Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Do You Need to Write Every Day to Be a Better Writer?

From Writerslife.org:

I don’t know how often I have heard the advice that you should write every day. It’s a lot. But the fact is that many writers struggle with doing so (this one included). Sometimes it is not easy to fit writing into your daily schedule, and, perhaps more importantly, sometimes you just want to have a day off!
However, the fact of the matter is that there is no getting away from the truth that the more writers write, the better they become at it. Not only that but the more regularly they write, the less it will feel like a chore or something you have to force yourself to do, and the more it will feel like a natural and positive part of your life.
Being told to write every day can feel impossible. How on earth is one supposed to fit that into their already busy life? However often writers put too much pressure on themselves and think that writing every day means having to be a good, productive writer every day - and this simply isn’t the case.
To be a productive writer you need to be able to schedule some proper time to sit down and produce your work, and some time for research, for editing, even for marketing your book if you choose to self-publish it. In short, writing takes a lot of time if you want to do it properly, and a little window here or there just won’t be enough. Besides, if you can’t have writing sessions where you really make headway, really get stuck into your book, or article or blog post, it’s going to feel difficult to move forward, or to feel like you are achieving anything, and that’s quickly going to become extremely demotivating.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t write every day on top of your already well-thought-out writing schedule. Don’t think of your daily sessions in the same way as when you can lock yourself away for a good couple of hours and really make headway. Instead regard them as little stretches, exercises to keep you limber and ready and raring to go next time you do sit down to write properly.
Writing every day doesn’t need to be stressful, it doesn’t need to take up any time, and it doesn’t need to be very good either! In fact, if you don't have time to have a long writing session, don’t bother to work on your book which takes focus and concentration and the ability to get into the ‘zone.’ Instead, do little writing exercises, or challenge yourself to write a ten-minute story, or create a character and write a character description for them, or just free write. Doing so can help clear your mind, inspire your imagination, help you brainstorm, process emotions, or simply get rid of all the ‘bad’ writing so that you are ready to write at your very best next time around.
So, while you don’t need to write every day to be a better writer, perhaps you should anyway. Just don’t make it a big deal, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, and you might see that your writing improves as a result.

I have been told that writing every day can help you get better and I have tried to get into the habit of writing each day. But it has been hard to do, depending on what else is going on each day. The last few days I have been writing different types of poetry to get some practice in that rare (there are still more types I want to try). Some seemed hard when looking at it, but I did each one the best I could. Learning to do fixed types of poems has been challenging. But as I was working on this for the last few days, I got worried I'd forget how to write stories, since that is what I have been working on primarily. It's been a while since I last worked on my sequel and have not yet begun to read my first book. I have since gotten more feedback on that one and am waiting to see if another person I sent it to will give some feedback as well (he hasn't had time to get to it, the last time I asked him). 

But I guess I won't forget how to write a novel or short story. Writing poetry had been fun and learning to do different kinds has been a challenge, as I've said.  I am more used to writing free-verse, non-rhyming poems so, I think  it is good to experiment with other kinds. I also like writing both, so I think it's best to do a little of each, and see how you do with each. 


Sandra said...

Sounds like you're exercising your brain, which is a very good thing.

Sandra said...

Hope your day has been pleasant and productive.