For a writer, writing daily is an important habit that is endorsed by a multitude of writing professionals:
“I’m a full-time believer in writing habits…You may be able to do without them if you have genius but most of us only have talent and this is simply something that has to be assisted all the time by physical and mental habits or it dries up and blows away. ~Flannery O’Connor
“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”
~ Stephen King, On Writing
“Work every day. No matter what has happened the day or night before, get up and bite on the nail.” ~Ernest Hemingway
“It is by sitting down to write every morning that one becomes a writer. Those who do this do not remain amateurs.” ~Gerald Brenan
“Don’t just plan to write—write. It is only by writing, not dreaming about it, that we develop our own style.” ~PD James
Here are 5 suggestions to help you develop a habit of writing every day.
Morning Pages are three pages of stream of consciousness, written in longhand every morning. They are one of the first exercises presented in The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. The Artist’s Way is an incredible book that I would highly recommend to any creative. In it, Cameron offers a 12 week course designed to ignite or re-inspire your creativity.
You don’t have to have a WordPress blog (or any blog for that matter) in order to take advantage of the daily prompts offered on this site; you could simply write in a journal. The prompts are on a variety of topics, from the fanciful to the mundane.
A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves, has a wealth of information for anyone interested in writing. It offers daily prompts and exercises to jump start your creativity and keep you writing.
Inspired by the famous (or is that infamous) NaNoWriMo held each November, the NaBloPoMo challenge is sponsored by the blogging website BlogHer. Each month offers a different theme and daily prompts. Just like the WordPress prompts, you don’t have to have a blog to participate in this challenge. You can simply use the prompts to challenge yourself to write on a daily basis.
Find a writing partner
There is nothing like being accountable to another writer (provided that other writer is committed to developing good writing habits) for generating feelings of guilt and shame when you don’t put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Just make sure that your writing partner relationship also rewards the daily struggle of attaining that word count or specified number of pages when you accomplish your goal.
I, myself, wrestle with a daily habit of writing, but this post is one more small step I am taking on the road to calling myself a professional writer. If it’s your passion, don’t give up. Keep at it until you find something that works.