Use Small Steps to Get the Writing Done

The most common strategy to get yourself to write when you are not writing is to commit to small amounts of time. Five or fifteen minutes seem to be favorites for many writers. This does not mean that you will only write for five or fifteen minutes. It means that you promise to write for at least five or fifteen minutes per day or per writing session. You can write more if you want. But five or fifteen minutes is the minimal amount that you can write. This habit usually taps into the principle I mentioned earlier in a previous blog that writing begets writing and not writing begets not writing. If you can trick yourself into writing a little, that trickle often creates a much bigger flow of output over time. The important thing for you to decide as a writer is the minimal amount of time you are wiling to commit to your writing each day or week? What is a realistic small amount of writing (number of words or number of pages) you are willing to commit to writing each day or week? Once you decide on the number, you must commit to this number of words in order for it to work. The best way of deciding on a number of pages or words to write each day is to determine a realistic number for yourself, given your work schedule, family and life goals. Determining what a realistic amount is for you may take a few tries. You may discover that you once thought that you could do a lot more than you really can. Or you may discover that you can’t do as much as you said you would. Either way, it is okay to do as much as you can do without feeling guilty. Just doing any writing is better than no writing at all. Since the human mind often works better with a limited and achievable finish line, I recommend that you make limited time commitments for your writing as well. Decide you’ll write every day for a month, or that you will write three ties per week for two weeks. If it works for you and is producing the writing you want, you can recommit or commit to a longer period of time. So writers, I urge you to set a limited and achievable writing goal for the next month. And you will be developing the habit of writing. There is no better feeling of confidence than that. You will be so glad that you did! Irene