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5 morning habits to be a better writer

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Last updated February 26, 2024.

Many people dream of working from anywhere in the world, and it has become a reality for quite a few. But what if being a better writer could help make that dream come true?

Of the many skills needed to land a remote job or freelance work, writing is on a lot of those lists. When I was working a 9-to-5 job trying to figure out the skill I wanted to learn to start my own digital nomad path, I chose writing and started this very blog you’re reading now.

Like any skill, being a better writer is more than talent and determination. It takes a foundation of habits, planning, and goal setting that fosters creativity and focus that subsequently help you improve your writing skills.

These are some of the morning habits and tricks I’ve used to help me cultivate skills to become a better writer. They’re not perfect and certainly not a guarantee or recipe for success. But I do believe that they can help you get on the right path and pick a new habit or two to get you closer to your goals. And the airport.

5 morning habits to be a better writer

1. Start your day early (for some quiet time)

If you want to be a better writer, there’s no better time of day to conquer and make your own like the morning. And the earlier you can wake up, the better. Bonus points if you can do it without an alarm.

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Waking up early can boost your mood and stimulate creativity. Photo by David Mao on Unsplash

Waking up early has a lot of benefits, including increased productivity and better mental health. But it also lets you enjoy some personal time to be calm and think when the world isn’t so loud yet. And if you choose to create and write first thing in the morning, you get to do so without any distractions.

The best time of day to wake up will vary from person to person, though a good rule of thumb is between 5 am and 8 am. I tried the 5 am thing and it isn’t for me. I can’t function that early and don’t always want to. My sweet spot is between 6 and 7 am. I feel great most days, and it’s such a routine thing now that I can wake up without an alarm pretty much every day unless I don’t sleep on time or have some other kind of disturbance.

Remember that going to bed early the night before makes this step much easier. Turn off your electronics, put your phone away, and do some light reading (of a book) 30 to 60 minutes before bed to help you fall asleep.

2. Journal or write to clear your mind

Sometimes, you wake up, and your mind is overflowing with thoughts. Taking some morning time to write these out can help you clear your head, organize your thoughts, and be a factor in completing your work and improving your craft.

Journaling is well-researched and known to improve lives in ways that include better creativity, mood, and mental health. If you’re writing reflections and some of your deeper thoughts, it can help you accept yourself and boost your confidence.

Morning habits to be a better writer journaling
Jotting down your thoughts can lead to better stories. Pastries and coffee have their benefits, too. Photo by Finde Zukunft on Unsplash

Even if it’s not personal writing, just getting your thoughts out can make all the difference. The good thing about early-morning writing is that it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it shouldn’t be. It should be more of a structureless, color-outside-the-lines type of writing, and you can always come back to polish it up later. The goal is to make it a habit so you’re comfortable writing more often.

3. Read to get inspired and improve your writing skills

Reading more helped me become a better writer, and I’m sure it can help you, too. It’s one of the best ways to add new skills to your writing toolkit.

When you feed your brain lots of different material, you expose yourself to new and old writing styles and ones you like and don’t like. If you make reading a regular habit, you can improve your vocabulary and get new ideas to influence your work, too.

Any type of reading you do will help your writing skills get better. Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

A common misconception is that you have to read fiction, or just books in general, to be a better writer, but that’s not true. You can read any genre you want, and it can be any type of reading material you want it to be, including news articles, blogs, ebooks, manga, Netflix or YouTube subtitles, or even audiobooks. The more writing you see, the better your writing will be.

4. Make time for mindfulness

Being able to slow down, feel, and be can make you a better writer, and incorporating mindfulness into your morning habit may be the secret to achieving it.

Mindfulness exercises like meditation and saying affirmation messages can help you feel grounded, calm, and relaxed—something we could all use a little more in a buzzing, digital world. If you’re having doubts or negative thoughts, a good time to release them is when you’re practicing mindfulness. Starting your morning like this sets you and your writing up for success.

Morning habits to be a better writer mindfulness

I’m a fan of Calm, the meditation app, and regularly lean on some of their meditation exercises to ground myself, especially when it feels like I’ve been in busy mode for too long. It has a tracker to help you monitor your daily progress.

Other mindfulness practices include affirmation messages, reading quotes, and making time for gratitude.

5. Plan and create writing goals

Have you tried to go from point A to point B without a map? If you’re unfamiliar with point B, getting there without a map will be difficult. The same goes for trying to improve your writing skills without having a plan or any goals. If you want to be a better writer, then you have to know what the destination—that is, being a better writer—looks like for you.

What are your writing goals, and how can you get there?

Maybe you want to write more content for your blog or brand. Or perhaps you’ve decided it’s time to start that creative writing project. You could even wish to increase your typing speed. Knowing what your goals are will help you plan the smaller writing tasks you need to do to accomplish them.

Keeping your goals in view can help you accomplish them. Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Once you figure out what your writing tasks are, add them to your daily to-do list and start doing them in the morning. Whether it’s writing a certain amount of words, doing 1-2 speed typing tests, or 30 minutes of reading, make an effort to do your tasks regularly to see consistent progress.

Incorporating writing habits into your morning routine

When it comes to picking up new habits or routines, I like to start small. That’s why this article only includes five tips. You can start implementing all of these at once if you’d like, but starting with 1 or 2 tips of your choice and doing them regularly should help you achieve consistent success in the long run.

No one can become the best writer overnight, but with focus and commitment, you can easily become a better writer over time. Morning routines help us improve our writing skills, productivity, and mental health, ultimately making us better writers.

And if being a better writer moves us closer to the dream of working from anywhere, let’s give it our best attempt, starting with when the sun rises.

Challenge: Choose at least one of these habits to add to your morning routine, and share your progress or updates in the comment section below!

Do you have any tips or suggestions that have helped improve your writing? Let us know in the comment section.

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