One of the hardest things I’ve found as I’ve started my self-publishing journey is finding the time to write everyday.
Actually that isn’t true. I’ve found it hard to write well everyday.
I have enough writing prompts in Evernote alone that I’ll run out of ideas sometime in 2025.
The problem though is just getting down to the writing everyday on a consistent basis.
I think about how I want to call myself a writer and I can. I don’t need anyone’s permission. What I do need to do though is write. That kind of helps the whole calling yourself a writer mean something.
So here are the four things I’m focusing on to write everyday. I hope they help you overcome any hurdles as you start to build your author platform.
Door Closed, Door Open
Stephen King writes in On Writing that writers should write with the door closed and edit with the door open.
He means that writing isn’t about pushing out reader-quality work the first time through. Just get your ideas down with all your poor word choices, grammar mistakes and every other problem it comes with.
When you go back and edit that monstrosity is when you fix it up and make it presentable to the world.
I’m trying to live this advice. For way too long I would write something and then think wow, this isn’t as good as (fill in the blank). Of course it isn’t as good. They have years of experience, who knows how many drafts and it was edited.
Waiting for perfect on the first draft is one way not to get any writing done, much less everyday.
Now, when I sit down to write I’m just doing a brain dump on the page and if I can get everything out – regardless of how it looks the first time – I’ve done my job as a writer for that day.
Build a Writing Routine
I brush my teeth, shower and put in my contacts in the same order everyday. I can go back two years and regardless of what day it was I can tell you the first thing I did was brush my teeth, shower and put in my contacts.
The few times over the years I haven’t done that I remember feeling out of sorts the rest of the day.
You and I need to build that feeling into our writing.
Right now it is hard with my two young sons dictating my schedule. If they want to get up at 3:30 in the morning and run around the living room screaming like lunatics that can put a crimp in my writing.
However, if you have a sacred block of time when you know almost certainly that you can focus and be in an environment that helps you write you need to guard that block like your life depends on it. You have to do this because your writing life does depend on this.
I’m more of a night person, but it is almost guaranteed that my boys will be asleep at 5:00 in the morning. If that is my best chance to write uninterrupted I need to make that happen and eventually turn it into a routine just like my usual morning one.
Set a Challenge
Have you ever had a goal, but you kept it to yourself? What happened when you didn’t reach it? Nothing right?
What about a goal that you told some people about? A goal that you knew if you didn’t hit you would owe someone, anyone, an explanation.
A little harder to flake on that I’m sure.
Having that public pressure and having to work to meet that challenge is a great way to write everyday.
I have a large calendar out on the counter in our kitchen. Everyday I write 500 words I put a large “X” through that day. My wife can easily see if I hit my goal for the day. On the few days where I’ve come up short she usually asks me what happened.
Just hearing her have to ask makes me work that much harder to get my writing done everyday.
Write Something, Write Anything
This is the best tip I have on writing everyday.
Some authors swear writer’s block is a thing. Those that scoff at that usually say something like do plumbers have plumber’s block or surgeons have surgeon’s block?
If you do experience writer’s block I’m not going to shame you. I’ll just tell you on the rare occasion when the keys aren’t coming to life I write about my day. The good stuff, the bad stuff, the boring stuff.
Something always happens to you everyday. When the spark isn’t there try writing for awhile about the idiot driver who cut you off or the cashier who was extra helpful at the grocery store or the publisher who wants to buy your next book even though you have nothing published.
Whatever happened to you get it down on the page and use that to get the writing muscle pumping and you’ll be surprised where it might take you.
Be warned though. If your next book is due next month and you spend this month writing everyday just about your daily workout routine and how buff you are getting, there could be problems.
The write about your life trick is meant to get out of a small, daily rut and on track to writing everyday. Use it as a daily crutch and the only writing you”ll be doing is to Mom and Dad looking for another loan.
Write Everyday Recap
- Write like you dance, like nobody is watching (or reading).
- Writing should be like brushing your teeth everyday. If you don’t brush your teeth everyday…gross!
- Challenge yourself – and tell others – to write everyday. Let them know when you don’t.
- If the Muse has left you write anything about everything. Use the path of least resistance.