Every day seems like the same routine, and the same can be good if it leads you down the path of greatness.
Lately, I noticed a pattern to my day. I would write a few articles, promote my work, and then at night, I would read. The more my habit formed, the more I realized it was the key to being successful, for me, and then the idea came to share what I do to keep focused, organized, and the three keys to becoming a better writer.
This seems an easy task, but to write every day can be exhausting. You will get different advice about writing every day, and this okay. Some people don’t agree with it. I, however, believe in forming habits, (good habits, that is), and the only way to form a writing habit is to write every day even if it is for 5 minutes. Keep a notebook, grab your phone, but write it down, even if it is a few words to get the idea flowing. I keep an idea spreadsheet on my phone. It is an excel document with colors and about 5 sheets. I have a sheet for article ideas, blog ideas, book ideas, and podcast ideas. My fifth sheet is a special one for keeping track of my One Year project. You are the master of the spreadsheet and all ideas are open. I love mine and it has helped me remain productive, but I’ve had to build the habit of opening it every day. Once you form your habit, it will get easier, and soon it will be a part of your day, like a cup of coffee or tea.
I actually have a lot of trouble with this. By the end of the day, I am in no mood to do anything. Sometimes I’ll read just so I can fall asleep, but it wasn’t for enjoyment. However, reading is fundamental to any type of success, in my opinion. Let me give you an example of the benefits of reading on a regular basis. For a while, all I could do was pump out blog pieces. I became a robot. My novel was set aside to focus on other ventures. I was discouraged because I was certain I was losing my creativity. In order to gain back my creativity, I opened a book and after a few chapters, I had an idea for my novel. It happened sort of quickly, and I can’t say the same for everyone, but reading does help restore those lost creative juices. I read to keep them flowing. All the greats know in order to be a better writer, you must be a better reader. Do you agree? Many people get their creative vibes by not reading. Some people exercise. What do you do to get ideas?
You have to. There’s this stigma about promoting yourself and it isn’t productive. People get annoyed with book promotions clogging their feed. Here’s what I say — If you wrote the perfect novel, article, short story, or whatever, tell people about it. If you don’t, who will? And if those people are annoyed so much, the unfollow button is waiting. I promote scheduled tweets. They run on 24-hour intervals and they gain lots of traffic, and I shamelessly do this. There are other people in this sphere of social media who support you and they don’t mind you self-promoting. Join their groups. Find them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter — where ever your tribe is, find them and support each other. Promote your work.
I do these three things every day. I write this to tell you it helps to keep a good reading, writing, promoting habit. Good habits can be hard to form, but they are the key to your success. What habits have you formed to help on your road to success?