Are you a writer? How much do you write each day?
If you have trouble fitting writing in to your daily life, keep reading.
Adopting A New Habit
A block some people face with writing is that they don’t know how to fit it into their schedule regularly. They want to make daily freewriting a habit, yet feel stymied by the ongoing inertia of daily hoo-ha.
Everyone has underlying beliefs that limit us from moving more towards manifesting what we want.
We try to invite this beautiful hopeful little habit into our life. But the majority of the time, despite our best intentions, that little habit gets bullied and pushed away.
A foundational challenge which habits-to-be come up against is just the general inertia of life — we tend to do what we have always done. That monolithic sameness keeps us from doing new things not because we don’t want to but because our schedules are already full. We end up doing the same things, gravitating to the same restaurants, the same books, the same friends. We walk the same way, even think the same thoughts day after day.
If you want to freewrite every day, then be sure you actually block time in your schedule to do it. Unless you block it off, some other activity will take its place.
Sounds amazingly simple. It’s no grand move. You don’t need to take any huge measures. Just make sure that you carve out space for it.
Everyone has the same amount of time each day. Everyone accomplishes different things. Some people get way more done than others.
What makes the difference?
Well, a far as it pertains to wanting to become a freewriter, some writers are more effective at setting aside the time. They set aside just enough time so that they can devote themselves to their writing.
Build on other structures you already have in your day
I always wake up and meditate every morning. There may be some slight permutations on how that looks — whether I’m traveling or if my schedule is weird that day. But since 2016, I always fit it in.
It was easy for me to add a morning freewrite to my routine. I already had a cornerstone activity, so I simply position the new thing near that.
I wake, freewrite two or three pages, then meditate. Then breakfast, etc.
Find opportunity in the day’s margins
Before noon is a time of day when it’s easy to be productive as a writer, so if you have a flexible schedule I recommend having a very light breakfast and spending as much time as possible writing until lunch.
Otherwise, after dinner can be awesome for writing as well. I often love to write after dinner until I reach a familiar sort of tiredness where I know it’s actual tiredness — nothing to do but call it a day. Rest, relax, and enjoy this delicious phase of the evening or night.
There is also something signficant in the subtle sense about making use of these times of the day to engage in introspective and creative activities.
Middle of day appointments can be hard to keep faithfully. They’re out in the middle of the field, competing with phone calls and oil changes. Hardly sacred territory. Best to keep the most important things as bookends to the day. In the morning and late evening.
If it totally works for you to write midday, awesome. I’d like to hear from you about your experience trying to work at other times of the day (early and late) and hear what that’s like for you. I get interested by these kinds of discussions. We’re all different, and different things can align for us depending on all the factors.
The thing is, if you want something bad enough, you just do it. Middle of the day, no writing utensil, standing on your head. You want to so you just do it.
Squeezing in bonus sessions
Don’t let all this talk about scheduling get in the way of the fundamental focus, which is making time for what you absolutely want.
It’s just to say that there are helpful strategies you can take based on the things you tend to come up against, whether it’s energy level or scheduling conflicts or what time of day you feel most inspired.
Once you have a guaranteed slice of time each day, try and find bonus opportunities to exceed your scheduled time.
A final word on that: it can also be really interesting and transformative to freewrite during those times when you feel the least naturally disposed to write, whether because you’re tired or you tend not to feel in touch with creative forces. You might be surprised.
And anyway, the funny truth is that everyone, no matter the schedule or stacks of responsibilities, has an amazing ability to squeeze in pretty much anything if it is fun and rewarding enough. It’s already a skill we have. The thing is just to make it work maximally in our favor.
Limiting beliefs – how to break the “I have to” pattern
One limiting belief that hovers like a menace over a person’s whole inner landscape: an unhealthy relationship to the work they do. They feel pushed, prodded, and obligated — not inspired, intrigued, fascinated.
There’s no better way to kill your ability to adopt a new habit than to see it as a kind of obligation. A chore, something you have to. Just one more task thrown your way.
A new habit is a magical flower that needs to be watered with love. With joy. With sinfully delicious indulgence. With your unique ferocity.
If you water it with obligation, it dies. It needs and deserves your care, your trust. Your real authentic self.
Some part of you knows you want to write every day. But your schedule is bossed around by your habit of “I’m supposed to X.”
It’s a self-perpetuating belief that keeps people stuck. It keeps them from putting forward the effort necessary to ever see any real rewards from their labors.
Writing feels like hard work. So they sit. They struggle. They need some relief, so they watch cat videos. Before long it’s 5pm and time to go home.
Freewriting is actually the most direct and unburdened method I have found for being productive as a writer.
I have found no better way than to simply engage the flow of writing before I know what I am going to say.
I risk being wrong, looking stupid, and showing the world that I don’t know what I am talking about.
I love it.