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.