How my writing practice started:
When I began this writing and blogging endeavor I had more free time. My work and personal life were less full, making it an ideal time to start. I was able to maintain my normal routine and write when I had free time. This was typically in the morning after I had walked my dog and relaxed with a cup of coffee.
This worked well enough for a while, but I started running into trouble with both discipline and time. I thought pairing my writing with drinking coffee would be a great idea. I love drinking coffee and make time for it every day and doing these two things together would be efficient. This worked ok at first. Eventually, I found myself making excuses to not write during coffee time, “its the weekend!”, “I have extra time today and will write later”. I’ve paired my coffee drinking habit with blog reading for years, so I missed that part of it and was always trying to squeeze it in.
As summer arrived and life became busier I let go of writing while drinking coffee and returned to reading blogs. My writing fell off and blog posts didn’t get written.
Time for Change:
I knew I wanted to continue this writing endeavor and was going to have to find something that worked and supported consistency. After a vacation in August, I began a new habit of getting up at 5:30 am and writing 500 words or for 30 minutes every morning. I wasn’t previously getting up this early so I had no conflicts and it was only 30 minutes before my normal wake up, so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch.
How This is Going/Progress-Consistency:
So far, this has been working. It’s not always easy getting up at 5:30 am and my sleep schedule took a few weeks to adjust. I was previously staying up until 10 pm so I slowly started moving my bedtime to earlier in the evening (assisted by shortening hours of daylight). It’s getting cooler now so its also harder to get out of bed in the morning. Some days I run a little late, but I’ve remained consistent with getting up and writing in the morning. Weekends have been the exception. Sometimes I’m out of town hiking and camping, others I’ve simply needed to catch up on sleep. My goal when I started this was to be consistent on weekdays and so far I have been successful. I am hopeful this will become a solid habit that I am able to maintain going forward!
Fingers crossed, I have a consistent habit and can work on fine-tuning my writing process. I’ll be experimenting with some different methods next month and will see how that works.
Any writers out there with additional suggestions? How do you make room for new habits and priorities?