Write every day is the advice given a lot to new writers, but what if, like me, there are days when you just can’t find the time to put pen to paper? How do you grow as a writer?
I’m a typical family man, slave to a desk for most of the day, and when I’m home, my wife and I spend the evenings chasing our eighteen-month-old in and around every item of furniture to feed/clean/clothe/entertain him. The days are long and by the time the sun goes down, all I hear is the beckoning of my bed. All the books tell me that I should be writing.
How? To quote my son’s favourite TV show: ‘where did the time go?’.
I used to feel guilty if I didn’t write every day. The pressure to achieve a daily goal of 500 words was so great that I would spend an age staring at a blank sheet of paper willing the words to come. I started to not enjoy writing, even dreaded it. I realised I need to do something about it – and quick!
The process of writing, getting the words down, is important but more so is that you enjoy what you do. If you don’t, then you’ll find it harder to produce your best work and, every day, you’ll find the words that bit harder to flow.
So what did I do?
It was simple; I stopped feeling guilty. I still had to find the time to write but I wasn’t so hung-up on missing a day here or there. What I found was, it didn’t take long before the paper started to fill and everything began to flow as smoothly as it once had. I began to enjoy writing again, even look forward to tackling the odd paragraph/scene.
Writing every day is great if you have the time, especially for beginners, but it’s the routine that matters most.
- Write when you can but make a commitment to yourself to write.
- Set yourself a goal and stick to it – this doesn’t have to be a daily word count, perhaps something more open like write 2 days a week, or complete 1000 words a week.
- Aim to get yourself into a routine – do you do your best writing in the morning? If so, try getting up an hour earlier. In the evening? Is it possible to skip that hour of TV? Do it and write instead.
- Find a routine that works with the other commitments in your life.
- Be flexible.
- Enjoy yourself!
I’d love to hear from you all. What is your writing routine like? Do you write every day or does it vary?