Talking about a daily writing habit with a writer, this is going to be an interesting read. I assure you. I am going to answer all the questions I have been asked about developing a writing habit. So, let’s begin.
How many of you feel your thoughts clustered in tight knots? Do you ever feel that all the chaos and negativity is getting up in your mind? Have you ever felt that your head would burst because of these gazillion thoughts and ideas racing at high speed?
If this is you, you are in the right place.
Ever since I started writing, this one question has never left me. “How did you build a writing habit”?
You know what I get it. When you see someone being so consistent and diligent about their habits, it makes you wonder what and how they maintain them effortlessly. I have the same feeling when I see people being consistent about their workouts. That is something I find hard to work on. But, that’s a story for another day.
Today, I want to talk about all the goodness around building a daily writing habit and how it takes you from chaos to bliss. Writing is not just a tool of the modern era. It has been around since ancient times and its benefits still apply to your well-being. More than anything, writing is a life skill and if you can master it, you can solve a lot of your problems in the right way. So, let’s get deeper into my favorite topic and see how a daily writing habit can improve your life.
Why a daily writing habit improves your life?
Your daily writing habit can transform your life in a lot of good ways as we will discuss today. But before we hit that, let’s understand the importance and role of daily habits in building a quality lifestyle.
Why daily habits are important?
Daily habits are important because they lay the foundation for the quality of life. Your habits in the present shape your future. Whatever it is that you aim to achieve, your habits will determine the frequency at which you accomplish your goals.
This blog is not about emphasizing having your personal goals or “having a plan”. I have a separate one for that. You can read that here. But the truth is, sometimes plans fail. No matter how much planning you do, life interrupts and sooner you are back to where you started from.
But when your daily habits become a part of your lifestyle, they let you find ways that keep you on track. They improve your ability to bounce back even if you get off track by making you more resilient and flexible. This happens because you acknowledge the importance of building a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
Some of the most significant benefits of daily habits are better stress levels, sound sleep, improved eating habits, better physical health, and improved time management skills. And you would agree that each of these aspects of your wellness is interconnected.
Talking about daily habits and developing a routine might confuse you with a strict and time-bound lifestyle wherein you force yourself to become someone you’re not, which is not true. Your positive daily habits can be developed at your pace, within the time frame you prefer. It all comes down to how consistently you stick to these habits and convert them into a lifestyle.
So no, I won’t talk about having a morning routine or a night routine specifically. The key to building a balanced lifestyle is to experiment first and then amplify what works for you.
And this applies to your daily writing habit too. Out of an endless list of benefits of writing every day, the ultimate purpose of writing in daily life is to just help you vent and stay on track. Because, tell me if you don’t agree, today it’s quite hard to find someone who just listens to you.
Thus, your next big question finds its answer as we proceed with this blog. Let’s go!
How to develop daily writing habit?
Like every other habit, this one is also difficult to get into a flow, especially if you are not a lover of words like me. But, once you pick up the flow and incorporate it into your lifestyle, your daily writing habit becomes a part of your personality. It comes naturally to you. Once it becomes your passion, you don’t have to force it on yourself.
I have been writing as a hobby for six years. And, it’s been two years of professional writing too. And both these different phases of my daily writing habit have only added to the quality of my life. Baby steps over long jumps is a sane philosophy to follow, especially when you are onto developing a daily writing habit.
So, here’s an easy framework that has worked for me. From being a scribbler and dairy entry writer to a professional, published writer, this is how I have developed my daily writing habit. And of course, you can easily replicate this process in your life too. But, just to be honest, it wasn’t a “process” when I did it back then. Now, it’s just easy for me to recollect what I did and make it easy for you. So enjoy!
1. Don’t judge yourself
Ever heard the phrase “dance like no one’s watching”? Well, the same principle applies here too: “write like no one’s reading”. Because well, no one IS coming to read it. In the end, it’s about building a daily writing habit. So, write your heart out. Don’t hold yourself back. These are your moments to let the guard down. Write a paragraph or a page and when you find your momentum, stick to showing up every day.
2. Write about your favorite things
My writing journey started with a college assignment for my Business Communication class. The professor asked us to write about our favorite topic and the rest is history. I never went back to not writing a day. So, the secret key to building a daily writing habit is to write about things that make you happy. Write about what you do every day in your normal life. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Always remember to choose progress over perfection.
3. Choose a platform
If you are serious about building your daily writing habit, you have to become accountable for it. While there are so many downsides to social media, the biggest flex is you can build your skillset in public. Yes, that does come with some disadvantages like people judging you. But, it makes you strong too. I wrote for 4 years on a private account on Instagram before I started writing on LinkedIn two years ago. I was living under a rock to not know LinkedIn. But, seriously. Use this availability to the best of your potential and you will explore new things about your capabilities. Some alternate writing platforms are Quora, Medium, or Blogger. Or best, start a blog!
This is an easy and realistic framework that you can follow to develop your daily writing habit. Any new habit requires momentum and consistency. They may sound like buzzwords but it’s true. Whether you love writing or not, take some time out to sit with yourself and clear your mind. The daily writing habit is the age-old tradition of arranging your scattered thoughts and making them more digestible for yourself before you share them with anybody else.
Does writing every day makes you better?
If I could answer this question in one word, it would be a Yes. Writing, both as a hobby and as a profession has completely changed my life. So, in case you find a biased tone in this blog you already know the reason.
But, jokes apart, I’ll always recommend having a daily writing habit for everybody. You get to choose whether you want to do it as a hobby like I did for 4 long years or you want to build in public like I am doing with my LinkedIn, Instagram, and this blog.
Irrespective of what way you choose here are some important reasons why a daily writing habit makes you better every day:
1. Self Discipline
Let’s face it. Most of us have screwed it up. The lifestyle has simply made it terrible for us to have a disciplined life. Or maybe that’s how we have chosen to become as a generation. If you plan to build better habits to improve your lifestyle, writing can be an easy way to begin. A daily writing habit will pave the way to stack other habits (I learned about the habit stacking method in James Clear’s Atomic Habits and it’s a brilliant book to begin your habit building. Highly recommended) that improves your lifestyle.
2. Better Vocabulary
Whether you are a professional writer or not, a good vocabulary will always help you to stand out in different situations. We are in the digital era. People are thriving because they understand the power of words, both verbally and in writing. Everyone wants to convey their thoughts and ideas in the easiest way possible. But, somehow this is costing you your communication skills. Because instead of making it easy you are complicating the process. Have you ever been in a conversation where you couldn’t find an appropriate word? If yes, it’s time to build your vocabulary. And a daily writing habit combined with reading 2 to 3 pages a day can be a good first step to that.
3. Cultivates Self Awareness
A daily writing habit can be your greatest weapon to know yourself better every passing day. When you translate your thoughts into words, you automatically give yourself a chance to seize better ideas. It helps you to control negative self-talk. It improves your observation power because now you’re more aware of what is happening around you and inside you. Writing every day opens a new world where your thoughts are not meaningless anymore. It gives you a chance to express yourself better.
4. Live the power of Compounding
I heard one of my favorite self-help creators, Kahtrin Zenkina, say this on Instagram Live and it lives in my rent-free. She said, “the craving to go viral overnight is making you miss the power of compounding”. And I couldn’t agree more. The power of compounding applies to every long-term result that you are trying to achieve. Thus, it isn’t different for your daily writing habit either. In your initial days, your writing habit may feel like a chore. But, as you choose to stick to it, you will witness the power of compounding coming to life. My daily writing habit has improved my writing skills to another level and I can only thank myself for sticking to it.
5. Build your Community
Like I said before, this is a choice. But, it can change your life upside down in all positive ways. Building a community and working on your personal brand while building your daily writing habit can open some surprising doors of opportunities for you. I have been a professional writer for 2 years. So when anybody asks me how they can improve their writing skills, I just tell start writing. Choose a platform that you find easy to use and just start writing. Also, be selfless when building your community. It will come back to you in so many ways.
These were some important answers to how a daily writing habit improves you little by little every day. But, that’s not all. Let’s see what science has to say about the importance of writing in our daily life.
What are the scientific benefits of writing?
1. A Daily Writing Habit delays the beginning of cognitive declination
As you age, it is normal for your cognitive functions to decline. But according to a recent study, developing a reading and writing habit (RWH) might delay the onset of this cognitive decline during the process of aging. Thus social factors like better higher education and RWH lead to better performance at the macrostructure and microstructure levels of your cognitive functions.
2. A Daily Writing Habit can make you a scientist
How is that even possible? You’re right! I had the same reaction when I first read it. But, surprisingly it’s true. The HHMI Science Education Alliance (SEA) Faculty Group published this study where they tested reflective writing tools and their role in improving the student’s learning experiences. They concluded that reflective writing tool encourages students to engage better and become more persevering. These writing tools were able to develop scientific thinking by helping students to think critically while solving problems.
3. A Daily Writing Habit improves your persuasion skills
There is a category of writing in which you can build an entire career if you have great writing and persuasion skills. It’s called Copywriting. In the end, all writing on the web is copywriting because the goal of every written piece is to persuade the reader to take action. And you don’t need a lot of technical tools to get these skills. Your daily writing habit when turned into a profession can make for a great career as well. Because the more you write the more you improve your persuasion skills.
These were some science-backed evidence on the benefits of writing every day. Your daily writing habit has so much wisdom and power to help you to take back control of your life. And the best part is you get to do this your way.
My daily writing habit has changed the way I saw life. For four years I was writing only to braindump or lessen my burden. But, two years ago when I started on LinkedIn, it changed my life.
I was a nobody until a few years. But today, my community knows me for the writer I am. And I’ll always be grateful for the year 2020. It gave me the push I needed to start working on my dream.
And now, it’s your turn. I hope my story, experience, and all the insights about developing a daily writing habit were able to give you a direction to begin your writing routine from today itself.
Remember as a beginner, the goal is not to write great things but just to write and keep trying until it becomes a lifestyle.
I’ll see you soon.