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4 Ways to Create (And Maintain) a Writing Habit

Use Cues To Trigger Your Writing

Many writers use the act of getting out of bed as a cue but yours could be anything. As time passes you will feel less resistance to writing as your brain automatically prepares for writing once the cue is detected. 

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

4 Ways to Create (And Maintain) a Writing Habit

4 Ways to Create (And Maintain) a Writing Habit

https://thewritelife.com/maintain-a-writing-habit/

thewritelife.com

4

Key Ideas

Rewards Are The End Goal Of Habits

Your cue leads to your craving, which leads to a response, that leads to your reward.

These rewards can take any form, and as your habit gets more ingrained you develop a craving for the reward too, further developing the habit.

Focus On Writing

Writers ought to have only one response to their cues and cravings: writing!

Being a writer requires diverse activities, like promoting your list or pitching agents, but writing is still the most important of all.

Cravings Drive Every Habit

Ask yourself what change of state are you seeking from writing. What you crave is not the habit itself but a change, which for a writer is often the sense of accomplishment from being a writer working toward a long-sought-after goal. 

Use Cues To Trigger Your Writing

Many writers use the act of getting out of bed as a cue but yours could be anything. As time passes you will feel less resistance to writing as your brain automatically prepares for writing once the cue is detected. 

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The Habit Loop
The Habit Loop

The cue triggers a craving, which motivates a response, which provides a reward, which satisfies the craving and, ultimately, becomes associated with the cue.

Together, these fo...

5 primary ways that a new habit can be triggered
  • Cue 1: Time - Most common way to trigger a new habit
  • Cue 2: Location - Most powerful driver of mindless habits and also the least recognized
  • Cue 3: Preceding Event - Many habits are a response to something else that happens in your life
  • Cue 4: Emotional State - emotional state is a common cue for bad habits
  • Cue 5: Other People - people you surround yourself with can play a role in your habits and behaviors.

“The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit.”

Bryant McGill
The Role Of Perseverance On Change

Bad habits don’t go away overnight. But, you can use strategies to give you that extra boost of self-confidence and self-control required to change.

Understand that sometimes you will fail and sometimes you’ll succeed. But no matter how long it takes to fail and get back up again, your patience and perseverance will soon pay off.

Creating An “If-Then” Plan

It gives you an automatic response to react to your cravings and makes it easier to replace a bad habit with a good one: 

  • Identify the scenario that usually triggers your bad habit.
  • Specify a different response to the trigger. Ideally, this should be a good habit that would replace and prevent you from falling into the temptation.
  • Combine steps 1 and 2 into an “if-then” format.

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Habit-formation apps are aspirational tools

They're less about distilling your life into a series of data points and more about becoming your ideal self: If you use their app, you too can become a person who practices good habits. You can be...

The 4 tendencies when it comes to habit formation:
  • upholders: disciplined and respond to both internal and external expectations;
  • obligers :can’t keep commitments to themselves but respond to expectations from others; 
  • questioners: ask why and can keep a habit if they understand the logic reasoning; 
  • rebels: hate being told what to do by others, so it has to be something they want to do.
Depending on your habit-formation tendency, habit-tracking apps may or may not work for you. 
Habit apps use the psychology of habit formation
  • Many rely on a “streak” feature: they track how many consecutive days you’ve completed the habit;
  • Other apps offer accountability features to pressure you into completing your goal; 
  • Some apps turn habit formation into a game: The app rewards users who complete their habits with badges and other virtual incentives.

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