When it comes to building a writing ritual into everyday life, something is always better than nothing, and it’s always a work in progress. Here are five tips to help you create a writing ritual that is realistic for you.
Take an honest look at your schedule, your habits, and your lifestyle. When are you most likely to get your writing done? Is it late at night, when everybody else has gone to bed? Is it once a week on a Saturday or Sunday? When do you most consistently have time to write, and when are you most likely to actually do it? Be gentle with yourself, and pick a time that sets you up for success. Remember that the most important part here is consistency. If you can’t write every day, commit to one consistent day a week.
Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to writing. What do you need to get your writing done? What helps? Do you need to be alone? Does it help to have music on while you write? Does it help to set a timer or give yourself a word count goal for the day? When you know what you need, you can set up your writing ritual in a way that works best for you.
Building in accountability is a great way to make sure you get your writing done on a consistent basis. Use your blog or social media to make a public declaration of your writing goals each week. Ask your friends and followers to hold you accountable by checking in on you and your goals. You can also join a local writers group (find one near you on meetup.com) to share your work with fellow writers. Typically, it works best if your group includes more than two people. Groups of 3-6 people are small enough to stay manageable, but big enough to hold everyone accountable.
How will you make your writing ritual more fun? You might stock your desk with favorite snacks and drinks (I like popcorn, dark chocolate, and peppermint tea), or make your writing ritual a weekly date with yourself at a favorite coffeeshop. Note: Although I love my writer friends, I’ve never actually been productive when I get together to write with someone else, unless it’s for short bursts of time (10-minute intervals). Writing, I believe, is an activity best done alone.
To keep your writing ritual fresh, tweak as you go. Some days you may feel like writing at home, and some days you’ll need the background noise of a good cafe. No matter what happens, though, don’t be too hard on yourself, and never ever give up. If something isn’t working for you, it’s just not the right time for it or it’s not the right fit.
I’d love to hear about your writing rituals. What works for you? What doesn’t?
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