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Creativity coach, writing and creative process instructor, speaker, author of Around the Writer's Block: Using Brain Science to Write the Way You Want (Penguin/Tarcher 2012) and Dancing in the Dragon's Den (Red Wheel Weiser), Teaching Artist at the Loft Literary Center.

Do You have Writing Habits or Resisting Habits?

habit canstockphoto8768713 (2)Anything you can do to strengthen your writing habits and weaken the resisting habits will make your life so much easier and satisfying.

Resisting habits are the thoughts and actions that make it less likely you will write. For example, consistently checking your email and Facebook when you think about writing decreases the chances you will get around to actually writing. So does habitually thinking “I don’t have time to write.”

Despite what some writers claim, most writers spend the majority of our time not writing. You would have to write more than 12 hours a day for the reverse to be true.

But constantly thinking “I don’t have time to write” blinds you to small blocks of time you could use for writing. And, as I point out in the Huffington Post10 Reasons to Invest 15 Magic Minutes,” (or here if you have trouble with the HuffPost link) you can make significant progress with small, repeated sessions.

An alternative action that encourages writing instead of resisting is to look at email and Facebook after you write. Likewise, thinking “I choose not to write right now, but I will write at [insert the specific time of your next writing session]” keeps you focused on — and showing up for — your writing.

The action is the same – you’re not writing – but recognizing your choice empowers you, instead of leaving you a victim of time. It also reminds you that you will write later and keeps you open to the possibility that there might be opportunities to write before your next scheduled session.

To fully appreciate how you can transform resisting habits like thinking you don’t have time to write into writing habits, you need to know a little more about how habits work in the brain. We’ll explore that in the next post.

In the meantime, what do you frequently think and do that makes it less likely that you will write? In other words, what are your resisting habits?

And what do you think and do that makes it more likely you’ll write? What are your writing habits?

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11 Comments on “Do You have Writing Habits or Resisting Habits?”

  1. Theresa December 8, 2019 at 6:10 am #

    Hi Roseanne,

    I came across this again a few minutes ago. I still had problems with the Huffpost site. The written part pulled up fine. The graphics, the actual list, is still a nightmare. This could be that Huffpost was in Mobile mode because I am on my phone?

    Anyway, my suggestion is for you to edit this post to include a link to your May (?) posting where you list them. Much easier to read.

    I bought Around the Writer’s Block and started it last night. I enjoy it so far :).


    • rosannebane January 11, 2020 at 1:45 pm #

      Hi Theresa,
      I suspect it was the mobile mode that affected the appearance of the Huffington Post article. And I took your suggestion and added another link. Thanks for that and for buying my books. I hope you continue to find it enjoyable, and where it isn’t enjoyable, it’s at least helpful!


  2. Theresa Ramseyer April 2, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    Hi Rosanne 🙂

    I found this post in a search. Maybe it’s just Chrome on my phone, but the actual 10 Reasons list doesn’t show up in the article.

    I followed the link, and ended up googling the article, and still no list :(.

    I’ll repeat my steps on my computer.



    • rosannebane May 21, 2019 at 11:35 am #

      Thanks for bringing this to my attention Theresa. I found the problem with the link and fixed it. Let me know if it still doesn’t work for you.


  3. Benny August 19, 2014 at 6:36 am #

    The writers who write frequently can overcome writing resistance


    • Vaneesa August 19, 2014 at 6:40 am #

      Yes, you are right Benny I was doing a case study for my college and I had tremendous research and writing work to do for at least 2 months to prepare those thesis. By the time I finished it I realized that my fluidity with comprehension and writing improved dramatically


    • rosannebane August 19, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      NOTE: I personally have no experience with Writers.com online classes and neither endorse nor oppose their classes. I teach several online classes with the Loft (http://www.Loft.org/classes) and I highly recommend the Loft Literary Center. The Education Department at the Loft carefully selects Teaching Artists who can both teach and write (and who publish in their genre).


  4. Anonymous December 14, 2012 at 10:46 am #

    Yes and in the last paragraph: “What will you think and do..” try thinking and saying “I will write for fifteen minutes today and be satisfied and happy, no matter what the topic it is. Then envision the “action words” for your stimulating topic that you will write about! This is just one of many ways to prepare.

    Thanks Roseanne


    • rosannebane December 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

      You’re welcome and thanks for your suggestion!


  5. Svetlana February 23, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    Wow. Odd that I would come across this post today, after wnitirg earlier this morning. I have felt for some time that I am being called in a certain spiritual direction, in spite of my resistance on several fronts. Thank you so much for posting this.



  1. How to Build Stronger Writing Habits « The Bane of Your Resistance - December 17, 2012

    […] the previous post, you identified your writing habits and your resisting habits. To transform those resisting habits […]


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