5 Steps to Creating a Writing Habit | Lindsey Backen | Skillshare

5 Steps to Creating a Writing Habit

Lindsey Backen, Bringing Stories to Life

5 Steps to Creating a Writing Habit

Lindsey Backen, Bringing Stories to Life

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5 Lessons (17m)
    • 1. Finding a Time to Write

      3:31
    • 2. Making Writing a Habit

      4:30
    • 3. Create a Workspace

      2:04
    • 4. Create a Timeline

      3:49
    • 5. Track Your Progress

      3:07
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About This Class

The most important part of writing is literally just sitting down and putting words on the paper. But in your busy life, do you know where to start to develop the habit of writing? In this class, we explore five actions that will help you create a writing routine that will help you sit down and write every single day.

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Lindsey Backen

Bringing Stories to Life

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Transcripts

1. Finding a Time to Write: Hi, everyone. Welcome to my feel share class today. We're talking about creating a writing routine that works for you. We all have our best times to write our worst times to right, and they don't necessarily correlate with the actual time that you have a available to write. So what you want to do is think through your daily routine and find a time even as little as 15 minutes, that you could sit down and work on your story. If you really don't have a lot of spare time, look for something that you're doing now that you want to stop doing maybe a bad habit or maybe just something that's not really edifying, that you could replace with a writing session. My best time is always in the morning. I find that the earlier I get up and start writing my novel, the better chance I have of actually writing that day. If I push it off and I do my other work first, thinking all right in the evenings. Sometimes I dio because I can settle down focus. But a lot of times life happens. I get phone calls, I get distracted and writing just never get stuff. So for me personally, the best plan is to wake up early enough that is even still dark outside, and people are calling me. So I like to start my writing session around six oclock in the morning, if not earlier, for a little bit later, but no later than seven o'clock. Otherwise, I just get too distracted. You may not be like that. You may be better writing at night or in the afternoon or even on your lunch break, so it doesn't really matter waiting, right? It just matters that you find when your best mentally prepared to do so and your least slightly to get off track. But wait. You say I work all day long and then I come home. I got family, I've got kids, I got roommates. I just I want to write, but I literally don't have time. You should see everything on juggling and guys, I get it. I'm juggling a lot, too. There's a book called The Power of Win by Michael Prius. In it, he actually explains that your time for creativity may not necessarily coincide with your best time of focus. So if you are really struggling to keep up. Maybe you go to work all day, and by the time you get home, you're batteries were just drained? No, that he actually suggests that you can better tap into your creativity whenever you're tired. Think about it. Whenever you get tired, kind of hazy, you get a lethargic and you just you're not on top of your game. But a lot of times it puts you in kind of a day journey state. So even if you're really struggling to find time to write, take heart because you might find that you actually write better after you hit your time for your concentration. So your goal right now is to sit down and figure out when you are going to write, what time of day are you going to write? So go ahead, figure that out and then leave us a comment below to let us know when you are going to write 2. Making Writing a Habit: number to create a habit by routine, so the best way to build a new habit is to piggyback it on to something that you're already doing. And this could be something as simple adds brushing your teeth or making your coffee. Or whenever you get home doing the dinner dishes, something that you do already every day. And you can visualize yourself doing this ahead of time to kind of cement the idea whenever I do this, that I'm going to sit down and write. When I do this, I'm going to sit down and write, Or you can just write it on an index card, create a morning routine or evening routine, and make sure that you know when you're going to write or just right after your lunch break . You can do it. The important thing is to strive to be consistent now. Obviously, Sunday's things will happen, and you will get interrupted. But as much as you can try to build that routine, doing it after the same habit around the same time every day and the closer you can get to keeping these two things in place, the easier it's going to be for your mind to click into creative mode whenever you sit down to write. But writing a book is not an easy thing. We all wish that we could sit down and put out the story line in a couple of weeks and upload it or send it up to a publisher and poof, you're done. But it doesn't work that way. So there are different faces, and writing in the first phase is just getting your draft down. This means you don't even have to write it. Well, what you're looking for at this point is you're getting to know your characters, and you're looking for your main story line and the things that you really want to bring out. The revision is when you go back through and you'll tighten up those story lines, you'll add the parts of the characters that you have learned along the way, and you'll really shaped the story line, then not in the draft. And then, of course, you go back through once more and really focus on the writing itself. And so you would think about the way that you phrase things. Make sure that your spelling is consistent and finally you go back through and do the proof . So that's five phases, guys. Five. And we're on face number one if you're still creating your writing routine, which means your goal is to sit down and right. And if you sit down and write every day, you, my dear, are a writer, and you have accomplished your goal, and you should celebrate that. So pick a small goal for every day. It could be a time frame. I'm gonna write for 15 minutes, or it could be a word count. I'm going to write 500 words. When you hit that little goal, you're done for the day. If you want to keep writing great, keep writing. But when you hit that goal celebrated, you're done because your goal right now is not to create your masterpiece. It's to develop the habit of writing, and by doing that little bit every day, you have successfully done what you said up to do. Now, as you get onward and you begin becoming more serious about writing, probably that 15 minutes will expand. That word count will expand, but writing it's like building a muscle, and you have to start small and learn how to do it for myself. I have a goal of writing five hand written pages every day or 2000 words. However, that may not be yours because I've been doing this for a long time. So remember, start small started a gold you know you can achieve and then said it just a time. Have you been above where you really feel accomplished when you have achieved it? But you know, it's completely doable. So your goal for this session, if you haven't done it, is to tell us what habit you are piggybacking on. And also what is your daily goal, whether or not it's a certain amount of time or a word count or a number pages that you're going to write. 3. Create a Workspace: number four to designate a work space. Yes, this is important, and you get your own place to do it. So pick a spot in your house. It doesn't have to be a desk. It can be a desk. It could be an easy chair. It can be any kind of nuke that you feel very comfortable in, but make sure that you clear it of clutter. Try not to write in the same place that you pay your bills or watch television or other activities that my interfere with your concentration claimed. The spot is yours, so this means it needs to be filled with things that enhance your creativity. If you have a writer's creed, you can hang that above Mach. If you have a lot cover for your book, you can hang it up, do something that makes you actually feel like a writer whenever you sit down. Even inspiring quote by a writer can help. Now I have a couple of places that I write. Sometimes I work downstairs at the table because it's cooler in the house. Sometimes I work in my office. I like to go to the coffee shop and kind of state in the back so that I'm with other people . But I can still focus, so it's okay to switch your routine a little bit. But make sure that whenever you sit down that you are in your spot, that you no, for sure, this is where I work and try not to do too many other things in that spot. One thing that I have in my spot is a sand timer, and this is a way that I used to talk myself. That actually works for an hour, but it doesn't tick. It doesn't have bright lights. It doesn't cook up to the Internet, has absolutely no distraction except for just telling me when my time is up. So think about things that you can do that are conducive to making your routine and trying to just keep it clear and something that you really excited about. 4. Create a Timeline: number five is to jump start your writing routine. Now. There are a couple of ways you can set yourself up for success by doing all the things we've talked about, but also in your actual writing session. Number one is to create a story line. You can do this a lot of different ways. I have developed a writer's journal that I used to keep track of mine, but actually it on Lee has room for three paragraphs, so I know the beginning, the middle and the end. I tend to change my story line as I write, with only kind of a vague map of where I'm going. But I only plenty of room for the characters to take over for them to leave surprises and for them to even hijacked storyline and take it a completely different way, because I do that the way I do my story lines when I need to plan out my chapters, it's like this. This is what I call a flexible plotline, and I have another skill share video on how to do it. But essentially it keeps track of the events in my chapter, and also it gives me a chance to add things. And so if I have this and I know that I need to add another element, I can just stick it behind the chapter that goes on that we would have. I'm ready to write. I just kind of go down and make sure everything is included. Now. Sometimes I do this physically. Sometimes I do it in a thing on Scripture. There's all different ways that you can use, and I tend to change up mine as I need it. However, if you know generally where the one with your story line, it will be easier and less intimidating to sit down. Another way you can do it is by going to the website stage two page dot com and downloading my free chapter planner, which would take you through just the very next chapter. But you will explore through the mind of an actor what your character's goals are, what they're seeing goals are and the description of the scene on all these various factors you may need to take into account to set up your seen before you even write. This works for some people and it freezes up other people, so try it out. If it doesn't work for you, don't keep it. Save it for the revision. Now I have a friend who ends all of his writing sessions by jotting down questions that he still has not opened in his chapter. And I think this is a fantastic way to not only remind your mind of where you were when everything stopped, but also to check your tension in your tail. Because if you ended chapter and you realize that you actually kind of resolved everything in that chapter, there's no reason for your reader to go on writing. So by including the questions that you have unanswered, you not only have that spark that starts the next chapter, but you also keep better track of your story plots and make sure that you wrap up the entire book in a way that is going to answer your readers questions because completing their questions is a very important part. You can get away with a little bit of leeway, a little bit open endedness, But if you leave too many questions hanging, your readers are going toe like it on the number one best way to create a writing routine is literally just too right. Go easy on yourself, right? Words. Even if you have to write, I don't know what to write. Just to get started. Don't worry about making a wonderful book at this time. You're still writing your draft. 5. Track Your Progress: number four is track yourself. Writing a book takes a long time, and after a while you start feeling like a hamster on a trade deal. Treadmill. Writing a book takes a long time, and if you're not careful after a while, even when you have your routine in place, it feels like your little hamster on a wheel. You get up, you write 2000 words so you can go to sleep so you can get up and write 2000 words so sleeve so you can get up. Write 2000 words and after a while you like, Why am I even doing this? Well, the good news is you can watch a manuscript grow, even if that means printed out that thing every day. After you writing session and add it to a stack, it's a good way to do it. It's also inexpensive way to do it, especially because you're gonna go back through and we read that. Maybe anyway. So another way. It's to track yourself using a calendar. You can put exes on the calendar, connect them together so they make a chain and don't break the chain. Or you could do stickers or you can do, Jules, or you could do a check mark, depending on your personality. Just something visual so that you can see which days you wrote in which you didn't another ways to keep track of your word count. I have a spreadsheet on my computer that has my goal for the day, but underneath has what I actually wrote. And so that way I can see on the days that I'm just stuck and I write less than I intended or the days I write more, I can see where I'm at. In correlation to my weekly goal and where, in correlation to my month legal, you can draft a novella of about 50,000 words in a month. People do it every year is part of national novel writing, so it is completely possible to do. I've done it. You can do more than you think, even if you just break it into a writing session of 500 words and then add two more sessions to your day. That's 1500 words which really stocks up after a while. If you get it to 1667 you can write 50,000 words in 30 days. Another fun thing you can do to keep track is actually have a visuals. So get a jar and then every day when you have reached your goal, drop something in it. It can be rocks can be jewels. It could even be 1/4. And at the end, you're going to have a jar full quarters, which is really cool because quarters stepped up and you can buy something with that baby. So find a way that works for you to keep track and visually track your goal.