I would like to write this post and say that habits are unnecessary for “great” writers or writers aspiring to be great. I’d like to say that when and how much we write or don’t write doesn’t really matter. I’d like to convince myself and you that so long as we want to write, as long as we have the intention to write, we will write, often.
The truth? The truth is that habits do matter. Writing must become a part of our daily lives as writers in the same way as toothbrushing is in order for us to keep writing, to break through writer’s blocks, and stay in tough with our true writer voices.
I learned this yesterday. Every night, it’s been my goal to come here and write…something. It’s just five minutes, so I usually do my writing here last, or just before I get ready to go to bed. And this was working for me…until about two weeks ago when one missed day allowed me to convince myself that more important than my habit was my intention to come here. Yeah. Since that day, I’ve missed a handful of days, not necessarily because my life really prevented it, but because I convinced myself that not writing here wouldn’t have the ripple effect that it always does have.
Life gets in the way of writing, I get that. But, for me at least, it’s important that I schedule in my writing in ink in order for it to get done. I must set writer deadlines and to-do lists and follow through. I must. As a writer, this is how I get things done. This is how I must write.
So, starting today, coming here to write will be the first thing I do when my girls go to bed, not the last. I will write here unless life truly prevents it because this craft is important to me.
Do you find that you must stick to to-do lists and habits and set deadlines for yourself as a writer?