Installing a New Habit – NaNoWriMo Daily Writing Tips

Humans are creatures of habit. We learn how to do a thing—such as drive a car—and then put ourselves on autopilot. We don’t have to consciously think about “How do I start this thing? How do I use a turn signal? Am I giving it enough gas?” We just hop in and go.

As a writer, you develop habits, too. You have a certain vocabulary of go-to words that you choose. You have a way of approaching how you will write a scene. And you have your own work habits.

Do you have a habit of writing daily? If so, you’re probably moving along in your career nicely. If you don’t, you need to “install” that habit.

  1. Look at your old habits that might get in the way, and break them. For example, let’s say that you want to write first thing in the morning. Well what do you tend to do first thing? Do you turn on the television and watch the news? Do you listen the radio? Do you read the newspaper or email? If so, you may need to break (un-install those habits).
  2. Next, consider your goals and decide what your new habit will be. Set realistic goals.
  3. This is kind of advanced, but look into your past and consider if there are any negative experiences that act as blocks for your habit. For example, moments of humiliation or fear in relation to your new goal might form emotional blocks, and with introspection, we can clear some of those away. (Literally, it takes only moments to do.)
  4. Consider whether you have any self-limiting beliefs that hinder you from committing to those goals. For example, if you tell yourself “I can’t do that because . . .” then the “because” is a limiting belief. You might tell yourself that you don’t have the time to do it, that you’re not talented enough, and so on. By using these techniques, you can travel back into your memories to when you first formed that belief, and basically re-think the situation, and thus recognize how you can reach your goal.

By following a few simple steps, you’ll find that you can create new habits that will help you reach your goals quickly and effortlessly. Unfortunately, I can’t go into this in much more detail. Some of these steps should be taken only if you have a trained counselor with you, which is how I was taught them when visiting Xodai Academy several years ago.

For the next 24 hours, my book On My Way to Paradise, which won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Special Award for “Best Novel in the English Language,” is $2.99 per eBook instead of the usual $6. You can find it here.

About it, Orson Scott Card said,

“I hesitate to tell you that this is Dave Wolverton’s first novel. The book is so mature in its sensibility and so strong in its artistry, so deep in its invention that most of us who write fiction would be proud to have such a novel as the culmination, not the beginning, of our career. Many fine words that have won Hugos and Nebulas pale beside this book.”

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