Do This One Thing Every Day to Become a Better Copywriter
Brushing your teeth, making your bed, setting the coffee maker for the next morning, checking your email — all these things are done without a lot of thought or planning. There was a time you didn’t do these things, but now, they’ve become an automatic part of your daily routine.
We all have daily habits — big and small — that make life easier and less stressful. Studies have shown that people who create daily routines have:
- Better stress levels — leading to more time to relax and lower anxiety.
- Better sleep — allowing you to be refreshed, have higher energy levels, better performance, and improved mental well-being.
- Better health — due to eating a better diet (starting with breakfast) and exercising more often than those without a routine.
All of that ‘better’ for just doing the same thing in the same way, maybe even at the same time, every single day. Sounds like a win-win to me!
But isn’t that boring?
Despite the thought that repetitive activities can be boring, studies show structure and routine allow for more time to make better choices for the more important tasks and things you DO want to do.
The same is true when you create a daily writing habit. When you schedule a certain time and space to write each day, it creates a structure from which you will become a better writer, planner, and master of efficiency in your workday.
This was something I was not so sure about myself early in my writing career. I always liked to journal and never thought of it as ‘a habit’ that was making me a better writer until the problems and schedules of others interrupted my journaling time. And not just for a week — it was months!
At the time I was not a copywriter, so I was writing bits and pieces for projects at work, but nothing substantial. I found that with the loss of that part of my daily routine, the focus on my quest to become a copywriter fell to the wayside.
Create Your Daily Routine
Writing every day creates momentum, as Jon Stoltzfus talked about in this article. To build momentum, you focus on what you want to achieve and take small steps to build energy to get to your goal.
When you write every day, you take control of your writing. Instead of stating, “I am a writer” and then staring at a blank page for several hours — a daily routine that includes writing gets you to put words on paper — be it by pen or keyboard — and you are actually writing.
These words — no matter what the subject — stimulate areas of your brain to think of new ideas, new ways to phrase something, or new clients you want to reach out to. Writing each day makes you want to write more!
So how do you make writing as routine as brushing your teeth? How do you make it as important a goal as being healthy or spending time with your family?
- Set up a space. It doesn’t have to be formal, pretty, or private. It just has to be the place that when you sit there with a laptop, journal, or writing pad — you will write. Maybe it's a local coffee shop, a park bench, or even the front seat of your car. It doesn’t matter, as long as you write when you are there.
- Schedule a time. It might be first thing in the morning before everyone in your household wakes up or right after lunch or dinner. Whatever and whenever it fits into your lifestyle. Writing at the same time every day makes it part of your daily routine. The peeps in your household will begin to understand ‘this is your writing time.’
- Connect it to another habit. “After my walk, I’ll return and write for 20 minutes.” Or “Dinner doesn’t get started until I write 500 words.” Then do it!
- Setting a timer is a great way to ensure you won’t ‘get lost’ in your writing (but isn’t it fun when you do?) and ignore other responsibilities. If you are working full-time at another job, but want to pursue a writer’s life, setting aside as little as 5-10 minutes each day will get you into the habit — and start to build the momentum to succeed.
- Count your words. Setting a word count, and then increasing it regularly over time, is another way to challenge yourself to become a stronger, better writer. 750Words.com can be a great way to build this habit.
- Reward yourself. When you’ve written each day for a week, treat yourself to an extra-special coffee or delicious scone. Or check out that new trail you’ve been wanting to hike. Do it again at a month, two months, whatever will keep your momentum going and the words spilling out of your head onto paper.
- Be accountable. Tell someone — your spouse, your best friend, your kid, another copywriter, your mom — what your plan is. Post on one of the AWAI or B2B Writing Success Facebook groups. Then give them updates about your achievement. Being supported in your writing habit is a great motivator and example to those around you.
Creating the space, time, system to make writing a habit doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to happen. Most of us overthink it and worry about having a great laptop, nice pens, leather journals. Or creating the perfect ‘nook’ in our home to be inspired to write our prose.
All of that is nice, and certainly, those things can be rewards for creating and sticking to a daily writing habit, but it won’t make you better at writing. Only writing will make you a better writer.
What will you write about?
This article, Do This One Thing Every Day to Become a Better Copywriter, was originally published by B2B Writing Success.
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