1. Beginning each day knowing exactly what you plan on accomplishing before you go to bed tonight. Plans don’t stifle creativity — they guarantee room for creativity to roam free.
2. Participating in creative activities outside of writing that keep your brain engaged and your heart happy.
3. Reviewing short- and long-term goals. Keep them in the front of your mind — better yet, in front of your eyes. Post-It notes exist for a reason!
4. Not being afraid to go back to basics. There’s nothing wrong with a quick writing prompt or a simple rewriting exercise to warm up, cool down, or replace a more lengthy writing session.
5. Speaking self-affirmations out loud — “I can do this. I WILL do this.” It seems silly, but sometimes you need to hear you’re capable of doing the thing, even if it’s just coming from yourself.
6. Forgiving yourself when things don’t go as planned — because they almost always won’t, and you have to get into the habit of taking it easy and realizing tomorrow will always be a new day.
7. Making an effort to take care of your body — “the vessel” for your creative energy. Eating good food, moving as much as possible, and getting enough sleep!
8. Caring for your mind — meditating (however you prefer to do that, there are plenty of ways), checking in with yourself, taking plenty of mental breaks, admitting when you’re overwhelmed … practicing good mental self-care is just as important as physical care.
9. Practicing emotional wellness by spending time with others, engaging in activities that fill you up, and experiencing the world outside the stories on your pages.
10. Celebrating your small wins, even if they’re smaller than you wanted them to be and you’re the only one celebrating.
11. Rewarding yourself for sticking to your schedules and getting things done. Positive reinforcement works.
12. Going to bed each night reminding yourself that tomorrow is yet another opportunity to create something beautiful.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is an editor and writer, and a 12-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food, and Star Wars.