Writer Life Lesson #3: Write Every Day

Imagine your writing, whether it be a work in progress, or an essay,or a bunch of short stories, or even all of the above. Now think about your day, the errands you run, or what hours you work, or the time you spend doing things you really want to do. Is writing anywhere in that day, or is it just something you do when the urge hits you? It should be something scheduled, or at least planned.

Writing Life Lesson #3: Write Every Day

We, as writers, are lucky. Our hobby, or our job as a writer is not expensive. It isn’t as expensive as say, gambling or skydriving. If worse came to worse, we could all write on 50 cent notebooks and dollar store pens. The most expensive thing that writing requires is our time.

Writing anything takes time. Sure, the idea may come in a flash, but the actual writing takes time. Each word carefully crafted from our minds to the pen or pencil or keyboard, each sentence and paragraph strung together with time and energy.

Some days, it’s hard for us to write, the ideas just don’t come to us or we are distracted by something else more pressing. Those are the days we need to write most. Writing is a muscle, it requires working out every once in a while. Any athlete will tell you that to make something stronger, to hone a skill, it must be practiced and performed. No one wakes up and is the best writer in the world, just like no athlete or physicist wakes up and is the best in their field.

When we as writers take time to write every day, whether it’s a to-do list, or a chapter, or even just an idea or two in detail, we work those writing muscles and make ourselves better writers. We practice that skill and we get better at putting words on the page and making sure those words are the right words we want to say to get our point across. Our stories, or our blog posts or whatever we write grows into something we ourselves could never have imagined we would make. We impress even ourselves, and that is magical.

So how do we get ourselves to write every day, especially if it’s a struggle? Make every word count. Actively think about the words you are writing or what they mean to you, or will mean to someone else. Start small, 5 or 10 minutes a day, and then slowly increase it to 15 or 20 minutes. Write wherever you can find time, or write in long chunks, it doesn’t matter, as long as you keep writing.

It will get easier as it goes on, so why not start today?

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These are my daily word counts for February. This is the longest writing streak I've had in a while.

What does your writing schedule look like? Do you write every day?

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