6 Habits That Will Get Your Butt In the Chair

Bad habits quoteOne of the number one complaints I hear from writers is that there’s never enough time to write. We all want to write, but somehow we never manage to get our butts in our chairs, or our fingers on the keyboard. Why not? What’s stopping us?

We have bad habits.

Well, it’s time to get back on track! Here are six tips that will help you get back into the writing flow. And the key is to replace your bad habits with these good ones!

1) Carve Out Time for Your Goals

Do you say you want to write, but fail to make time for it? Are you all talk and no action? Dedicate yourself to making time for your goals. Carve out space for your goals to live in your life.

2) Let Your Schedule Dictate Your Work

Are you waiting around for inspiration to strike? Are you waiting to be motivated? It turns out motivation doesn’t last. Particularly if you get any form of negative feedback on a work-in-progress. Waiting to be motivated is the number one reason you’re not getting as much writing done as you want.

Instead, create a writing schedule and stick to it. Show up. Put your butt in the chair. Every day. Day after day. When you do this, you’re writing is no longer dictated by fear or motivation. Instead, it becomes a habit. It becomes a life plan.
Fear or motivation quote

3) Commit to Your Intentions

Motivation fades quickly, but intention creates action. Stating when and where you will write, means there’s a higher likelihood of execution. Write your intentions on your calendar. Make yourself a deadline. Without clear intentions we float around hoping to write, but the time never shows up. Make a clear plan and commit to your intentions.

4) Use the Two-Minute Rule

The hardest part about writing consistently is starting. We’d rather check our email, or do the dishes, then face the computer screen. But nearly any habit can get started in only two minutes. Commit to writing for two minutes. That’s it. Get your coffee, open your laptop, and write for two minutes. Often, those two minutes is all it takes to get you going for a whole writing session. Think about it this way: imagine you’re going to go for a daily run. Once you’ve started the run you don’t need motivation to finish it. You only ever need the motivation to start running. It’s the same with writing. It only takes two minutes to start.

Desire to write quote

5) Make Small Goals

Set a goal so small that you don’t need motivation to achieve it. You will succeed every time.

6) Create a Pace You Can Sustain

Do you make deadlines you can’t meet? Are you overwhelmed by the giant daily word counts of other writers? Forget them. This isn’t a race. Your long-term success is based on the fact that you’ve created a pace that you can sustain. It doesn’t matter if you write 200 words or 2000 words a day, if you don’t show up every day to write it. Create a pace that works for you.

Have you found other habits that help you to keep writing? Please share them in the comments!


6 responses to “6 Habits That Will Get Your Butt In the Chair”

  1. Stacey says:

    Thanks for this, Ingrid! I have a full-time job, which makes finding time to write especially difficult, but these are great tips! 🙂

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      I’m glad you found them helpful Stacey! I look forward to hearing how they help over the long run.

  2. Another fine post, Ingrid. This summer, I have terrified myself into work by hiring an editor, who has already cashed the cheque, and joining a writeathon in which we have to post our daily progress — basically external accountability for which there will be a huge penalty if I don’t follow up.
    Here are some good, funny websites on procrastination: http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/10/why-procrastinators-procrastinate.html

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      Accountability is such a huge part of the puzzle. I think that’s why having an editor, or a teacher, to turn work into is so effective.

  3. Linda W says:

    I really needed that quote on fear or motivation. That is so true! And I’ve procrastinated way too much! So this post is very timely.

    • Ingrid Sundberg says:

      “Make bold moves toward your dreams each day, refuse to stop, and nothing can stop you.” – Hal Elrod

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