rough draft Over the past several months I have worked hard to discipline myself to develop 4 specific habits to improve as a writer.  I do my best to write something each of the 5 work days in the week.  Some of those days have been great and I have had no problem writing several drafts of posts in one day.  Other days I struggle to find having anything to say.  As I've spent more time making a discipline out of blogging, I've found certain rhythms that have been helpful for me as I've tried to improve my blogging quality and quantity.

What Habits I've Started To Develop:

Write Consistently.  I write almost every day of the week.  This has absolutely been the hardest thing to do as I've started this habit.  I certainly shouldn't have the time to blog, but I value the experience so I continue doing it.  My goal is to write every day, except for weekends.  I don't write the same amount or type of writing every day, but I try to be writing something almost every day.  On Mondays, since I am not in the office I tend to write more.  I try to get a few posts all drafted in one afternoon.  On Tuesday through Thursdays, I try to always write one draft each of those days.  Fridays I don't do much more than editing past drafts or write a simple quick post.

Edit Your Posts.  I rarely ever publish a post on the same day that I write it.  I do everything I can to put some time in between when I write my first draft and when it goes live.  I always find myself having a clearer way to say something if I simply wait at least twenty-four hours before hitting the publish button.  Because of my schedule that I've started to get in place, I often will make it a habit on Tuesday through Thursday to make it my goal to write one post and edit another post all in the morning before I leave for work.

Don't Write Anything.  This may seem like an unusual habit to have if you are trying to improve blogging, writing, or really any skill.  But the truth is for me it has been helpful.  I have tried previously making it a habit to write every single day, without break, but I found the discipline too difficult for me to maintain personally.  I have worked to make it a discipline to have zero guilt anytime that I decide to not put a single word into writing on the weekend.  I rarely write posts on Saturdays or Sundays, and when one goes live on one of those days, it was probably written days earlier.  I have worked hard to not feel guilty when I don't write anything.

Get Ahead.  I have just recently worked hard to get myself into a position where I could look at my drafts in the beginning of the week and be able to pick a handful of already written posts to polish up before they go live.  When I'm ahead in my writing it allows me to feel significantly less pressure to keep a certain pace and it has also allowed me to focus on the quality of my work instead of just having something to share.

What habits have you developed that have been helpful as you have developed different skills that require creating?

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