Writing is definitely hard, and it’s something that you need to practice as much as possible if you want to make a career out of it. If you’re looking for a daily writing practice that will keep your habits sharp, but don’t really want to work on your novel every single day, I’ve got some ideas.
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There’s a pretty deep line in the sand in the writing community between the writers who write every day, and those who don’t. Naturally, I fall right in the middle of that line. (I have this issue with people pleasing and fitting in and just trying to live my life, and like, I write a ton, but not in the way that THEY say you should.)
I’ve seen a lot of writers online proclaim that their resolution for 2019 was to write every single day. But that can be hard when you don’t already have a daily writing practice. It’s with that in mind that I offer some suggests to keep your pen to paper, your hands to keyboard, or your chisel to tablet. (I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one asshole reading this swore by that method of writing.)Daily Writing Practice: Do you make time to write every day? Click To Tweet
Before we get into it, I’m just going to drop a couple of things right here:
I’ve written about good writing routines before, as well as how to build a writing habit. If you’re struggling with making time to write, check out 10 ways to make time for writing. And if you just need to get in the headspace, here’s how to set the novel writing mood.
Daily Writing Practice
A daily writing practice that I’ve recently re-adopted is morning pages. The idea comes from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. And all you do is write three pages first thing in the morning. Admittedly, I don’t write that much. For me, it’s easier for me to write one full notebook page, and then on the back, I write down my goals until the page is full. So, I’m not doing traditional morning pages. And I only started doing this on January 1, so it may be too soon to sing the praises of this practice.
But I will say this. I have done morning pages in the past, and when I was in that habit, I really liked how it made me feel. It’s great to clear your head in the morning, and the more often I do it, the more I feel like I’m ready to work as soon as it’s done. Even with the short amount of time that I’ve been doing it this year, I definitely feel like it’s helped keep me on track. And the bonus is that I’m getting a little bit of writing in first thing in the morning.
Flash fiction is so fun to write, and could easily be a daily writing practice that keeps your fiction muscles strong. Flash fiction has a few definitions depending on who you ask and the submission guidelines from various magazines. But I think a good definition is between 500 to 1,000 words. So, if you can write a full story in that short amount of words, you’ve written a flash fiction story.
It’s worth noting here that this will be incredibly hard if you’re a novelist by trade. You won’t have the time and space to build your scenes, settings, and characters that a novel gives you. But you will find that you get really good at saying what you need to say and getting the hell out of there. Not only is flash fiction a great daily writing practice, it’s a great way to learn language economy.
(Hey! Did you know I post a flash fiction story on my Instagram every Friday? I totally do. And you can swipe through the pictures to read it. And if you want to join in, please do!)
Admittedly, I’m not much of a journaler. I think I want to be the sort of person who leaves a bunch of notebooks for future generations, but then again, I have a tendency to throw away old notebooks. I may someday get into journaling, but honestly, I like the idea of morning pages more so I think I’m more likely to stick with that.
However, if you’re the journaling type, this could be a great way to get some daily writing practice. I think the ritual of sitting down and writing out what happened sounds lovely, and could be a great way for you process your day. Plus, it has the added benefit of allowing you to log some hours writing, which always does great things to increase your writing speed and ability to think out what you’ll write.
It’s no secret that I love to blog. (You are here. At my blog. If it felt like a secret to you, then, like, I don’t know, my guy.) And one thing I like about blogging is that I get to write a bunch of words on one topic. The piece has a beginning, middle, and end, and it’s done and ready for reader feedback quickly. As someone who is working on a novel, the speed with which one can blog is a marvel.
I did some pretty squishy math on the topic, and it looks like last year I logged around 50,000 words on this here blog. (That’s give or take a few, but each post is around a thousand words, and I did like, I don’t know – maybe I wrote about 80 or so and like I said, the math was squishy.) Anyway, the point is, that if you want to get more daily writing practice, get yourself a blog, set a posting schedule, and hit it hard. You’ll build up an online platform in the process, and you get to log some real words.
I am not one for being present. I try. But it’s not necessarily in my nature. There are a lot of things to do, and man, do I come from some anxious, workaholic stock. But I’ve seen a lot of writers and bloggers do a senses inventory. That’s where you take a moment from your day, and write down what your five senses experience at a given moment in your day.
So, this could be a great way to practice writing descriptions. It could be a good way to fill up a journal page. It could be a great blog post where you write about a specific thing you just experienced. It could be a way that you take a moment and appreciate what’s going on at your writing retreat. Or, it could just be a good way to get some meditative time in while you write.What’s your favorite way to get in a little writing practice every single day? Click To Tweet
How Do You Get Your Daily Writing Practice?
Are you a journaler? Do you have a morning page habit? Do you like to post on your blog? Have you ever done a senses inventory? What’s your favorite way to get in a little writing practice every single day? Let me know in the comments!