As a second year student who is studying Creative and Professional writing, you would think that I would always have a pen in my hand or a laptop on my lap, scribbling or typing away. It would surprise people that this is not exactly how I spend my days.
Since the age of around about five, I would write my own little stories and pretend I had thousands of books on the shelves in book shops everywhere. Nowadays, although I am still striving to be a published author, I would be ecstatic if even one book had my name on its spine.
The thing is, as my lecturer pointed out to me, there is a difference between being a writer and being someone who writes.
To become a professional writer you must write. Now, this sounds straightforward and a little bit stupid. But by writing, I mean everyday, not just when you are inspired or when you are in the ‘right mood’. Most, (if not all) , professional writers will make sure to write seven days a week no matter how they feel, or how inspired or uninspired they are.
Starting a habit
It is averaged that it takes twenty-one days to get into a habit. The holidays, my lecturer suggested, is one of the best times to start a new one. If you are not in uni/school/work, you will have a much more open schedule to organise time to start a beneficial habit (and also no excuse to quit!).
Having a habit to write every day is much like any gym-lover or fitness-fanatic has a habit of going to the gym. When you are so used to doing something you will eventually go to do it automatically, like brushing your teeth or making coffee in the morning. If you take time to write just a page a day, you will have written three-hundred-and-sixty-five pages in a year.
By writing every day your brain will constantly be producing content. Of course, not all of the content or ideas will be fantastic and most of it can be saved into an idea bank to use another time, but by getting into the habit of writing it means that you will be writing constantly.
However, the key is to stick with it. If you ever ask someone who goes to the gym how hard it is to get back into the habit of working out once they have a week off, it is likely they will tell you it’s harder to go back than it would’ve been to carry on with their routine. It is the same with creating ideas. Keeping content consistent and flowing everyday will help you develop your skills because you do it so often.
My Plan of Action
So, I have made a plan when to fit in slots or bursts of writing throughout the week, but at least once a day (not including assessments I have to complete). I know that if I want to continue my course and gain the best degree I can, this will hugely benefit me – and who wouldn’t start a new habit that would greatly help them achieve something they have been working towards for such a long time?
Sometimes, even a small change can help you so much that it’s better to look at the bigger picture. I don’t want to be someone who writes, I want to be a writer, so really I should’ve made this habit prominent earlier on. But, sometimes that’s just the way it is and you always have to start somewhere to make a change in yourself.
What habit do you want to get into? Comment below or send me a message! I would love to hear about it!