In the month of November, many seasoned, regular, and first-time writers come together for NaNoWriMo. Their goal is to write 50,000 words in November.
This is entirely possible, even with a full-time job, especially if you’re a student or work part-time. I have had my own troubles with writing NaNoWriMo but I’ve written about them in a previous post.
I want to talk about writing every day. This could be for a novel, short story, poetry, your journal: anything at all.
Writing is something everyone can do, and it has nothing to do with being “good” or being published or anything like that. I want to talk about writing every day as a habit.
For me, this is easy. I write posts for this website nearly every day. I work on drafts and edits for my MA course in creative writing. I am in the middle of journaling every day for 30 days. I do a lot of writing, and it’s easy for me because this habit just happens to be a part of my daily life.
What about those of you who don’t write? If you don’t journal or have a blog or aren’t a student? How do get into the habit of writing every day?
First, I want to discuss Why. Why should you write every day?
Language and the written word is a powerful tool.
Writing is a great way to sort through your thoughts and feelings. Take journaling, for example. You get to sit and write for however long you want, cycling through the events and emotions swirling around in your head. There is a relief, a release, in writing that nothing else can replicate.
There is a quality of meditation to writing, one that is overlooked by those who do not write. When writing a poem or a story, we instinctively delve into a part of ourselves that would have remained closed off, hidden in our minds. The act of writing lets these parts of ourselves breathe, and the impact of that on mental health and daily life is so positive.
So, how do you write every day?
It would be easy for me to sit here and tell you just to write. Just get up and write a few pages in your journal. Take a few moments of the day to write a poem or a few paragraphs of a story.
For some, this may well work. Just doing it. But there are a few ways of making writing a part of your daily routine without just forcing yourself to squeeze it in somewhere.
Start a Project
Start creating something! This blog is a project and now I write more than I ever had done before. You could start a website of your own, or start writing a novel/poetry or short-story collection.
Beginning a project that involves writing is a great way of making it a daily habit, because we all want to accomplish what we set out to do. That leads onto the next point:
Sit down and write a list of goals you want to hit. Whether that be a word count like with NaNoWriMo, a certain number of posts on your website per month, or even filling a dedicated number of pages in your journal every day.
Be gentle with your goals though. I love goals and I love lists, but make sure not to set the bar too high. You might exhaust yourself before you’ve even begun, or maybe even stress over the goals when it’s something you put on yourself.
Write With Friends
This idea comes from the idea of having a penpal. Get together with a friend and start something together. Whether you have a correspondence like John and Hank Green of Vlogbrothers did with their videos, but with emails/blog posts instead, or you write a book of poetry/short-stories/or a novel together.
The great thing about writing a novel with another person is that you have half the number of words to write to complete the word count – if completing something is your goal and will keep you motivated, then that’s a great way of doing so.
Writing is a wonderful habit to get into and I would highly recommend trying to write even a little every day. Whether that be a paragraph or a sentence of prose, or a few lines of poetry – make the goals you set as small or as large as you want; just remember not to overwhelm yourself.
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Featured Image by Karolina Grabowska