How many half-hearted drafts do you have here and there? When last did you make a conscious effort to write? Why do you find it easier scrolling through Instagram reading the works of others yet you haven’t written anything in days, if not months? You know you have the talent; everyone marvels at how well you write when you write, masterpieces have been birthed in your head… and it goes on…
Long story short, you need new habits! Positive ones of course.
Having dreams of being a successful writer like Chimamanda Adichie, Maya Angelou, Wole Soyinka, etc, isn’t far-fetched or impossible, but there are certain habits to inculcate into your life, if not, well your dreams will just remain that – dreams. Success comes with a prize, can you pay it? If you’re determined enough, over time these positive habits will become part of you.
1. Challenge: you can’t grow if you don’t try new things or challenge the status quo. Push yourself to greatness. If you’ve been writing five lines a day, why not try ten tomorrow? These baby steps will give way for giant strides consequently.
2. Focus: starve your distractions and you’ll see that you’ll achieve more. Keep your eyes (and pen or cursor) on the goal and nothing else. Shut out social media for a few hours or days if you can afford to.
3. Time consciousness: Know when you write best, but don’t necessarily wait for the ‘perfect’ time, because you might wait a long long time, and this can lead to the enemy called procrastination ( *shudders*). Clock is ticking…
4. Reading: whoever heard if a writer that doesn’t read? You can’t just rely on what you know or what you’re used to. Tap into the minds of other writers, see things from new perspectives, try new genres, read, read, read.
5. Discipline: set out time that you’re going to commit to writing every day, and stick to it. Not necessarily a routine, but don’t let a day go by without writing. Nothing will work if you don’t bridle yourself and your impulses. Discipline and consistency work hand in hand. Whether you feel inspired or not, write. If you’re a freelancer, you’ll find this habit invaluable.
6. Space: find or create the right workspace for yourself, because that’s where your art will thrive best. Some people have found that moving out of their comfort zone does the magic. For others, it’s a different story.
7. Confidence: not over-confidence. You’ll need a lot of it, dear writer because there are so many awesome writers out there that you may begin to doubt your competence. And your manuscript may get rejected by publishers. Don’t take it to heart, stand tall, and try elsewhere. YOU ARE AWESOME.