It’s my belief that every leader should be writing. Whether it’s writing a blog like this one or writing a book, a leader who writes down his thoughts is able to touch more lives.
But a complaint that I often hear is that there’s no time to write. There’s no way I would be able to squeeze any more into my day.
While I don’t doubt your days are packed, I know you can still find time to create a consistent writing habit.
Before you call me out and say that I have more time than you, let me share what my average day looks like:
6:30AM – Wake up, get ready for the office
7:30AM – Leave for the office
8:00AM – Arrive at the office and begin my day
5:00PM – Leave the office and head home
5:30PM – Arrive home and eat dinner with my wife
6:00PM – Take an hour long walk with my wife and our Vizsla
7:00PM – Read a book or watch a TV show (yes, leaders can watch TV and not feel guilty!)
8:00PM – Sit down to write a new blog post
9:00PM – Prepare to go to bed
10:00PM – Go to bed
There’s also various commitments that come up during the week. There’s visits to our parents’ homes, church commitments, kennel club meetings and more.
My days are pretty busy yet I’ve found time to write consistently. How did I create this writing habit?
5 Ways To Create A Consistent Writing Habit
1. Schedule in your time to write:
One of the biggest helps in creating a writing habit that sticks is to pencil in time on your calendar. What gets scheduled gets done.
That’s why I try to make my writing time right around the 8PM mark. Things have begun to die down, I’ve had my time to relax, and I’ve spent time with family.
It’s also shortly before I go to bed so I can do a braindump and get all the thoughts that have been brewing in my mind out.
2. Create a list of your thoughts:
Your mind is probably always on. You have thoughts racing through your minds at all times.
I know I do. Whether it’s sitting in the office, browsing the internet, or chatting with a good friend. New ideas pop into my head ALL OF THE TIME…
The problem is trying to capture those thoughts.
If you don’t capture those thoughts on a list, you’ll easily forgot that new great idea.
Carry a Moleskine notepad with you. Take notes on your phone. Do whatever it takes to capture those million dollar ideas.
3. Consume great content:
When you’re writing, another challenge can be coming up with new content.
You’ve already found a way to capture your thoughts. That’s one way to find content to write about.
Great content fuels great ideas which then fuels great writing.
4. Join a writer’s group/Connect with other writers:
Like leading, writing can be a lonely venture. You picture yourself locked away in your room, hunched over a keyboard, typing away.
Yes, that’s how writing can be. It can also be a fun, social experiment.
One thing you can do is to join a local writers’ group. Meetup.com has a great listing of local groups for writing here. Check it out and see if there’s one near you.
If not, do the next best thing: Find writers online that you admire and begin connecting with them.
Comment on their posts, send them emails, mail them a letter. Find some way to connect and be encouraged by the work they’re doing.
5. Create an enjoyable writing environment:
Having an environment that’s comfortable and fun to write in can make a huge difference in whether or not you create a consistent writing habit. That’s why it’s a must-do.
For me, that looks like:
Fun music playing in the background
A nice, big screen to see what I’m writing
Action figures/artwork hanging on the walls or on a shelf
A comfortable keyboard and mouse to use
Create an environment and atmosphere that is conducive to you writing. Finding that perfect balance will help you to come back to the keyboard day after day.
Writing can feel like a chore. That’s why you’ve got to greate a consistent writing habit. If you don’t, you’ll slowly begin to slip away from writing and, before you know it, you’ll haven’t writen in weeks, months, or years.
Use the tactics I’ve laid out to help you get into the writing habit and keep at it.