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Creating Effective Writing Habits During the Covid-19 Pandemic by Irene Roth

Most of us are working from home now due to the covid-19 virus. Writers, therefore, have a unique opportunity to get more writing done in the coming weeks. Yet, there is a kind of malaise that seems to have come over us, paralyzing us from writing or doing anything else meaningful.

This is understandable. The pandemic is causing a lot of difficulty and may lives are being lost. However, we must ensure that we don’t become engross in all the negative details of the news to the point where our productivity and writing starts to suffer. Instead, we should take it one day at a time, keep abreast of the main details, and keep focused on our goals. If we are careful, stay home, and stay safe, we should survive these times in a way that will allow all of us to prosper and even thrive. And writers have a golden opportunity to get even more writing done during this time.

In this article, I offer a few tips on how to write more during this pandemic. Use whatever resonates most with you and save the rest of them for future reference. Enjoy the read and be sure to use your writer’s journal to reflect on which tips you think you can implement into your writing day right away.

 Tip 1:  Write Consistently

It is important to write every day in order to be productive. This can take a bit of planning and juggling at first. However, is it worth it? An added important component of writing consistently is getting our family and friends used to the time we will be devoting to our writing. They too are an important part of writing consistently. Further, the more consistently we write, the more likely our family will get used to the idea and, ultimately, they will accept our writing time.

Moreover, we should get into the habit of writing at the same time and place, if possible. We will learn to write consistently through repetition and eventually we will write with little effort. First, however, we must develop the habit of writing. By developing this habit, we will start writing regularly and we will feel productive as well as fulfilled. This is because to a certain extent we are what we repeatedly do. We should not be deceived into thinking that we just can’t help what we do, because the truth is that we can do or not do anything if we really set our mind to it.

As we write regularly, we will be developing the habit of writing. In fact, we will feel that something is missing if we don’t write—especially on a day we were supposed to be writing. Therefore, consistency is the key to being productive and feeling self-confident in our writing career.

Tip 2: Cultivate Solitude

 Writers tend to be solitary creatures. By necessity, writers need to dream, plan, read, research and write to be most successful. Therefore, there can be an element of loneliness to writing. To be most successful, however, we must learn to effectively deal with the solitude of writing. During this pandemic, we can have more solitude than ever. We just have to develop the mindset to write in a focused manner.

However, solitude shouldn’t cause loneliness. Solitude is about gracefully embracing silence so that we can be most creative. Loneliness, on the other hand, is that hollow, empty feeling that penetrates our being. Thus, solitude is positive while loneliness can be negative for most people.

The nature of creativity requires solitude. Some writers can write in noisy coffee shops and public places. However, most of us require some degree of solitude to do our best writing. Specifically, writers need a quiet environment, concentration, and peace of mind that only solitude can bring. This pandemic can offer such reprieve for us. We just have to create the space and time to write.

Tip 3: Don’t Set Unrealistic Expectations

 We all have high and, many times, unrealistic expectations. Most of these expectations focus on getting published quickly. Some of us may even believe that we could get published with a Big New York Publisher the first time through and have our book recognized and revered. But this almost never happens, even for the greatest of writers. They all have to work hard to get recognized.

Therefore, by creating unrealistic expectations, we are entertaining false hopes that can ultimately lead to impatience and a lack of productivity. If we do this consistently, not only will we be setting ourselves up for difficulties, but we will feel impatient and anxious in our writing career. Instead, we should set our sights on small goals by setting realistic and manageable goals.

This is because when we set small, manageable goals and complete them, we are not only productive, but we will build self-confidence. Then as time goes, we could aim for larger goals. One of the best ways to begin is to submit to low-paying, or no paying markets. This will build our ability to write well and get published.

Further, you will have a greater chance of getting published by these markets. Therefore, it is a win-win for you. This reduces the necessity for you to be impatient. I will say more about submitting to low paying and no-paying markets in the last habit. So, please stay tuned for that.

The road to success is paved slowly. Success is built one day, week, month, and year at a time. This is because becoming a successful writer takes time. Therefore, developing patience is more than a virtue. It can save us from developing writer’s block, low self-esteem, and much more which can undermine productivity.

So, the next time you catch yourself feeling impatient, try a new strategy. Sit down, take a deep breath, and focus on one small goal. Complete it, check it off, and then move on to the next one until you complete it. Do this until you complete one of your long-term writing goals.

At the end of the month, you will discover how much you got done. Further, if you can write consistently and complete your goals for a full year, you will discover that you got even more writing done. You can achieve this by being patient, persevering, and setting SMART goals.

I believe this pandemic presents us with an opportune time to get more writing rest in. These are unprecedented times for sure. Perhaps it can be a time to press the pause button and find new ways to write more. Try writing a few blog posts. Write about your experiences during this pandemic. Share your thoughts with the world either in a blog or an e-book. Perhaps you learned some lessons during this pandemic. Share them with the world.

Take some time to reflect on what you would like to do in your writing career over the long-term. Set goals and priorities. Perhaps try to write a short story about this time. Perhaps write a fictional account about this time. There is so much to write about it. Perhaps instead of being scared and frustrated, we should put our energies into our writing. The sky’s the limit when it comes to your writing. All we must do is create a comfortable, quiet environment and show up to write every day. Then once the pandemic is over, you will have a lot to show for it.

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Irene S. Roth has a master’s degree in Philosophy and Psychology from York University, Ontario Canada and is currently using her expertise to write ...