I write every day. I’ve made it non-optional. I am obligated to myself to write a blog post. Every. Single. Day.
I’ve had times in the past that I committed to daily writing. Every time I eventually missed or skipped a day, usually by accident, and that made it hard to start again. I wasn’t writing publicly, but I was writing. I haven’t let that happen to my blog.
The internal motivation is just as important as the results. If you can decide to do something and come through even when it’s just for you, what could you do for others?
I said on Twitter at some point, “I set out to write every day and I stopped doing it. Now I’m going back to that habit. I’m not a writer if I only write when it’s easy.” There will be hardship and trouble. I have to be willing to stand up and push on when that happens.
I have read a lot of writing advice, blogs, books, watched videos, etc. The one piece of advice I’ve seen the most in the last seven years is to write every day.
Daily writing is the best and quickest way to see improvement. There’s no way around it. That daily practice applies to other art forms as well.
To demonstrate the improvement, compare my early post Struggling to Organize my Poetry Manuscript to my more recent post Organizing a Poetry Collection: What I Learned. The first is not a great blog post at all, and not great writing either. The second is a better blog post and better writing more generally. I picked those two posts because they are on the same topic, making them easier to contrast.
I’ve made improvement just over the last few months, as you can see. Other Praxians found marked improvement in their writing just from the beginning of the 30 day blogging challenge to the end. This isn’t just my experience, it’s the experience of Praxians and of the authors you know and love. It could be your experience.
There were promised benefits of daily writing from the creative writing communities I’ve engaged in. Writers aren’t joking when they say if you want to be a writer you need to write every day. The most frequent complaint is that doing it every day without fail makes it feel like work.
Anyone who is seriously pursuing art will have to work. It is work, it will feel like work, but it is the most rewarding work I have ever done. Anyone who wants to have a shot at making money doing their art probably has to practice every day. The only writer I’ve heard about that made a lot of money and didn’t write every day is F. Scott Fitzgerald. He’s the exception, not the rule.
If you want to be any kind of artist, practice your art!
Even if you don’t, there are benefits to daily writing…
- You find more inspiration more often — ideas and motivation for writing. The more ideas that you put out into the world, the more ideas you have. It’s almost as though releasing an idea in a concrete way frees space for your mind to create new ideas.
- You learn to have clearer writing and better articulation of your thoughts. The more you practice voicing your thoughts and putting them into words that other people can comprehend, the easier it becomes. You get a better grasp of what you think and are able to share that with others in a way that is comprehensible.
- You teach yourself that you can do it. You give your brain a lot of positive experiences by creating and shipping something each day. You wrote a blog post yesterday, you can do it today. If you can blog every day, what else can you do? Other, harder, daunting projects seem just a little more possible.
Practicing my craft every day is the most valuable habit I’ve built recently. It could be your most valuable habit too.