Not all the time, but it will happen. And it’s okay.
One of the best pieces of advice experienced writers give new writers (and remind each other) is to write every day. Every. Single. Day. One of the barriers to writing every single day is thinking that all that content, all those words, will to be put together into brilliant pieces of work.
“Just remember that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”Stephen King, ?on Writing
You will, as sure as the Sun rises and sets, write some stinkers. I have more than a few posts (in the 2500+ on this site alone) that just plain suck. The trick, and something that I remind myself of too, is writing a stinker is just how it goes. Everyone had bad writing days—everyone—and the faster you become okay with it, the faster your writing will improve.
I am far from hitting the goal of consistent daily writing. I go in fits and starts of writing every day for a week or three, then I hit a dry spell or get busy or any of the other myriad excuses I tell myself, I and I stop. However there are some ways to make daily writing easier—and better.
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”Stephen King, ?On Writing
6 tips on writing better
These are a few of the things I do to make a daily writing habit easier to stick with. None of these are hard. None of these need fancy stuff. They are part mindset, part preparedness, and part sticking with it.
Keep a notebook and pen with you all the time
If there is one thing that many great writers (and composers) did was to carry a notebook and pen with them all the time. You don’t have to have a fancy notebook or special pen. Any small notebook will do. Field Notes, Leuchtturm1917, and Moleskine are all great notebooks, but even a small spiral notebook or few pieces of paper folded and stapled together work great. For pens, I like something I can carry in my front pocket, whatever you pick, just carry it. If this doesn’t work for you, even the Notes app on your phone will work. I jot post ideas on my phone in the middle of the night when I can’t reach a notebook. The goal here is something to use all the time, not fancy, not complicated, just consistent.
Have an idea jot, it down
Think of something. Open your notebook, Write it down. That’s it.
Don’t edit ideas in your notebook
Let these ideas stand as they are. Think of them as delicate post/idea seedlings. Your ideas need time to grow and mature before you can use or edit them. Be patient, the ideas aren’t going anywhere.
Need an idea, check the book
This is where your notebook comes in. When you need an idea, open your notebook and flip through the ideas and part posts you’ve jotted down.
“The scariest moment is always just before you start.”Stephen King, ?On Writing
You don’t have to finish all your posts
Not all posts are worth finishing or ready to be finished. It’s okay to leave a post incomplete and unpublished. You might get back to it later or use parts of it for another post.
Be able to write in more places
I wrote this post sitting on the couch using my iPad with a Bluetooth keyboard. Sure my MacBook Air is easier, but needed to be more portable this morning. You can write in iOS Notes or Evernote or Ulysses (my choice) so you can sync your writing between devices. There’s no point in writing something on your iPad if you have to retype it on your laptop when you want to use it.
How do you keep writing?
Beyond sheer force of will, how do you keep your writing mojo going? What are your tips for keeping a daily writing habit? I’d love to hear your tips…especially so I can keep my own daily writing going.
You’ve noticed that I use a lot of quotes from Stephen King’s On Writing. This is no accident. It’s a great book. I read it on Scribd, and it inspired my writing—fiction, nonfiction, and business. I would put it on your reading list and read it. Now would be a good time.