7 Steps to Becoming a Daily Writer

writinghandIt’s the number one advice given to new writers. “If you want to be a writer, then write, and write every day.” Sound advice, and it makes sense, but…

As Jesus is said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” New writers want to write, but getting around to writing each and every day is fraught with peril and pitfalls. A writer will start the day with a set goal, resolved to write a magic number of words, then…

If you’re a writer or aspiring writer chances are good you know what I mean. Life gets in the way. And although you have every intention of getting 500, 1000, or more words onto the word processor—it just doesn’t happen.

How can you become a writer
if you don’t write daily?

Newsflash: Ain’t gonna happen

Imagine trying to become an auto mechanic without ever working on an automobile? Would you fly in an airplane with a pilot who never flew an aircraft? The act of doing builds confidence and competence in a profession or craft. So it is with writing, words must get on the paper or screen—DAILY.

Here are 7 steps you can take to become a daily writer:

1. Recognize that writing, like any profession takes practice. Writers don’t just wake up one morning and say, “Hey I think I’ll write a Pulitzer Prize winning novel. All writers, from Jane Eyre to Hemingway to James Patterson learned their profession the same way: they wrote.

Just as musician becomes a virtuoso through practice, so too writers learn through practice. Recognize that fact and just write!

2. Baby steps. One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is to commit to writing too many words. They’ll say to themselves, I’ll write 3,000 words every day to get my novel completed. Two weeks later they’re lucky if they have 6,000 words completed. They feel defeated because they couldn’t keep up with their original goal. They make excuses, and they see themselves as failures…

How about we warm up a bit? Just as athletes warm up before a big race, we can warm up with a bite-sized goal. Start with 50 words, 100 words, or perhaps 500 a day. Set a small number and you’ll be surprised how often you’ll exceed your original goal. Write 500 words a day consistently for a few months then move on to 1,000 words or more.

By that time you’ve figured out when and where you tend to get your best work done. This is how I went from 500 words a day to averaging 2,000 words a day for NaNoWriMo.

3. Don’t let the day end without writing. If you’re like me and work a full time job as opposed to being a full time writer this can tough—but do it anyway!

Writing 500 words takes less than thirty minutes. I’ve knocked out my daily goal in bed, at my desk, at work (don’t tell my boss), and a couple other places I don’t care to discuss. Don’t let the clock strike midnight without writing.

 4. Tell you significant other, a good friend, or another writer about your daily goal. This creates accountability. You’re making yourself accountable to someone else about meeting your daily writing goal. It’s amazing how having your significant other ask, “Did you write today?” can make you cringe.

5. No excuse, sir! This was the pat answer whenever one of my Army masters would ask why something didn’t happen, “No excuse, sir!” If you really want to be a writer what will stop you? Writers write. No excuse.

6. Just do it. Nike had the right idea when they came up with this logo. The same goes for your writing. Just do it. No excuses. As Stephen King puts it in his book, “On Writing“, a writer needs to write, write, write! Just do it!

The real secret to the every day
writing habit

7. If you can’t make your goal that day…at least get something written, anything. Then make up your word count the next day. Oh, and don’t stress over the fact you didn’t make your goal that day. Just make it up as quickly as you can. Learn to improvise, adapt, and overcome!

Seven steps to daily writing; one for each day of the week. Roll up your sleeves and practice these 7 steps daily and you will become a writer, a writer who practices her craft DAILY. Remember—Just Write!