In part 3 of this series, in the article titled “Covering the Basics” I touched lightly on the idea of incorporating the habit of daily writing into your life. There are many benefits to be reaped from writing a daily basis and incorporating a daily writing regiment into your everyday life. Though you might feel hesitant and believe such an activity would be too much strain and stress, that isn’t so. Just because it is an activity that you do every day (hopefully at the same time if possible) it doesn’t have to be a boring and entirely laborious ordeal.
First let me begin by saying there are many benefits of daily writing. First of all, the more you write and the more you resolve to write, the more productive you will become in your work. Especially if you write ‘x’ amount of words every day, before long you have written quite a bit of new work. Writing on a daily basis also improves the skill of your craft. Think about it, even when someone begins as an amateur (ballet, acting, playing an instrument, etcetera) the more practice this person undergoes, the better the more skilled they become in that avocation. The same thing applies to writing. The more you write, the better you will write, until finally you have acquired an expertise in the subject (poetry, essay-writing, article writing, and so on). I also believe that the more you write, and you see the seeds of accomplishment and benefits you reap from daily writing, the more you will be inspired to write.
Another great feat in creating a daily writing regiment is the ‘lack of time.’ I don’t know how many times I’ve had a fellow friend/writer tell me they have failed to complete a piece or a writing project for lack of time. There are roughly 168 hours in a week, that’s 24 hours a day. Even if you work full-time and have a family, you do have time to write every day. Think for a moment about all the ‘space-fillers’ you fit into your daily schedule. Space-fillers are what I refer to as things that are yield little or no output, or reward. In other words, they are activities that serve to waste your time. Such can include: chatting on messenger, playing World of Warcraft (or the computer game of your choice) online gaming sites (like Pogo.com) and networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Such space-fillers might yield immediate gratification and entertainment, but little else. What if you could cut the time you devote to each of these activities in half? I bet you could fit in at least half an hour to an hour of writing each day. I know you can! So, let’s consider that decision made and begin writing today!
As I stated above, a daily writing regiment doesn’t have to be boring and mundane. Not at all! Below are some fun ways you can incorporate an enjoyable daily writing regiment into your life.
1. Try to do your writing at the same time every day. This will allow you to easily fit writing into your day, and allow you an idea time to do other activities without having to sabotage your writing time. For example, if you write everyday at 6pm, and a friend asks you to go out to eat at 5:30, then you know you can’t. This also will require a bit of discipline. But think about it, when you have to be at work at eight in the morning and friends ask you out for breakfast that same morning, are you going to skip work to hang out with friends? No. If you are a serious writer the same will apply to your writing regiment: be there, same time everyday!
2. Do something to make the writing process more enjoyable. Perhaps you can have your favorite coffee drink while you work. Do you enjoy classical music, how about soft rock? If so, play the music of your choice softly in the background.
3. Change up the scenery. If you write at the same desk every day, hang a beautiful painting over the desk (or more than one if you prefer) to inspire you. You could also inspire yourself by posting a few inspirational quotes, or even a vision board (a poster or larger piece of paper with pictures of things that inspire you) somewhere in your workspace.
4. Figure out when the best time is for you to write. Are you a morning person, or perhaps you feel more creative late at night? Figure out when you are most alert and at your best and designate your daily writing time to comply with that. As for myself, I am a night owl, so I do most of my writing late at night. This also works well because I get some silence and privacy, as everyone else has gone to bed.
5. Reward yourself! For everyday that you successfully incorporate the writing regiment into your life (rather you write ten words or 1,000 words) give yourself a pat on the back and reward yourself. Maybe you can have your favorite snack, or watch a favorite TV show or movie, or treat yourself to a new book or some time to play an online game without guilt. Always give yourself credit, this will positively reinforce the rewarded behavior, in this case you’ll write more!
All these are excellent ideas for establishing a fun and doable writing regiment and adding just a little bit of fun and inspiration to keep things interesting enough to persevere. Are there any other ways you can think to add a little zest and fun into a daily writing schedule? Brainstorm for ways to turn an hour of writing into a fun-filled adventure. Words can be fun!