Writers love to write. Why else would we subject ourselves to the dreaded blank page, the massive amounts of rejection, and the isolation that typically comes with writing? We love it. We have to. So why is it so hard to get ourselves to sit in the chair and put words on the page?
There are probably several reasons, but that’s a whole different post. Today I’m going to focus on the importance of having a writing routine. If you want to get yourself to write, the first step is to set-up a clear writing routine.
Having a writing routine is important for four main reasons:
1. It makes you prioritize writing.
When you have a writing routine, you know exactly when and where you will write. You’ve made it a priority. You’ve forced yourself to take a look at your schedule and tasks and ask, “When can I fit writing in?” You’ve probably had to move some things around, cross some things off your list, or make some hard decisions (bye, bye Netflix binge weekends). But now writing is there, on your schedule, and you can feel good because you’re making your dreams a priority. You’re taking charge of your life and saying, “I want this and here’s how I’m going to make it happen.”
This can be really, really hard to do. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that there just isn’t enough time in the world to do everything we need and want to do. We absolutely must let some things go–even some pretty important things or some things we really love. You have to figure out what you want to make a priority. What do you really want out of life? Figure that out and then figure out a way to make it happen and let the rest go. Your future self will thank you.
2. It forces you to take yourself seriously as a writer.
For some unknown reason, writers have a hard time taking themselves seriously as writers. We refuse to accept the title of “writer” until we’ve reached some unknown goal or threshold in our career. But that point is ever-changing, so we’ll never actually reach it.
So accept it, right now.
One way to help yourself accept this is to give yourself a routine. If you consistently write, it will be easier to call yourself a writer. If you sit in front of Twitter all day liking tweets about writing or browse the Internet for funny memes about writing, but never actually write, it’s going to be hard to call yourself a writer. But if you sit down and consistently put words on the page, watching your word count grow and grow and grow…well, then you’ll feel worthy to claim the title.
3. It minimizes distractions.
Once you’ve prioritized your writing and starting taking yourself seriously as a writer, it will be easier to minimize distractions and resist temptations to do other things.
For one, you know when you’re going to write. You’ve already determined that, so now you’re able to tell friends and family, “Hey, I can’t do lunch on Friday at noon. That’s when I write.” You won’t be doing household chores or work during that time because that’s your writing time. Chores and work go elsewhere on your schedule.
Second, you’ve already learned that you can’t do everything and you’re going to have to let some good (and fun) things go. You know you only have X amount of hours to give to writing each week, so browsing Twitter will be less of a temptation. Getting on social media during your writing time is choosing temporary fun over life-long dreams. Now that you know that, you know to say NO.
4. It helps bring the muse.
When you do the same thing every time you write, and write at the same time every day or every week, your mind will learn what to expect and the muse will show up more often. Does this mean the muse will instantly hit every time you put your fingers to your keyboard? No. Probably not. But the muse WILL come more often than she used to. Seriously. When you have a routine, you set yourself up for greater success. Your mind and body knows what’s coming, so it’s already prepping to do what it now knows to do. It becomes a habit, instinctual. A writing routine will help you write faster, stronger, and crisper than ever before.
So what are you waiting for? Sit down and create a writing routine TODAY.
If you want some help setting up your writing routine, check out my FREE printable “How to Create A Writing Routine” by signing up for my newsletter below.