Why Adopt a Daily Writing Practice
Let’s take a peek at the cogs inside the machine and talk about why I write and how I write on Behind the Scenes Sunday! Today I’d like to talk about something that’s been a big part of my life for over three years now: a daily writing practice.
Just the mention of a daily writing practice is enough to send some writers into conniption fits, and I don’t blame them! In fact, I used to be one of them! I hated hearing about how “Stephen King writes X number of words every day and you should too!” or how if you didn’t write every day you were a lazy writer, or not truly serious about your craft.
Almost out of sheer spite and stubbornness, I resisted committing to a daily writing practice for years. I was never going to be able to write a thousand words a day every day, so what was the point? I would just end up disappointing myself and feeling defeated in the end. That’s not why I write.
But then I came across a more nuanced version of this piece of well-travelled writing advice. I can’t remember now where I heard it or who I heard it from, but it went something like this: It doesn’t matter how much you write every day. It doesn’t matter what you write every day. What matters is that you WROTE that day.
Now that resonated with me. Within those parameters, I felt like I couldn’t fail. So I gave it a try. I set a goal for myself that wasn’t based on word count, but on time committed: 10 minutes. I would take 10 minutes every day to write. And I would write…whatever came into my head. Stream of consciousness. What was I thinking, what I was feeling, basically a diary, as snapshot of myself and my impressions within those 10 minutes.
I’ve been at it for three years now and I have to tell you, the benefits have been astonishing. There are five main reasons why I’ve stuck with it all this time:
- It helps my mental health! Writing helps keep me sane and writing about what I’m feeling helps twice as much.
- Practice makes perfect — or at least better! By writing every day I am honing my craft and improving my skills as a writer.
- Progress is made by inches, not miles! Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. It was built brick by brick. And that’s how books and short stories and poems get built as well. Brick by brick. Even just 10 minutes a day can get you closer to writing what you want to write.
- You never know when inspiration will strike! You have to show up if you want the muse to show up.
- Achievable goals are repeatable goals! It’s 10 minutes. Making a cup of tea can take me longer than that! And if I don’t have time for a cup of tea all day? Well, that’s just wrong.
What about you? Do you believe that writing every day is important? What is your daily writing practice? How have you been able to stick with it? Let’s chat about it in the comments!