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Note from Lisa: Want to be a better writer? You’ve got to write. And you should write every day. But, making time to write when life is crazy can be a challenge. To help you build this habit, Keren is here with a guest post.
Take it away Keren…
As a writer, you have probably stumbled upon the invaluable advice that you should write every day. What you haven’t quite figured out is how to write every day. If that is your experience, then this article is for you.
The secret behind the astounding success of many prolific writers is so simple that many people dismiss it as hogwash. It is the practice of writing every day. There we said it! Simple but potent. This article will show you how you can weave your way into the enviable league of highly successful writers.
Successful Writers Write Everyday
There are a host of iconic writers that swear by writing every day.
- In a 2004 interview, Haruki Murakami revealed that while working on a novel, he wrote every day without fail.
- Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner advises writers and aspiring authors to write every day, whether they feel like it or not.
- Barbara Kingsolver, an American novelist, told the Daily Beast that getting to her desk every day feels like an emergency.
- While describing his morning routine, Ernest Hemingway indicated that he wrote each morning.
Benefits of Writing Every Day
Writing every day is probably the best practice you will ever adopt as a writer. Here are some perks it shoves your way.
#1. Helps Hone Your Craft
The old adage “Practice makes perfect” holds true. If you went to the gym every day, you would inadvertently flaunt a well-toned body in a few months. In the same way, writing every day helps you flex your writing muscle. Your vocabulary, writing flow, and creative juices soar through the roof. You can communicate more clearly and concisely.
You also take less time wrestling with words because writing becomes your second nature. On the other hand, if you do not constantly exercise your writing muscle, it becomes limp. In life, anything that is not frequently used deteriorates.
#2. Unclogs Your Mind
We all have some hazy days when we can barely think straight. Some people scoot off for a run to clear their heads. But did you know that writing is a brilliant stress buster? Putting your thoughts down helps unclog your mind.
You don’t need to jot down something exemplary for public consumption. You can merely journal about the things that are ruffling your feathers. Doing this will usher in clarity and pave way for new insights.
#3. Cultivates Discipline
Would you write on a Christmas morning? Would you disregard the beach and get holed up in your room while on vacation? Writing every day helps ingrain indomitable discipline. You put your nose to the grindstone even when the conditions are not favorable.
Luckily, this discipline tends to seep into other areas of your life and helps you lead a wholesome life. You consequently find it easy to ditch other unhealthy habits that derail your progress. You could for instance be inspired to stop binging on junk food or to quit mucking around on social media. We think that’s a hefty bonus.
#4. Obliterates Writer’s Block
Do you often feel stuck as a writer? Do you stare at a blank page for hours on end? Though it exists, some writers give writer’s block more credit than it deserves. If you feel stuck 5 days a week, then there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Writing every day helps flip writers’ block on its head. As you write, you pave way for a flood of ideas and fresh perspectives. Words cruise through your head, begging to be released. With time, writer’s block becomes a figment of your imagination.
#5. Helps Rake in The Dough
Here’s the frosting on the cake, writing every day can move from a mere hobby to a fully-fledged career that puts food on the table. There are many ways of getting paid to write which include blogging, writing articles for websites, copywriting, job board gigs, publishing books, and enrolling in writing contests among many others.
How to Write Every Day
Now that we have identified the practice of writing every day as the magic bullet for successful writers, let’s explore how to write every day.
#1. Create a Writing Sanctuary
Dedicate a comfortable working space that is devoid of distractions. This is where the magic will happen so make it as cozy as possible. Also, keep the space clean and clutter-free. Let your friends and family know that whenever you are holed up there, you mean business.
#2. Write At The Same Time Every Day for 66 days
What’s the first thing you do when you wiggle out of bed? You probably brush your teeth or hop into the shower. You don’t need a reminder to groom because it’s a daily habit that is ingrained in the core of your being.
What if you found a way of making writing a reflex action that you cannot gloss over? A study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology found that it takes an average of 66 days for a new behavior to morph into an automatic habit.
If you want writing to become second nature to you, write at the same time every day for a cool 66 days. There will be no exemptions. Put your shoulder to the wheel on weekends, holidays, and while on vacation. Doing this will etch the habit in the deep end of your mind where nothing can erase it.
#3. Create Writing Goals
You need a writing goal that will tether you to your commitment. You can for instance commit to writing 500 words each day or choose to write for one hour. Do not go below your set goal. You are only allowed to thrash it. As you grow, keep cranking up your daily word count.
#4. Snuff Out Distractions
Our homes and workplaces are awash with distractions whichever side you turn. Nip distractions in the bud before you set the ball rolling. If you are working from home with kids you may need to be a little more creative while carving out time for your writing.
You can for instance wake up at the crack of dawn before the kids take over your day. You can also schedule your writing around their nap time. Besides that, here are other steps that will help you toss distractions out the window.
- Put your phone on silent or switch it off entirely
- Disconnect your Internet
- Log out of your email
- Place a “Do not disturb” notice on your door
#5. Come up With Topics Ahead of Time
One of the biggest deterrents to writing daily is having nothing to write about. To counter this, dedicate some time each week purely for brainstorming. Come up with a wide array of topics to choose from. Here are some tips that can help you conjure up sizzling topics.
- Look up trending topics on google
- Check what other writers in your niche are talking about (it’s called borrowing a leaf not stealing!)
- Teach your audience how to do something you are proficient in e.g. How to make your favorite dessert
- Use keyword research tools
- Review a favorite book
#6. Join a Writing Community
A writing community is a writers group that connects you with like-minded individuals. The members keep each other accountable, offer advice, encouragement, and feedback. Joining one will help fortify your resolve to write every day. You can scour the web for existing writing communities or you can start your own.
There you have it – practical tips on how to write every day. Though underrated, writing every day is a powerful trick that separates the men from the boys. If you nurse dreams of shifting from mundane vanilla writing to winding up as the greatest writer of all time, you know what to do.
And if you’re ready to launch your freelance writing career, click here to sign up for the waiting list of Lisa’s new Freelancing Basics mastermind.