My “One Sentence a Day Rule” Has Transformed My Writing
It’s hard to write just one sentence a day, and that’s the entire point
I wanted to be a better writer but to be honest I didn’t really know how or where to start. I had heard the countless advice of people advising fellow writers to make sure that they write every day, and while I loved the idea in theory, my writer’s block still left me at a loss for words.
Telling myself to write every day while going through writer’s block felt like trying to run a marathon after Thanksgiving dinner, you just know it’s not going to happen.
If I went over to my laptop thinking to myself that I had to write that day, then I would often stress myself out about it before I’d even start and find myself struggling to think of topics.
Telling myself I needed to write each day just wasn’t the answer for me. I can see it working wonders for other writers, but for me, it just didn’t always work out as productively as I’d hoped.
But I did want to improve my writing, and I did want to write more often.
So, what did I do? I made a goal for myself that seemed so easy that it would be nearly impossible to fail at.
I gave myself one rule.
I needed to write a single sentence every day.
I know it probably seems silly and believe me, it felt silly to do. It felt odd (and often pointless) to go to my laptop and type out one sentence. I mean, after all, what can you really say with one sentence? How can you write one sentence and feel accomplished? You just can’t.
And that’s the point.
You see, I could always write one sentence, because I mean honestly how much easier can a task get? But the problem this caused actually ended up being a solution to my writer’s block.
I could write that single sentence, but rarely did I ever want to just stop there. I almost always wanted to keep writing, even if it wasn’t my best work or a topic I’d end up changing, writing a single sentence seemed to be an easy enough thing to make myself do every day that would simultaneously encourage me to write more.
Just like trying to have one potato chip (or “crisp” to any UK readers), writing only one sentence at a time is something that leaves you feeling unsatisfied and wanting more.
And that’s what my “one sentence a day” rule did for me.
It made me want to write more because staring at a brief sentence on a screen doesn’t make you feel accomplished or like you’re ready to call it quits for the day.
What I love most about this rule is that it doesn’t stress me out even on busy or hectic days. It’s not like that 6:30 A.M. yoga class that you think sounds great but that you actually end up dreading the night before. This is a writing tool that is very low pressure and therefore extremely sustainable.
If you’re like me and wanting to write more but aren’t sure of where to start, or you’ve been going through a particularly rough case of writer’s block, I highly recommend trying out this rule.
While you will hopefully find yourself wanting to write more and more, remember that you don’t have to.
Don’t go into this with the pressure to write a certain amount more each day, because the goal of this exercise is to inspire you, not stress you out. Even if you choose to stop after that one sentence, you are still writing and therefore improving.
Remember, the only requirement is that you write one sentence a day.