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In case you missed it, last week’s post was all about why every writer needs a writing routine.

Read it here: 4 Reasons You Need a Writing Routine Today

Simply put, a writing routine is the best way to achieve your writing goals, make writing a priority in your daily life, and increase your productivity – and what writer doesn’t want all that?

Now, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to writing. We’re all different. I don’t want you wasting your time on routines you know won’t work for you, regardless of how many other successful writers or authors use it. These are the main tips you should focus on to create your own writing routine below, but you have to use what works best for YOU.

Read on for 8 tips for creating your own writing routine.


Tip #1: Set clear goals and know your motivations

To develop a writing routine that will become a daily habit you stick to, knowing yourself is a must. If you don’t know what you want or take the time to decide on a clear direction, you’ll find yourself constantly struggling with focus and motivation. 

How can you hope to accomplish anything if you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish?

Explore your goals and motivations for creating a daily writing habit and write them down. Spending time getting to know yourself and what you want now will save you time later by giving you a clear path to follow. 

Be specific and intentional. If your goals are vague, your path forward will be vague, and without a well-defined path forward, you’re likely to lose motivation before you even get started. 

Vague: “I want to write more” 

Specific: “I will write 500 words every day”

Keep a list of your goals near your workspace where you can see them. Not only is a reminder of your goals good motivation on the days you’re feeling particularly unmotivated, but studies show that when you write down your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them.

Dream big, but start small. If you haven’t been writing regularly, don’t jump into a goal of writing for 2 hours/day. Start with something more manageable, like 30 min/day, and slowly increase from there. Remember, you want a goal you can stick to – consistency is more important than quantity!


Tip #2: Track your writing progress

Tracking your progress is a great way to stay motivated and watch yourself improve. How much more motivated are you to reach your goals when you can literally see how far you’ve come and how close you are to your milestones?

You can track your progress in a variety of ways depending on your specific goals. For example, if you want to develop a daily writing routine of at least 1 hour/day, use a habit tracker to color in each day you meet your goal. Set a reward for yourself for staying consistent for 7 days in a row, then 30, then 60, and so on.

If you have a daily goal of writing 5 pages/day to finish your book in 2 months, create a spreadsheet or chart and track your page count each day with the total you need at the bottom. Again, set a reward for yourself and when you reach your goal, celebrate!


Tip #3: Schedule and protect your writing time

Whether you choose a time-based routine (for example, writing 1 hour/day) or a goal-based routine (writing a set number of words or pages/day) you need to schedule and protect your writing time. This means adding your writing time to your calendar, scheduling around it, and saying no to plans that conflict with it. 

If you don’t take your writing time seriously, no one else will, and if you start cutting into it in favor of something else, you won’t be able to create a daily writing habit or routine of any kind. You’re telling yourself that your writing time and goals are optional.

Make a plan for distractions and excuses when you first set up your routine. Treat your writing time like an important meeting with a client. In what circumstances would you cancel that meeting? Deciding this now will help you focus and keep your priorities in check in the moment.


Tip #4: Create your workspace 

Create a designated writing space in your home and set it up with everything you need – notebooks, pens, laptop and charging cord, a comfortable chair. Keep it organized and uncluttered so it isn’t a distraction, but don’t be afraid to decorate with inspirational artwork, quotes, or pictures of your favorite people and places. 

If you can, choose a room with a window. You can set up your space so you have a view outside and have the option to open the window. Sunlight and fresh air can boost your energy and motivation. Bringing plants into your workspace has similar effects – nature relaxes and inspires.

Make sure your space is functional, inspiring, and comfortable and hidden away from distractions. It’s important to create a space you enjoy spending time in!


Tip #5: Develop a writing ritual

Developing a ritual can help trigger your brain to go into “writing mode.” It works similarly to the conditioning response of Pavlov’s dogs by associating certain actions with getting ready to write. And you can make a ritual all your own and completely unique to you! 

The important thing here is consistency and repetition. It will take several days of the same ritual in the same order to start seeing the effects. 

Here are some ideas you can use to develop your own ritual: 

  • Shut the door
  • Listen to music (without words)
  • Light a candle or burn incense
  • Meditate for a few minutes
  • Brew a cup of tea or coffee
  • Write at the same time of day – morning or evening
  • Go for a walk or a run
  • Change into sweats or other comfortable clothing
  • Turn off your Wi-Fi (if writing on your computer)
  • Turn off and flip over your phone
  • Watch the sunrise or sunset
  • Write with pen and paper

Tip #6: Learn to embrace “bad writing” 

You will always have bad writing days. It’s important to acknowledge this and the fact that every writer suffers through them. That’s OK!

Many writers actually recommend writing a bad first draft on purpose. Why?

The act of writing — no matter how terrible the writing itself is — is the most important part of being and becoming a writer.

It’s necessary. You have to start somewhere. When you’re able to give yourself permission to let go of perfection and silence your inner critic, you’re making way for inspiration. 


Tip #7: Give yourself permission to “fail”

You won’t feel like writing every day, and sometimes life will get in the way of your writing time despite your best efforts to protect it. The important thing here is not to give yourself permission to “fail” to the extent that your writing becomes optional, but to forgive yourself when it inevitably happens so you can move on. 

If you miss a day or a week, it’s not the end of the world. But if you can’t let go of your humanity and forgive your failings, it will be impossible for you to move on and stick with your routine. We cannot measure up to perfection!

Write yourself a note of encouragement for the days you miss and keep it close by. Remind yourself to let the bad days go and look ahead to your next writing session. Leave what’s in the past in the past so you can focus on the present and the future.


Tip #8: Just Write

I can’t say it enough – you will not feel like writing every day! That is perfectly normal. It doesn’t mean you’re not a “real” writer or that you can’t achieve your writing dreams. Every single writer, seasoned or beginner, suffers through this struggle – you are not alone. The important thing here is to use the tips we discussed above to push through and JUST WRITE. 

Use your ritual to put yourself in “writing mode.” Reread your goals and motivations. Embrace bad writing and remember that the act of writing alone is all you need to get through these days and come out the other side a better writer. 

Need a few writing exercises or prompts to help you out on those days when the words just won’t come? Learn about the stream of consciousness writing technique and get my PDF worksheet with writing prompts.

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HISTORY, PURPOSE AND USAGE

Lorem ipsum, or lipsum as it is sometimes known, is dummy text used in laying out print, graphic or web designs. The passage is attributed to an unknown typesetter in the 15th century who is thought to have scrambled parts of Cicero's De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum for use in a type specimen book. It usually begins with:

“Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.”

The purpose of lorem ipsum is to create a natural looking block of text (sentence, paragraph, page, etc.) that doesn't distract from the layout. A practice not without controversy, laying out pages with meaningless filler text can be very useful when the focus is meant to be on design, not content.

The passage experienced a surge in popularity during the 1960s when Letraset used it on their dry-transfer sheets, and again during the 90s as desktop publishers bundled the text with their software. Today it's seen all around the web; on templates, websites, and stock designs. Use our generator to get your own, or read on for the authoritative history of lorem ipsum.