Writing of any kind is effort and time-consuming. Writing a book is a long and tedious process. If you are an entrepreneur or business leader, the thought of adding writing to your schedule is even unimaginable. Yet, you want to become a published author. What are your options?
Well, you can outsource writing help. However, realize for people who are writers at heart, the experience of putting their ideas into words is what counts and a satisfying experience. Writing services are good, especially for business and website content, and can save precious time but may not capture the essence of what the author wants to communicate.
So, even if you wish to go this route with your books, I’ll still suggest creating the skeleton for your paid writer.
If you, however, are passionate about writing and want to learn how to develop a consistent writing habit for your next book, this article is for you.
What you will learn:
- The writing habits of famous authors
- The science behind developing writing as a habit
- My productivity tips for juggling work and writing
The Writing Habits of Famous Authors
How do great authors manage to produce quality books regularly and still live a balanced life? The secret is in the writing habits. And that’s why we want to explore some of the practices of famous authors.
Maya Angelou- find your creative space
The writing habits of prolific writer Maya Angelou involved leaving the house to a new space to inspire creativity. Whenever she started on a new book, she would rent a hotel room and commute to and from her home for her writing for six months.
Ray Bradbury- the more you practice, the more writing comes to you naturally.
For this pioneer of modern fiction, developing a writing habit is simple. You write a lot.
Here is a quote from one of his interviews in a writer’s symposium in 2001;
“The best hygiene for beginning writers or intermediate writers is to write a hell of a lot of short stories. If you can write one short story a week-it doesn’t matter what the quality is to start, but at least you’re practicing, and at the end of the year, you have 52 short stories, and I defy you to write 52 bad ones. Can’t be done. At the end of 30 weeks or 40 weeks or the end of the year, all of a sudden, a story will come that’s just wonderful.”
J.K Rowlings- write any chance and time you get.
She is known for her monumental writing success in fantasy novels. But, before fame, J.K Rowlings was an ordinary single mother juggling a lot. So, when starting a writing routine was not an option she had. She managed to squeeze writing in between the hustles of the day.
Haruki Murakami – Repetition and physical fitness launch you into a deeper state of mind necessary for effective writing.
The best-selling Japanese author develops his writing habit by repeating his routine exactly every day and ensures to take care of his health to ensure the mind is well-prepared for the intensity of the writing.
He describes his process as follows:
“When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at four a.m. and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for ten kilometers or swim for fifteen hundred meters (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at nine p.m.
I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes the important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind.”
Kurt Vonnegut – set time aside for writing in your workday, then achieve balance by infusing a bit of relaxation.
His writing habit involved rising early and getting his writing in before taking breakfast, exercising, and later heading to work. He taught in the afternoon, after which he relaxed at a bar.
Although each of these master authors has a unique routine, there are underlying effective writing habits we can pick from them. I call them the three Cs for developing a writing habit.
The Three Cs for Developing a Writing Habit in a Matter of Days
Find a space that spurs creativity. Writing needs a creative mind, and science says changing the environment is one way to inspire creative ideas. If you want to develop a writing habit, find a way to keep your creative juices flowing.
One indispensable aspect of becoming a writer who writes is to be consistent. Any habit can only form by practicing it.
So, if you want writing to become a habit, put down a few words daily for at least two consecutive weeks. I have written a book on success habits that delve into the practicality of breaking self-destructive behaviors and building consistency.
Writing requires a lot of brainpower, and the intensity to keep it up daily needs mental health. As Haruki Murakami says, taking time off helps to build mental fitness. So, as a writer, relaxation is what will help maintain your habit.
What Science Says About Developing the Writing Habit
Here is the gist. Many prolific writers in history have a particular daily routine and strange creative rituals.
It turns out there is a science behind it. There is evidence that routines, rituals, and environments can change and rewire the writing process to boost performance.
These strategies encourage flow instead of boredom, alleviate attentional overload, and boost the retrieval of ideas from memory.
My Tips for Staying Productive and Still Getting Time to Write
It is possible to write your book as a busy entrepreneur and business leader. These are my favorite go-to tips that help me stay productive and slot my writing needs in a day.
Design your power morning
My mornings are very crucial because they set the tone for the day. So, I ensure to start them by boosting my mental agility. You can design your power morning around activities that energize you.
When you set a schedule, stick to it. Setting boundaries on what you can and can not do gives you more time to write each day.
Set the ultimate goal and create an action plan with smaller actionable goals
Never work without goals. That includes your writing. If you want to incorporate a writing habit in your day, set a weekly target (ultimate goal) and the daily number of words to write (actionable goals).
Create a reward system
Reward yourself for every time you hit your daily writing milestone.
Developing a habit is the key to productivity. If you want to write and publish a book, you must start by creating your writing habit.