Do you want to write? If so, i find that it is always helpful to focus on writing habits. Why? Because a writing habit ensures that you get the writing done.
Without a habit, you will only write when you happen to have time available or the mood strikes you. That's not the way professionals approach their work.
You may agree with the importance of a writing habit, but how do you put it into practice? What is the method for actually getting your writing done?
Let's explore four foolproof methods. If you follow any of these techniques, you will be more successful in increasing your writing output.
Method #1: Writing Prompts
Writing prompts are a simple yet powerful way to get you thinking and writing about things you would otherwise not explore.
For example, if I said, "Pretend you are the villain in your favorite movie. What happened in your childhood that made you so evil?"
That's a silly question, but it will engage your imagination and storytelling abilities. Your mind will go places it would not normally go.
This is valuable because we get into creative ruts unless we have something to interrupt our thinking patterns.
The underlying assumption behind writing prompts is that your mind is absolutely packed with creative ideas. But it's hard to mine those creative ideas in the rush and routine of ordinary life.
That's where writing prompts come in. It's like dropping a hook into the water and catching something.
If you're wondering where you can get writing prompts, you're in luck. I've put together a package of 365 writing daily writing prompts. When you subscribe, you'll receive one prompt per day over email for an entire year.
This is the ideal way to receive writing prompts. If you bought a book of prompts, you would use a few and then probably set the book aside.
Method #2: Writing Sprint
A writing sprint gives you the opportunity to write in a short burst of energy. Just like doing a running sprint in middle school gym class, a writing sprint lets you accomplish a little bit in a short amount of time.
This is the method I use on Thursdays in the Daily Writer Community.
We have a block of several hours we set aside, and people generally pop in and out of the Zoom call as they are able. We take ten minutes to talk about our goals for that session, which lasts 50 minutes. Then we turn off the mic and camera and focus on the task at hand.
I find that writing sprints work best when you're doing it with others.
I often use the analogy of running and walking when it comes to writing sprints. You can walk alone, or you can run with the group. A writing sprint gives you a focused time to dive into your content and make serious progress.
Method #3: Pomodoro Technique
This is a popular productivity method where you set a time for 25 minutes, do focused work, and then take a break for 5 minutes. It's similar to a writing sprint except the bursts are only 25 minutes vs. 50 minutes for a writing sprint.
The other difference here is that the Pomodoro Technique is normally done alone, whereas writing sprints work best when you are doing it with a group.
I like the Pomodoro Technique a lot because almost anybody can fit in a 30-minute time block into their day, or perhaps even several of them in a row. It's very do-able. It also works with shorter pieces of content, like a blog post or social media posts.
If you have short pieces of writing that you need to get done, Pomodoro will probably become your go-to technique.
Method #4: Morning Pages
The idea was popularized by Julie Cameron in her book The Artist's Way. The method is simple: first thing in the morning, write three long-hand pages without stopping.
No editing, no filtering, and no over-thinking. You simply write what's on your mind and let the words flow.
This is more a creative-writing technique rather than a system for getting pre-determined writing done. But it's very effective in helping you break creative blocks and get ideas flowing.
Why do it in the morning and not other times? Because that's when your mind is the freshest. Your thinking is not clouded by the hundred other interactions and activities of the day.
Morning Pages are a fantastic way to let the words flow, especially if you want to become more self-aware. Even if you don't practice it in the morning, it's still an incredibly valuable habit.
So there you have it: foolproof methods for writing every day: writing prompts, writing sprints, the Pomodoro technique, and Morning Pages. I encourage you to choose one and try it every day for a week.