Writing every day will make you a better writer. It will get you closer to completing your dream of writing a whole book, or a short story, and then it will get you published. Because the more you write, the more you learn about writing. Additionally, you will get better at transferring your thoughts on paper, exponentially. For example, take a look at something you’ve written a long time ago, and then compare it with something that you’ve written recently. You will discover that, even though you might have not noticed it, you’ve gotten better. But, making writing a daily habit is not talent, it’s a discipline. And this is why we’ve created a five step guide to help you ensure you write every day.
1. Carry a notebook
A writer’s mind is almost never quiet. We’re always thinking, whether of stories we want to write, or characters we want to create. We also gather inspiration by everything that surrounds us, from events, to people, animals and nature. Carrying a notebook with you (along with a pen of course), ensures that you’re always able to write down your thoughts. Of course, it’s not certain that what you write on a train or on a bus is something you will later publish – but you will write. And writing makes you better at writing.
2. Pick a space
However, carrying a notebook will not ensure that you’ve turned writing into a daily habit. You need to pick a space where you will write, and depends wholly on you. Do you feel comfortable writing in a crowded café, or do you need to be isolated? Choose and make your decision – you could even try both options if you are able to. Try writing alone, or surrounded by people, or even by nature, and choose what kind of a setting makes writing a pleasure. Because in the end, you need to feel good while you’re writing, and what you’re writing about, and sometimes, the setting can make a very big difference.
3. Choose the time
Many writers advise writing at the same time every day. Be it 6 AM, or 2 PM, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s constant. However, this becomes a problem if you have a busy schedule with your daily job, or if you’re unable to write at a specific time every day. This doesn’t mean you should give up on making writing a daily habit; instead, you can write at a different time every day. But, instead of waiting for inspiration to strike, or for you to have the time, plan your day in such a way that you have at least an hour set aside when you will write.
4. Choose your limit
Many writers would advise you that setting up a daily word count and a minimum number of words you should write daily are a good idea. In theory, this is true. However, this could have an unwanted side effect – you will put yourself under pressure to always write, for example, 1500 words. This can get difficult in time, especially if you’re unable to write that many words. Then the pressure will increase, and you might find yourself experiencing the wonders of a writer’s block. This is why you should choose your limit carefully. And the best thing is that it doesn’t have to be a specific number of words. It can also be progress, whether in the plot (if you’re writing fiction) or research (if you’re writing non-fiction).
5. Take a day off
No one can write progressively for 30 days straight every month. Maybe you can do it for one month, even two, but you might not make progress, or reach your daily word limit if you choose one. This is why you need to plan some days off in your schedule. No, it doesn’t mean that you can’t write at all on that day. You could also do some freewriting exercises, as well. The day off serves to ensure your mind is off of your current project, or in other words, that it’s resting. While focusing on writing is important, coming in second behind discipline in making writing a daily habit, this doesn’t mean that you have to turn writing on a specific matter into a torture of the mind. Remember, the goal is to make writing pleasurable and fun; it’s something you choose to do because you want to, and that you’re not writing just because you have to reach a daily word limit.
Georgina Roy wants to live in a world filled with magic. As a 22-year-old art student, she’s moonlighting as a writer and is content to fill notebooks and sketchbooks with magical creatures and amazing new worlds. When she is not at school, or scribbling away in a notebook, you can usually find her curled up, reading a good urban fantasy novel, or writing on her laptop, trying to create her own.