Sunday, 15 March 2015

Why Develop a Regular Writing Habit

To succeed as a writer you must write regularly

Many years ago I had read a quote that said:

The difference between an amateur writer and a professional writer is that the latter writes every day. 

Though I do not remember the exact words. This point of difference has always stayed at the back of my mind. I have for a long time attempted to incorporate a habit of writing regularly with little success.

All great writers have said that it is important to sit down to write every day. There are no excuses. For a person who would like to become a world-class writer through deliberate practice, which is clocking at least 10,000 hours of writing, it is important to develop a regular writing habit.

How to Motivate Yourself to develop a Regular Writing Habit?

Any activity takes 21 days to become a habit. However, it takes only 3 days to break a habit! If you have developed a habit and miss doing that particular activity for 3 days then you have to start all over again and do it for 21 days again. Phew!! There are two ways you can motivate yourself to begin writing regularly:

1. Take a 40-day Writing Challenge

One way to develop a habit is to sign up or register for a 40-day challenge. The reason for the number 40 days is because it takes the brain 40 days to rewire itself into the new connections. However, there are quite a few 30-day challenges that can help you kickstart your regular writing habit.

I have tried many ways to develop a regular writing habit. First of all I tried to motivate myself by applying for a HubPages Apprentice program in the year 2012. However, it was for six months and the apprentice had to write at least four good quality articles of more than 500 words per month. This opportunity gave me the confidence that I could write for the web and my articles still receive a decent amount of traffic to this day. This Apprenticeship programme was later discontinued by

Last year, 2014, I learned about a Novel Writing program called NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month which was started by a group of writers in July 1999. I thought signing up for this programme would help me get into the habit of writing regularly. Even though I had no idea of a story or a plot for my novel I signed up and between 1-30 November 2015 we had to write at least 1667 words per day to reach the target of 50,000 words of the first draft of the novel. If you are thinking that was an easy task, then think again.

I started writing a fantasy novel called, 'Against the Current' and wrote 10,456 words. Though I was not able to write every day, it made me realize that if I sat down to write I could easily write more than a 1000 words at a time.

NaNoWriMo is held every year in November. There is another writing challenge held in April every year called Camp NaNoWriMo to which I have signed up again. The difference is that the target number or words can be decided by us:

You can sign up for the Camp NaNoWriMo for free and start writing the novel or project that you have always wanted to write.

2. Write a Blog on a Topic that Interests You

Blogging is another important activity that requires developing a regular writing habit. To achieve this I started a blog called - Rewire Your Brain in 40 Days. I have been interested in the way the brain works. Recently I learned that it takes only 40 days to rewire and establish new connections in the brain. I also learned that new brain cells are born, grow and mature in 40 days. I realized that this is good news for all those who are above 35 years of age. Our brain works differently and more efficiently.

Often we are unaware of the psychological or energy blocks that prevent us from achieving success in the field that we would like to focus on. For me it is becoming a world class writer and the first step is to develop a regular writing habit.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Challenging Yourself to Push Beyond Your Boundaries

By Georg Dembowski Schoschi [CC-BY-2.5]
The only thing that stops us from achieving success is that we put limitations and obstacles in our own way. Most of the time they are imaginary limitations. When I realized this I had to find a way to overcome this tendency and get down to start my deliberate practice to become a world-class writer.

For many years I have wanted to be a professional writer. The only thing that differentiates an amateur writer from a professional is that the latter writes daily. Having learned about deliberate practice and that it requires 10,000 hours to become world-class in any field, I wondered how I could write for that many hours. I was aware that I lacked the willpower to write daily. This was eight months ago. I had to find a way to challenge myself. I started this blog and another one called The Theosophic Life. I hoped I could find enough to write about for these two topics. However, found that I was floundering and coming up with excuses.

As I waited for inspiration I learned about the Apprentice Program. I had written a few articles, or hubs as they are called, a few years ago and had never continued my writing. I thought this was an opportunity to push my boundaries. Joining the program meant that I would be compelled to write 8 articles each month for six months, to stay on the program.

It was a leap of faith. I had many commitments in my personal, professional and volunteering life. I thought if I was serious about my writing it would be a good idea to join a team of writers who would provide the support and motivation to write regularly.

My initiative to challenge myself and pushing my boundaries has paid off. I completed the Apprentice Program and am still continuing to write regularly. The change in my ability to write has also improved. Earlier I used to take a whole day or half a day to write an article and upload it. Now it takes me only an hour if I have done my research well.

I have written 60 articles since June 2012 and now I am going to be writing regularly in this blog as well. I have found my niche topic, which is living a balanced lifestyle by incorporating yoga asana practice, meditation, pranayama and volunteering. My writing portfolio includes articles like:

Yoga Poses

Yoga Standing Poses
How to Improve Flexibility of Tight Hamstrings with Yoga


Meditation Results in Brain Growth
How to Get Started Doing Zazen Style Zen Meditation
Easy Meditation Tips

Pranayama – Yoga Breathing Exercises

Pranayama and Breathing Exercises
Yoga Cooling Breath, Shitali Pranayama
Yoga Alternate Nostril Breathing Exercise, Nadi Sodhana


How to Make a Positive Impact in the World
Easy Knitting Projects for Charity

If you are a writer and are interested in improving your writing, especially for the web, and increasing your writing portfolio then join here.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Writing Regularly

Finally I have been able to start my deliberate practise for writing regularly. I was accepted on an apprenticeship programme on HubPages allows you to publish Web articles on anything you like. I applied for the program because I would have a chance to put my intention of deliberate practise into action. I would be compelled to write quality articles regularly. My team members would give feedback on my writing and I would be able to learn as I practise.

Below are the articles I have written so far:

How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint and Save Money

Becoming a Vegan

Vegan Recipe Guide

Canterbury New Zealand Tourism

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Deliberate Practise for World-class Writing

The word 'Practise' with a 's' instead of a 'c' is the British way of spelling it and means the same thing. When I looked for my blog name with variations on 'deliberate practise' they were all taken!! After trying other phrases and nothing fit the topic I wanted to write on, I looked in the dictionary and found that the word could be spelt with a 's'. I immediately checked if it was available and it was! Hence I will be using the British spelling in my blogs.

The first time I came across this phrase 'deliberate practise' it was a light bulb moment. I had finally found the attitude I must take towards my writing passion. So far my writing activity has been in spurts and has lacked focus and consistency. I had been searching for a method which would help me hone my skills and let me know how much effort is required. I even made S.M.A.R.T. Goals to give me a direction to aim for in my journey to become a professional writer.

'Perfect' practise makes Perfect
Tim Boyd, the National President of the Theosophical Society in America said that he had realized that 'practise does not make Perfect' but 'Perfect practise makes Perfect'. He shared this insight when he was talking about spiritual practise. It can be applied to any field in which we want to succeed.

The phrase 'deliberate practise' means constantly engaging in activity that stretches your current capability beyond your comfort zone but not so far that you regress. The research of academics such as K. Anders Ericsson and Benjamin Bloom found that to be truly world-class, you need to systematically engage in 'deliberate practise'. It was found that as a general rule, world-class performers in all fields tend to have committed at least 10,000 hours to this kind of practise.

I have started documenting my 10,000 hours and am writing everyday from yesterday. I will also be focusing my work on adding relevant articles on Hubpages.