yellow black pencil sharpened above the white paper in macro photography

How to Write Every Single Day: Starting the mental habit of writing

Writing to me is like trying to catch water with a butterfly net.

Motivation may flow in, but so do distractions, daydreaming and other disturbances that dam my river of focus. Before too long, my brain turns into a squirrel on crack, jumping from one shiny object to another and I never get any writing done. But fear not, I’ve been to writing rehab. I discovered pivots over the years that have allowed me to do more of what I love – writing.

And it all began with a change in my mind.

Step 1: Figure Out What You Really Want

It all starts with intention. It always does. Ask yourself: do you genuinely want a writing habit? Of course, you do; you’re reading this, after all! Embrace your desire to write and let it sink deep into your brain. Because when you truly want something, you usually get it. In a weird way, it’s kind of like seeing a fast food commercial in TV that makes you hungry. One look at the burger and within days, you magically appear in a drive-thru cursing the minivan in front of you who’s clogging up the line.

Step 2: Make Tiny Commitments

Start small. So now that you decided that you want a writing habit, don’t go all-in like a New Years gym goer who goes hard for approximately one week and fizzles out faster than a 2 liter bottle of coke. Let’s lower our expectations a bit, shall we?

Start small, with bite-sized pieces like 20–30 minute sprints. It’s more manageable that way. When I started writing, I used to tell myself, “I’ll write for the next hour or two,” but that felt like a chore, and I constantly found myself watching the clock like an office worker at 4 PM. By making the commitment more manageable, I found you can stack those small wins. Even better, if you do smaller writing sessions by getting just one done a day you get the mental reward of completing something which helps you build the habit. And often, you’ll want to keep going and get your hour in anyways. It’s a fun trick.

Step 3: Speaking of Fun

Writing is fun, remember? That’s why you write. Don’t forget that. Sometimes, I forget that writing should be fun and I let those sneaky thoughts creep in. “Will anyone like this? Is it good enough? Should I digitally erase myself like a teenage girl swearing off social media? What will my audience want?”

You need to shut those negative thoughts down and remind yourself the truth: Writing should be fun. That’s why you started remember. So write what makes you happy. When you think like this, you’ll wire in your writing habit even more. Because your brain loves having fun… it’s basically a fun addict.

Step 4: Limit Distractions

Ah, the smartphone — a not-so-smart thing to keep around you if your goal is writing. Have you ever said you wanted to write but then found yourself scrolling through your phone for 35 minutes, mesmerized by cat videos? Or maybe you decide it’s the perfect time to water your garden or give your dog a treat at the exact same time you should be writing. Identify those distractions and cut them out like a 3rd grader on a arts and crafts rampage. To form a writing habit, you need to commit to your habit and decommit to everything else.

Step 5: Get Those Fingers Typing

Here’s the raw truth — there’s no magic formula for writing. No secret incantation or special potion. The only way to write is to write. Reading about writing or talking about it won’t cut it; you’ve got to put those words on paper. Be like nacho cheese at a rundown gas station — just let it flow.

Step 6: Thank Yourself

Now, it’s time to have your cake and eat it too — metaphorically, of course. Give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back for sticking to your commitment. You set out and did what you intended… that’s commendable. Most people don’t follow through…slimy bastards.

So celebrate your win and further ingrain your writing habit. I’ll see you on the internet.

Please, like comment, share with a friend and tell me what you think!

69 thoughts on “How to Write Every Single Day: Starting the mental habit of writing

  1. I wrote about writing earlier this morning and agree, it’s important to do it every day if you’re serious about writing. I also mused on the difference between keyboard and hand writing with pen or pencil and paper. You can say you are writing a letter or writing an email or writing an essay or writing a poem, and you could be writing with a pen on paper or with paint on a wall or with a keyboard on a computer.
    “Handwriting allows you to think more thoroughly about the information you’re recording. It encourages you to expand upon your thoughts and form connections between them.” from this article:

    1. That’s interesting! And I tend to agree. My only problem with handwriting is I have horrible handwriting – my brain moves so fast I can hardly keep up!

  2. The feeling of having written is the BEST! And I do lose myself in the process. But that sitting down and facing the white screen part: yikes. Always a challenge for me. Great post!

  3. We should begin writing because we want to. Once we have enough quantity, we need to decide on quality (which can be very subjective–what do you mean my story stinks?) Practice can improve your writing, as can reading writers that you think are good. If you are too easily satisfied, your writing will like that gas station nacho cheese–thick and not particularly tasty.

  4. I love your references, like a teenage girl deleting her social media. Also, pet videos are my weakness. My husband says the internet was made for cats and porn.

  5. Most of the time when I want and need to write I find my frozen hands on the keyboard. Not because I can’t write anything but there’s all these thoughts too that I can’t write down “properly”.

    But then I always practice writing journals and having an outline for my research and content writing. It always helps. Plus rewarding yourself, as you mentioned, so it wouldn’t feel that writing requires so much when it’s not really.

  6. I watched an interview with Stephen King where he said he writes 6 pages everyday. I think I heard in the introduction to ‘Everybody Writes’ that we should write at least 200 word every day. (I listen to audio dooms.) Thank you for sharing. I really enjoy the peppering of humor you add to all your works.

  7. it’s a gentle piece of writing… i really liked it … I’m a new blogger here but I was having a tough time in starting the writing …. Thank you for this sweet post

    1. Hi Mariam, and sorry for the unrelated post, Tony. I had a look at your post on your own blog but can’t comment as your comments are closed. You’ve written an excellent first post, but I’d encourage you to keep comments open to get engagement- and good luck.

  8. Exceptional blog post Anthony. Great headline too “HOW TO WRITE EVERY SINGLE DAY?” , it is very catchy and it does force your hand to click and read about what is going in the world of writing and how does one adapt the habit of writing everyday.

    Also, to sum up, to write everyday, just write as the fifth point says, get those fingers typing💻. Lastly, knowing what you want, starting with tiny commitments, avoiding distractions and thanking yourself is key. Plus, let us not leave out the essence of fun, it makes writing a delight📝💯

  9. I resonate with this so much. It’s such a struggle, especially if you feel forced to write. It’s truly better when it comes form the heart.

    Love the work. Keep it up! Swing by mine one of these days 😄

  10. I can totally relate to this! Writing can feel like a constant struggle to focus, but your tips for creating a writing habit are spot on.

    Step 2 resonated with me the most – starting small and building those wins really works wonders.

    Thanks for sharing your journey to writing rehab!

  11. This encouraged me, thank you. It’s winter here in the southern hemisphere and I tend to slack off when it’s cold. Thanks for making me laugh. ‘Slimy bastards’

  12. Sometimes, our mind doesn’t want to write. So, don’t pressure yourself otherwise I think you’ll end up writing something you didn’t feel at all.

  13. Well, that was a little tidbit of information I needed this morning. I am writing and publishing a daily blog. Four months now. Some days are easier to fulfill than others. I am with you 179% percent on eliminating distractions to keep at it. And the cake. I write for cake.

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