Challenge,  On Writing

Writing Habits

Habit of Writing Makes Everything Easier…

I have, regularly, over the years, written out of habit, meaning I write at the same time every day. And when doing that, and managing a decent amount every day, the writing just gets easier.

And I get a vast amount done.

In fact, when I am in that habit state, I wonder why I ever have days I don’t write.

So now, in my new place in Las Vegas, away from a house I lived in for 23 years and all the normal habits it gave me, I am finding it fascinatingly difficult to figure out a new writing habit.

I have a perfect new office, jazz playing lightly in the background, and I am losing weight and feeling healthy. I have nothing at all to stop me.

But no writing habit yet.

To push myself into getting into a habit, as many of you know, I challenged myself to ten books in 100 days. And the start, as I expected, has been slow. But the hardest part is not finding a habit yet. Or a schedule.

I know I will.

Just wanted to toss that out there as I struggle some with that concept on this Friday night.

And you know what is funny? I notice that I have no habit of writing now, but when I finally drop into a writing habit, I won’t notice, I will just be doing it.


  • JM

    I had a major move in my life a few years ago and had to give up my desk, the desk I’d had for decades. I loved that desk.

    There were other things going on then as well, but I think it’s the fact I no longer have ANY sort of desk which is a major reason I no longer have a writing habit. I haven’t replaced the desk, yet. I don’t have a space where I can go to write. I’m typing this on my laptop in front of a TV set, which offers so many already-completed stories to experience rather than creating one of my own.

    It’s silly, I know. Writing shouldn’t be dependent on a space, but I took me nearly three years to realize that, for me, it really does. Without that “writing space,” I always seem to get distrac—

    Ooh! Shiny penny!

    • dwsmith

      LOL, JM. Exactly for me as well. I can focus for short term when on a trip, for example. But for a writing habit, I need a dedicated writing computer and space. Or set-up that is habitual. Either works for most writers I know.

  • Phillip McCollum

    After dedicating almost a month to learning Adobe InDesign so I can publish my recent work (trying to follow ALL of those Heinlein rules), I’ve gotten out of the habit of daily writing. But, while I’m waiting for proofs in the mail now, I’m finally getting back to it and it really is like riding a bike once you get past that initial resistance. And boy is it a blast.

    • dwsmith

      Initial resistance really is something, isn’t it? Almost feels like a real wall at times. But it is illusionary, just takes a focus to walk through.

  • Robyn Elliot

    Dean, reading your advice got me writing again, after 3 years of creative paralysis – in other words, losing belief in myself as a writer, and waiting for that mythical muse. As ever, you offer wise counsel. Thank you. I always recommend you on my own blog.

  • allynh


    Since you wrote a bunch on your iPad while traveling, use your iPad for short bursts, then transfer the file to your computer and continue. Start in the kitchen or living room, then move to your computer.

    Get back into the habit of writing anywhere, then you don’t need to have an office or special place to write. You just write.

    • dwsmith

      Not my style because I have the attention span of a dog. Squirrel!!!!

      My office, which is great, has no distractions. I can focus on writing while traveling. The rest of the time no chance. Too many other fun things to do in this world.