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How to turn writing into a habit

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The problem with modernity is that we threw out the baby with the bathwater. Horrified by the excess and savagery of the past, we decided to place a stigma on what is seen as old. The word “wisdom” is rarely used in its literal sense or taken literally.

The problem of disciplining yourself and getting better at a craft is not new. It has been with us since the start, and sadly, the modern world tends to view things backward. A classic understanding of discipline is rooted in much more truth than the recent pop-psych self-help advice industry.

How to write every day? Well, you have to develop a habit.

Aristotle’s advice

As mentioned, we decided to throw out the baby with the bathwater at some point. So, we intuitively think that getting better at dieting, working out, or writing is all about motivation. After all, “motivation coaching” and motivation videos are a multi-million (if not billion) dollar industry.

Developing good writing habits is no different from any other habit formation.

Relying on motivation is a terrible idea. It is an emotion, just like any other. And similar to all other emotions, it is unpredictable and tough to maintain. Just try it for yourself: pick an emotion or a state of mind, and try to have it consistently.

We all fall into this trap. Due to a documentary or a YouTube video, we swear to ourselves that we will lose weight, start writing, or learn to play the piano. The passion and fire burn within us as we start, but then fade away after a few days.

Ever since the ancient world, people understood that men are creatures of routine, reflex, and instinct. To quote Aristotle: “ Excellence is a habit.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with chasing that motivational high, but we have to understand that it is fleeting. The essence of maturity is learning to do things when you do not feel like it.

At first, the “pain” of forcing yourself to write daily will be significant. But with time, a habit will form. To put things simply: to get good at writing you have to practice daily writing. And to write daily, a habit must be burned into both your body and mind.

Did you ever notice how hard it is to kick a bad habit? Well, the opposite is also true. Good habits also tend to stick around if they are hard-wired into your mind. People who are used to working out feel bad if they have to skip a week. Ex-military people still make their beds, iron their shirts, and sit with their backs straight.

To some extent, you are a programmable creature. Every culture was aware of this fact and used it to its advantage.

Beware of Dopamine extremes

Writing every day is a commitment. But it does not necessarily have to be very unpleasant.

Try to do the following experiment: eat a strawberry. Tastes good, right?

Now, eat a piece of cake, then eat a strawberry after. The very same strawberry now tastes extremely sour. Why is that?

Well, your taste buds adjusted themselves to the extremely sweet cake piece. Compared to the diabetes-inducing cake, the mildly-sweet strawberry tasted like a lemon.

This long analogy is important because the very same thing happens to your emotions. Your body is designed to produce pleasure during every small victory.

Making your bed, going for a run, eating a healthy meal, or just seeing someone smiling at you should give you a hit of feel-good juice inside your head. Finishing a page should normally give you a small rush of satisfaction.

Basically, modern people live in a type of luxury that would make pharaohs blush. Every TV program, commercial, video game, movie, or song is designed to produce as much pleasure as possible.

Your brain is so drenched in pleasure chemicals, that you develop a very high tolerance for pleasure. To use our analogy, you can’t taste the strawberry (writing) because you’re eating 5 pounds of extra-sweet cake.

Going on a dopamine detox for a few weeks will help you not just with writing time, but any other type of discipline. Try to stay away from extreme and artificial sources of pleasure such as substance abuse or digital entertainment.

Daily writing tips and motivational videos are fine, but without discipline, your writing habit will be neglected just like your gym routine or guitar lessons.

This is why many modern people are always in a funk or a foul mood. Normal daily things and the resulting pleasure are dulled, so we feel like we have to drag ourselves to do anything. The motivation centers of the brain are fried.

Third-parties

If you do not want to become a writer and just want to pass a class, you can buy a research paper for college on the internet. Some sites specialize in selling papers of all types, from CVs to Cover and essays.

Finding the best writing service for you is not that hard. But you should only consider this option if you don’t intend on becoming a good writer long-term. Having someone else do your work will spare you from some discomfort, but you are short-changing yourself in the long run.

Conclusion

Emotions are great for short bursts of creativity. However, it is not uncommon for people to go through half a dozen states per day, so you cannot rely on these bursts for consistent mastery of a craft like writing.

An ideal game plan would be to use the motivation to get started and practice daily until a habit or reflex is formed. If you find yourself consistently burdened by having to write, consider cutting out the more intense pleasures from your life, at least for a while to re-calibrate your hyper-stimulated pleasure centers.

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