A Daily Writing Habit

A few months back, I found myself in unusual circumstances. I was able to get a lot of writing done. And it led me to schedule many blog posts. I even found my brain more apt to write most of the time – my writing muscles were flexed. Then life kinda happened. Now I’m struggling to find time, make time, to type stuff up.

I need a daily writing habit.


A Writing Tool

I think one reason my mind is writing less is because it’s in learning mode. It wants to take in info and process it all at once.1 I had heard of a writing tool called Ulysses and decided to finally give it a try.2 This has me reading a lot of stuff to learn it!

So far, I like Ulysses a lot. Here’s just a few off-hand reasons why:

  1. It helps me organize my writing better
  2. It gives me better ways to write, making it easier
  3. It helps motivate me with writing goals
  4. It gives me more and better options to publish

I’ll leave it at that for now. It will take quite some time for me to slowly re-wire my 3 pound brain, adjusting my workflow through Ulysses. Prior to this, I wrote all my notes and private journal entries in the Notes app on iOS. And I wrote all my blog drafts directly in the WordPress app. But anything about the blog3 was separated out to the Notes app. Now that’s changed.

Guess what? Change is hard. Even when for the better. But I’m sure you know that already.


A Writing Time and Place4

Last year, I read a book called, Rest. Here’s the link. In it, I found awesome motivation to implement a daily writing habit. Part of that was to slog it out by picking the same time and place each day to just show up with the mind ready to write Shakespeare. Or dreck not worthy of a Facebook post. The point was to just start writing!

So that’s what I did. And it was great! I often got into the flow of writing. Just letting the words pour forth on the digital page. I was in a nice quiet space, a rare time of solitude before anyone else was out of bed, and I had my first cup of coffee. Sounds like a dream, but it was real. Also amazing, I was able to write over 1,000 words a day on some of those days; hitting 500 words was easier.

Guess what happened not long after that? Life hit me. I got sidelined by anxiety. At the time, I was still not far removed from a period of life in which anxiety or panic attacks were frequent. After that, I just couldn’t or didn’t want to attempt early morning writing again.

Well, I’m back at it again, trying to resume such a daily writing habit. Because I need to. I can’t let life just happen. What I mean is, I can’t hope to find time to write. I might as well buy a lottery ticket if I’m hoping to get lucky. No, I need to take time or make time, at least just a little, so I can practice writing5.


Writers Write. Right.

The goal is to cultivate a good habit of writing in order to get better at all forms of it, especially blogging. Yes, I have dreams of someday writing a fiction novel! But blogging is, for present lack of creative juices, my bread and butter.6

Writers write. Bloggers blog.

So…I’ve got a good tool, I’m gonna take time, and I’ve got a place to write.

Let’s see how it goes!


Am I missing anything I need to write more or better? What about something like Grammarly? Would you say my blogging has a “voice?” Comment gently below, or send me some electronic mails. Thanks!

  1. Input mode instead of Output mode.
  2. Don’t get me wrong though. Just like buying a DSLR won’t suddenly make you a pro photographer, I don’t think using “pro” software to write will make me a pro writer. I love that fantasy, but I know it’s not reality.
  3. I call this blog related info “Meta.”
  4. I can’t decide; should I say “writing place” or “writing space?”
  5. I can always use more practice writing!
  6. That could be a good blog post title: The Bread And Butter Of Blogging.

Bloggers Gonna Blog

Can anyone who blogs call themself a blogger? Seems like a dumb question, but I guess it depends on what the definition of blogger is. To oversimplify – one who blogs. Is it that simple? Because that would be too easy, right?


What you do and what you are

I’ve struggled with this blogger identity. On my Twitter bio, I still have not claimed that label for myself. Instead of saying what I am, I simply say what do, “I blog…” And if that makes me a blogger, cool.

But what you do does not necessarily make you whatever that thing is. I sleep, but I’m not a “sleeper.” A dog barks, but it’s not a barker; it’s a dog. My wife bakes, sometimes, but she’s not a baker.

Another example is photography. It’s a side-hobby of mine (see my Gallery). I label myself an enthusiast for it. I own several cameras. I geek out on the gear, the craft, and the art. I’ve practiced shooting. I try to develop my eye for shots. I take and make photos in camera and in post processing software (Lightroom).

But I am not a photographer. Why? Because I don’t get paid for pictures. So I’m not a professional photographer. My day job is not photos, or writing.


Regularity is key

Let’s bring it back to being a blogger. What is a blogger? It’s a person who publishes or shares their thoughts online. But a key word to add to this definition (thanks to the Oxford dictionary) is, “regularly.”

Posting to a blog on a regular or consistent basis is vital. Blogs are considered defunct when the blogger doesn’t post for months at a time. For me, this is a big deal. I’ve started many blogs only to end up missing in action. Even my Jason Journals blog has gone on hiatus before – yikes! That is why I’ve always hesitated to self-identify as a blogger.

Consistency is not my strength. It takes lots of planning, self-discipline, and concerted effort on my part. And that still doesn’t always make things work out. So I’ve kind of had this personal standard: I can only call myself a blogger after I’ve blogged regularly for one year. Because if I could stick with it that long, then the label would stick.

But I admit, I feel closer to accepting the blogger identity now because I’m on my longest stretch of regular blogging ever! Yeah, I feel good about that. Part of me just wants to assume the identity of – blogger. I like writing, word-smithing, etc. If I keep it up, I may even get good at it someday!


Labels and identities

Beyond the blogger label, in general, I think someone who posts words online can also be called an Author or Writer. But “author” seems more associated with published books, not blogs. And they’re usually paid for their writing.

But by definition, a blogger is one who writes online regularly, not professionally. They publish their writing often, and money may or may not be involved.

Anyways, I’ve got to stay focused on the doingjust blog stuff, man! I enjoy it, so my chance of success in being a blogger is decent. I don’t know if that necessarily means that what I do and what I am relate to who I am. But that’s getting too deep.

Keep it simple. If you blog enough, then yeah, you’re a blogger.

Oh, and drink coffee. Seems like that’s part of being a blogger. Works for me!


Are you a blogger because you blog? Or do you blog because you are a blogger? What do you think? Write below, or write to me here! I like hearing from you!