The best time to build a writing habit for life is when you first set the habit and here is why that is.
“Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”Martha Graham
The time to be the absolute strictest with a new habit is in the early weeks, even months after you establish it.
Sounds obvious right? But, under the category of “things we intellectually know but don’t always execute on well” – I thought I’d bring it up anyway for those who need to hear it. When setting a new habit, like a new writing habit for instance, that’s the time to go drill sergeant on yourself.
Track the habit with real time metrics (like a habit tracking app) so you have actual proof that you’re doing it vs. “thinking” you are. Journal on its importance in your life and your “why” for doing it. Show up constantly for your habit, especially when you’re not in the mood to do it.
Do whatever it takes to lock it in and program those fancy neural circuits in your brain that have the power to turn conscious chores into automated muscle memory.
The beginning of a new habit is also the best time to analyze 3 facets of your mindset so crucial to the success of your habits, especially if your goal is to build a lifelong writing habit.
Our mind (and the stories it tells us about our capabilities) plays an important role in helping us write, or not write, a book. Therefore, I thought, how can I nerd out on the idea of mindset habits, even more than I already do? I know… by breaking mindset down even further, into 3 areas!
Do you see yourself as someone who can write and finish writing a great book? Self image also includes confidence in your ability to accomplish the tasks needed to write a book. Ultimately, it is the belief that you’re worth the effort and time investment needed to become a published author.
Courage in authors, includes the willingness to admit that you don’t know what you don’t know and to get help where you need it. It is pushing your ego aside and asking others to hold you accountable to your publicly declared book writing goals. Courage allows you to summon the inner strength to do the work required to be an author.
This is the big one! Because without perseverance, you can be sidetracked, derailed, and possibly defeated by obstacles that will show up in your pursuit to finish writing your book (or for many of you, multiple books). And, as I tell clients in my author coaching program, those suckers really start popping up as you get closer to the finish line. It’s like the creative universe knows you’re about to reach your goal, so it throws everything at you to make sure you really want it!
So there you have it, if you will…
3 key areas of your author mindset – self image, courage, and perseverance. My other two pillars of author success, by the way, are writing fundamentals and productivity habits.
Up to You
The beginning of a new habit is your best opportunity to lock in something special and long lasting in your life. It’s the time when the thing you’re doing, like writing every day, has the potential to become a rewarding long-term part of your life and identity. Or, without the proper self awareness and adherence to your habit setting procedures, it can become a wisp of a dream that didn’t work out.
It’s all up to you.
PS: Need some more writing habit strategies and inspiration? Check out my daily podcast for authors, appropriately titled Your Daily Writing Habit.
Which area(s) of your writing habit are you struggling with the most in writing your book? Drop me a line and let me know so I can offer you some tips/resources, and simply remind you that you’ve got this, keep going!