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Why You Should Write Every Single Day
By Bethany Cadman on November 25, 2016
There is lots of conflicting advice about how often writers should write, and truth be told there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution. For many writers there the main problem is time, their busy day to day lives get in the way. Lots of writers write as an aside to their full-time jobs, and juggle running a household, looking after children, keeping up with other hobbies and having a social life too. Even for writers who have more time to spare they constantly feel guilty about not doing it enough, having to put other tasks first, or just indulging in a bit of good old fashioned procrastinating.
The good thing about committing to writing every day is that you aren’t asking yourself to write a lot. You are asking yourself to find a spare twenty minutes that you can dedicate to doing something you love.
Often writers feel the need to compare themselves to others, those who claim to spend hours each day crafting their wonderful stories, those who wake up in the middle of the night and find themselves still at the kitchen table come sunrise just pouring their creative hearts out because they simply can’t stop. It can make other writers, you know, the usual ones that are just trying to make it work, feel somewhat dreadful. Well writing every day can help.
This applies in particular if you are just getting started. If you block 5 hours out over the weekend to write you are putting all that pressure and focus on one specific moment. If you spend the first hour of that writing your first sentence and then deleting it, you’ll end up feel stressed and annoyed with yourself for not having produced more. It also means you wait a whole week, every week to come back to your work. It takes time to get those creative cogs turning once more, and the longer you leave it in between writing sessions, the harder it gets to start them up and get them running smoothly once more.
Repetition is what is key here. If you build your writing up, little and often you will spend so much less time fighting through the bit where you stare at your computer screen. You won’t struggle to remember what you were on about last time, be tempted to re-read everything you have written previously just to get you back on track, and generally spend most of your time resisting doing any writing at all.
Think about it, what sounds more manageable, a 20-30 minute writing session each day, or a 5-hour slug each week? If you make your writing sessions short, you are so much more likely to stick to them. Finding excuses to miss something that takes up 5 hours of your time is much easier than something which only takes 30 minutes.
Writing for 30 minutes a day also gives yo more room for trial and error. You can test out new ideas, experiment with new styles, and learn how to be okay with failure. If your writing session doesn’t go that well one day and you don’t like anything you have written you haven’t wasted much time – just start the next day afresh, and you may well feel much more creative and ready to tackle any obstacles head on!
Jack Cheng says that doing something for 30 minutes each day is enough to form a new habit. Once a habit is formed it will become a natural and integrated part of your life – and isn’t that what we are all aiming for our writing to be?
Being stuck in a cycle of struggling and feeling guilty about our writing only makes it so much harder to do it, and writing should be something we love – it can be a challenge sure, but why make lives more difficult for ourselves?
So don’t let yourself suffer from writing burnout or become stuck in a negative cycle. Start writing every day, don’t wait until tomorrow, do it now ! If you stick to it you will suddenly find those creative juices flowing, and writing turn into a joy once more!