Monday, July 14

4 Ways To Write Every Day

4 Ways To Write Every Day


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.

Writing Daily


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

That's it! 

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.

11 comments:

  1. But what to write on blog about _every day_? :)
    That seems almost imposible, more if we speak about good quality :)

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    1. Personally, I think that the more one writes the more one can write.

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  2. I love these suggestions! I've been keeping a journal (on and off) since I was a teenager. And about 10 or so years ago I started a dream journal as well. So many of my stories start as dreams. A few weeks ago I found Writer's Write prompts and found them useful. Btw, I like the fake diary idea. I might try that! It sounds like something fun to play around with! :)

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    1. Thanks Tricia! Sorry for not responding to your comment earlier, my spam filter got hungry and decided to hide your comment away for a late night snack.

      A couple of my stories started out as dreams too, and I do so want to keep a dream journal, but when I wake up I feel SO SURE I'll remember my dreams I don't write them down and then--of course!--I forget them. I admire your dedication.

      If you keep the journal I'd love to read any story that comes from it. All the best!

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  3. Karen, I agree with you that writing everyday helps one write better, although I haven't been consistent with doing it. Thanks for posting mentioning the flash fiction sites. I will check them out.

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    1. Thanks Maria, please do!

      I've found that, yes, writing gets easier the more one does it (* knock no wood *) but also that if you surround yourself with folks who write a lot, that makes it easier too.

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  4. I have written my comment in spanishi.Sorry!
    Thank you very much for your post,I finfit very interesting.

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    1. Thanks Beatriz! I love Spanish, such a beautiful language. I appreciate your comments. :-)

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  5. Thank you for these suggestions!

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  6. Karen, you've done a wonderful job helping bloggers find inspiration to keep writing every day. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I appreciate your fresh perspective here. I've also put together a piece to elicit more blog post ideas so bloggers can keep writing consistently! http://www.onblastblog.com/151-blog-post-ideas-to-blast-off-your-blog/

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    1. Thanks Patrick! Those are wonderful tips, thanks for sharing.

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