I need to write every single day.
Everyone's different, I know that. What works for others doesn't always work for me and what works for me won't always work for others.
When I work on a zero draft, or first draft, I work on it daily. But I'm not always working on a draft. Sometimes I'm editing, sometimes I'm on vacation (a real vacation that includes neon coloured drinks with absurd miniature paper umbrellas), and sometimes the minutia of life rises up like a tsunami and sidetracks me.
Even when I don't have a WIP I'm trying to coax from the ether I still write daily. I blog, I do a writing exercise or I work on flash fiction.
The bottom line is that I've found if I don't write every day then it gets more difficult to write when I need to sit down and spend a few hours doing that creative thing writers do where we capture a story and put it into words.
Ways To Write Every Day
After years of writing, I've noticed certain things about myself, my writing routine, and I thought I'd pass them on in case you're one of those people who's a bit like me.
Here are some suggestions for ways to write every day:
1. Write and publish a blog post, even a short one. It can be extremely satisfying to write something, finish it, proof it, and publish it all on the same day, especially if you're used to writing 60,000+ word novels. If you don't have a blogging platform, here are a couple of articles that can step you through choosing one:
- Choosing a Blogging Platform over at BloggingBasics101.com.
- How Do I Start a Blog? over at BloggingBasics101.com.
(BTW, I don't have any sort of affiliate relationship with BloggingBasics101, I just think those two articles have a lot of useful information.)
2. Complete a writing exercise. I wasn't fond of writing exercises until recently but now I'm enjoying them. There's something about completing a short (under 300 words) story--giving it a beginning, a middle and an end and then publishing it as a comment so that others can read it and, if they like, give feedback. It generally only takes me a few minutes. I find it can be a nice warmup exercise for my writing day.
- Writers Write (Google+) has a terrific writing prompt they share every day. (Also, I've begun sharing a daily writing prompt.)
- M.J. Bush often shares picture prompts.
3. Create short pieces of flash fiction and publish them. When I'm not busy writing an early draft of my WIP I try and finish one flash fiction story a week. I'll publish these either on my website or on Google+ (often under a pen name!). I find that doing these pieces as part of a writing challenge really helps me finish them. There's something about a group of people writing at the same time, committed to the same goal, to help keep me on track.
- #SaturdayScenes (Google+). +John Ward started the Saturday Scenes community a few weeks ago. It's a place where folks can share a piece of short fiction (generally under 1,000 words) and read the fiction of others. I've been having a lot of fun getting to know fellow writers and reading their work. I encourage you to check out the community.
We all have scenes we loved but had to cut, or trunk stories that have been gathering dust, #SaturdayScenes is a fun way of getting them in front of readers.
- Chuck Wendig's flash fiction challenges. Every Friday Chuck Wendig puts together a flash fiction challenge that, in some way, relies on random chance. Here are the challenges from the last few weeks: @YouAreCarrying, Bad Parents, Doing The Subgenre Twist, Once Again.
4. Keep a journal. I used to think that my non-fiction writing shouldn't count as daily writing, but that's crazy! As I've mentioned, above, you can blog but you can also keep a private journal. Talk about what you've done that day, or how the weather makes you feel or how Aunt Joan would make a really good murderer. (I'm kidding Aunt Joan, love ya!)
Something I've been meaning to try for years is keeping a fake diary. I'd imagine I'd discovered one of my neighbours is an alien (yes, I've watched The 'Burbs a few times; perhaps a few times too many!). It could be a fun way to get some writing done and perhaps spark an idea or three. (I think I would write, "This is writing practise," above each entry so no one takes me seriously!)
5. Wattpad. I'm playing with the idea of writing a series of flash fiction stories that flow into each other, each forming an episode in a larger story. Perhaps they could be linked by the characters, or the situation or ... well, anything! It would be interesting to serialize something like this through Wattpad.
Question: What do you do to write every day?Photo credit: "Alien Life Of The Party" by JD Hancock under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0.