I would like to go about making a habit of writing to a journal or blog on a daily basis. What techniques or patterns have been the most useful in accomplishing this task?
Start a Seinfeld calendar. Basically, you have a calendar set up somewhere that you see everyday. Each day you write, fill the date with a big red X, or another distinguishing mark.
After a few days you'll have a chain. The chain just keeps getting longer and longer. Dont break that chain.
Thats the way to keep pushing yourself to write as frequently as you can. You won't want to break that chain no matter what.
Inspired by a news post about ohlife I set up a small script that sends me an e-mail message each day asking me about my day. I just reply to that message with my daily journal if I have something interesting to say. This trick (or mind hack) works great for me because:
- I'm in a position to write my journal when I get the reminder to do it.
- My journals are collected in one folder with a simple filter rule.
- My e-mail is backed-up regularly so I don't have to worry about loosing my journal.
- My journal is portable (I can write it on my laptop, phone or in my webmail interface).
I used to write a minimum of three pages of freewriting every morning (from The Artists Way) which allows the removal of cruft from our brains and eventually promotes more creativity and more writing.
Schedule it! Find a window of time that you can block out and that is convenient for you to use, and then schedule that time to write. For me it is usually the first hour in the morning after I wake, or the last hour of the day before going to bed. If I can't do it in the morning, then I use the evening as my backup plan. Either way, I know that I am going to have at least an hour a day to write, whether it's working on my blog, working on a story, or answering questions here!
I have been using OhLife previously for my daily piece of my writing. I followed it religiously for about 2 months. But my life journals were either too short or large and I had no way of tracking how much I write. That coupled with an absence of sense of accomplishment my writing graph went down steeply. Luckily for me I came across 750words.com which is everything I wished for. I have set it to send me reminder emails at 7.30 in the morning. My day begins after writing it. I found 3 pages or 750 words the right amount of words to get my creative juices running. Writing whatever comes in my mind helps to clear the clutter in my mind and gets me ready for the day ahead.
I started my daily writing routine at the beginning of NaNoWriMo to have a set goal and community pushing me to write every day. After, I was able to kept to that schedule, even if I was only writing small amounts, because I had formed the habit of sitting down to write each day in a positive and motivational environment.