of quitting writing entirely, I’ve now mastered the art of a daily writing habit.

It’s a writing habit that actually works!

Developing this daily writing habit helped me to stay focused, on track, and way more inspired than ever. Alongside developing my writing habit, I’ve met plenty of other inspiring writers who helped me through this progressive journey — thank you.

Having a process in place leaves less room for distractions. I spend less time thinking about what to write and more time writing. I rarely find myself procrastinating as I’m able to force myself right into focus mode.

Fighting any form of perfectionism allowed me to create a 3-step process to successfully write every day.

I am here to share my secrets with you.

Step 1: Brain dump the night before

I usually spend around 10-15 minutes planning. I have a doc that I can access from all my devices… it’s known as my dump doc. Every evening I dedicate a small amount of time to write down all my ideas for one particular article, which then becomes the article I will write the next day.

This saves me a lot of time when I go to write the article because the forefront of the planning has already been done, I just need to piece it all together.

This means less time for distractions and more time to focus.

If this isn’t part of your current writing routine, it should be!

Try it next time you have a new article idea, brain dump all your thoughts for 15 minutes, and see how easy it then becomes to write the entire article, the following day.Step 2: Set yourself a non-negotiable hour to write

This step is key.

Figure out what time of day you are the most productive or an hour where you can allow yourself to be completely unreachable. This time will be different for everyone so find an hour timeslot that works best for you.

For me, it’s the morning. I write in the morning, my non-negotiable hour is scheduled for 7:30 am, every day. At weekends I like to mix things up, treat myself to a lie-in and therefore my non-negotiable hour is scheduled for 9 am.

So once you’ve found the hours that work for you and your week, send yourself a daily diary invite. Defend this hour slot, always show up and certainly, never cancel!

Note: Setting your non-negotiable hour at the same time every day helps you keep the routine but more importantly, writing in the same place, at the same time, every day — will help you build this routine even more.

Writing will soon be ingrained into your daily routine.

Now the actual writing — you’re probably thinking, when or how does this happen.

This one is simple.

Step 2: Set yourself a non-negotiable hour to write

This step is key.

Figure out what time of day you are the most productive or an hour where you can allow yourself to be completely unreachable. This time will be different for everyone so find an hour timeslot that works best for you.

For me, it’s the morning. I write in the morning, my non-negotiable hour is scheduled for 7:30 am, every day. At weekends I like to mix things up, treat myself to a lie-in and therefore my non-negotiable hour is scheduled for 9 am.

So once you’ve found the hours that work for you and your week, send yourself a daily diary invite. Defend this hour slot, always show up and certainly, never cancel!

Note: Setting your non-negotiable hour at the same time every day helps you keep the routine but more importantly, writing in the same place, at the same time, every day — will help you build this routine even more.

Writing will soon be ingrained into your daily routine.

Now the actual writing — you’re probably thinking, when or how does this happen.

This one is simple.

Spend no more than 40 minutes turning your brain dump from last night, into a structured piece. The time constraints are tight as they’ll stop the inner perfectionist inside you, stop you from overthinking!

Step 3: Edit and hit publish

First, take a break. I usually set a 5-minute timer.

Step away from your screen to allow your brain to refocus. Return to the screen with fresh eyes and new energy to read through your article… but when I say read, I mean read it out loud…this is key.

Read your article out loud.

Reading your article out loud makes it a lot easier to spot any mistakes. After you’ve made a couple of edits, added in some images and the relevant captions… you’re ready. Yes, that’s right — ready!

You are ready to hit publish!

And… just like that, you’ve done it. You’ve written an article, edited, and hit publish all in under one hour. Impressive work!

Try it, you’ll be so surprised by what you can achieve after giving yourself the chance to. Developing a routine that works for you will only get easier the more your write.

Here’s one more step… a BONUS step just for YOU.

By Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Bonus Step: Call Yourself a Writer.

If you’ve ever published anything online, a short essay, one article, or even 100’s of articles — you are a writer!

Many writers almost feel reluctant to call themselves a writer because maybe they're not earning much money, or any at all… or because it’s not their full-time job.

That doesn’t matter…

You are still a writer, own the title and be proud of yourself.

I’ve found that the more times I say out loud “I’m a writer” the more comfortable I feel with the idea of being a writer. I’m able to identify with being a writer a lot more than I ever did before and therefore feel more motivated to write.

So do it, call yourself a writer and write, because, at the end of the day, that’s what writers do!

By Mickael Gresset on Unsplash

Here’s a recap of my step by step guide to developing your writing routine:

Step 1. 15 Minutes: Brain dump your ideas the night before

Step 2. 40 Minutes: Write the same time every day

Step 3. 20 Minutes: Take a break, read through your article, make some edits, and just hit publish.

Bonus Step: Remember to call yourself a writer.

The aim when building a writing habit is to make sure your body and brain know it’s time to write.

This is your time to write…not to scroll through your phone, not to do your house chores, and not the time to procrastinate

— it’s time for you to write.

Design a writing routine that works for you and stick to it.

You are responsible for holding yourself accountable.

workflow

Samantha Scott

Remote work advocate | Slowed since 2018 | Actionable tips for remote workers, nomads & those who slow travel

IG: @allthingsremote 📸

Receive stories by Samantha Scott in your feed
Samantha Scott
Read next: Best Omnichannel Tips for Businesses

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2021 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.