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Many writers hear this from mentors, friends, workshops, and famous authors: Write every day! The author Ray Bradbury once said, “Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens…” In Ray’s case, best sellers are what happened. But at Writer’s Relief, we know this advice doesn’t necessarily work for every writer. After all, as Thomas Mann stated, “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” To determine if writing every day will work best for you, consider the pros and cons.
The Pros And Cons Of Writing Every Day
Pro: Why You Should Write Every Day
Writing daily helps you develop the habit of writing. Some people find that when they sit down to write every day, eventually thoughts and words come more easily. Use whatever method works best for you, whether it’s typing at a keyboard or going old-school by putting pen to paper. Quite a few well-known authors prefer to write the first draft of their novels in longhand! Once you find which method works best for you, it will be easier to establish a consistent writing routine.
Daily writing helps strengthen your creative muscles. But just as you wouldn’t lift weights for five hours a day (unless you’re also scarfing down spinach and hoping to develop Popeye arms), you don’t need to produce pages and pages of work or spend several hours writing. Thirty minutes a day is often enough to establish an effective writing habit. And don’t focus on whether the writing is good or bad. You can sift through the pages another time to see what’s worth keeping and what you might want to ditch.
Con: Why You Might Not Want To Write Every Day
If you’re juggling grocery shopping, working, lawn mowing, pet wrangling, homework checking, and dinner prepping—you may not have enough hours in a day to also commit to a daily writing schedule. When life is hectic, attempting to write for even thirty minutes every day could be setting yourself up for disappointment. Sooner rather than later, you’ll miss a day. And then another day. Eventually your writing sessions will be filed under “failure” in your brain, and you don’t want to make that negative connection! In addition, once writing begins to feel like a chore, you may find yourself suffering from burnout.
A flexible writing schedule may work better and help you stay motivated. Writing less often doesn’t mean you are not dedicated to your craft! It simply means you understand your strengths and your muse.
Writing Every Day: Tips For The Best Results
If you want to write on a daily schedule, here’s how to get started:
Be realistic. Don’t expect yourself to write thousands of words the very first time you sit down to write. Set realistic expectations. Write for thirty minutes a day, and if you’re going to try to hit a daily word count, make it low: Start with 100 words.
Focus on the writing, not the words. We know, it sounds crazy: Don’t care about what you’re writing, just write! But sometimes writers get caught up in editing and finding the perfect word. Remember, you can always go back later and edit. As Terry Pratchett said, “The first draft is just you telling yourself the story.” And on days when you don’t have any specific projects or ideas, you can flex your writing muscles by freewriting.
Find the “write” time for you. Take a look at your calendar and lifestyle to determine your best time for writing on a daily basis. Then stick to it! Another point to consider: Some people feel more creative and inspired in the morning, while others are night owls. To help you pinpoint your best writing time, take this simple self-test.
Writing every day at a set time is a great way to strengthen your writing skills and provides an opportunity to actually produce work, rather than never getting around to it. But some writers may find it difficult to keep to a strict daily schedule—and that’s okay too. The important thing is that you are writing!
Question: What’s your writing schedule?