Developing Writing Discipline

TypistI have just returned from a two week holiday break. I had promised myself I’d take the opportunity to finish a swathe of my current novel. Instead I wrote about 400 words. 300 of which was a blog post. Clearly I lack discipline. I’m always looking for new ways to improve my writing habits, I envy writers like Meg Cabot, Nora Roberts and Stephen King who seem to breathe words. I yearn to write as consistently and prolifically as they do.

This autumn I’m trying out a new technique. I call it, 20:200. Everyday I must either write for 20minutes or produce 200 words. Whichever comes first. I’m on day three and it’s going well. The hidden bonus is that once you’ve sat your butt in the chair and started writing you’ll probably do more than 200 words. It’s just getting into that productive zone that’s difficult.

Do you have any tips or techniques that help you write regularly?



  1. Hi Shade, the thing that works for me is establishing a writing schedule. When I’m working on a project, I stick to the schedule religiously unless something unexpected comes up. I typically write in the mornings before work for 2 hours so that the house is quiet and there are no interruptions or excuses except for the fact that I have to get up early. But, hey. I always tell myself the novel won’t write itself! And if I’m having a morning where I don’t feel like writing or my muse has gone to Bermuda, I close my eyes and visualize the characters and write anyway and after a while, I’m in a zone. Anyway, I wish you luck and hope that you find a regimen that works well.


    • Thanks Quanie, your routine sounds like the dream place I’m trying to get to. I’m doing well with my 20 minutes a day so I guess I’ll just keep lengthening the time until I reach a more substantial block.


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