One of the hardest things as a writer--is not having a great day filled with inspiration, motivation, and pumping out a perfectly written page or two--it is having a successful writing day, every day. We all have times when life hits you, distracts you, or preoccupies your time so much so that you end up breaking your writing habit. So once you are off the writing horse, how do you get back on and stay on?
Keep your web of habits.
A habit doesn't stay alive by a single act; it usually involves a web of other habits to get you to do that one. Let's look at an example: let's say most mornings you wake up, drink your green tea, work out, shower, and then start writing. What you don't realize is that the ritual you do before writing, all those seemingly ordinary tasks, is mentally prepping you to write. Continuing with the example, let's take a look at the weekend, you sleep in, eat some cereal, watch some television--well guess what, you probably aren't going to write today. Why? Because you broke your web of habits.
It is like a standing deck of cards. One card pushes the other, which pushes the other, and it causes momentum, thus getting you to the hard habit (in this case, writing).
So this is interesting and all, but how does this apply to you? Simple. If you want to do something consistently, you must make a little routine and do it every day for 90 day.
It takes 90 days to cement a habit.
Now you may be wondering, how do I stay consistent with the ritual. Well, the answer is, you need to make your ritual easy enough that you are willing to repeat it. If for example, your routine before writing is waking up to work on the farm at 5:00 am, then run a half marathon, eat spinach out of a can, go on a spinning rollarcoaster ride, jump into a freezing lake, jump into a pit of tarantulas and then try to write, chances are, you will break your ritual quickly and ultimately lose your habit.
The best way to keep a habit is to have an enjoyable routine beforehand.
So before you write, maybe eat some food, meditate, do some gratitude, read a couple of pages from a good book, and then write. Do whatever routine is good for you. Something that you can integrate into your schedule easily and effortlessly.
The point is to focus on the small things leading up to the habit. If you have an enjoyable routine, it will be easier to get into the grove of the bigger habit.