How to Start Writing Every Day
Writers know that the only way to keep the ideas flowing is to write every day. Does this sound exhausting to you? There are days when I’m not sure just how I can squeeze any more writing in, but the truth is, you’re probably writing every day and don’t even realize it! Consider the notes you take in class, the messages you send to friends, any time you write in a journal, or make a list. These little moments of writing may not be shining examples of our creative writing skills, but with a little imagination you can make even the most simple writing a fun way to keep from getting rusty. Here are some ideas about how to start writing every day.
1. Find a space where you love to write.
Do you have a little corner at home where you feel like you can write without distraction and interruptions? Can you describe it below? If you don’t have a writing corner, is there a space you can make for yourself? What are the things you would need to help you sit down and enjoy some writing time? Think about tools, but also about how your family can help you take this important time for your writing.
2. Use tools that make you want to write.
For me, there is nothing sweeter than a blank journal with a pretty cover to get my writer senses tingling. Though I do most of my writing on my laptop, I love to plot and scheme and create with good, old fashioned pen and paper. I use colorful writing tools and markers, sometimes I color and doodle while I’m writing. My writing desk is an explosion of pens, pencils, journals, list paper, inspiring images and personal trinkets (like my vintage Strawberry Shortcake doll). What are some tools and special touches you can add to your writing space to make it more fun and inspiring?
3. Find time for writing.
We’re all so busy with school, after-school stuff like sports or classes, family time, friend time. Sometimes it seems like there’s no time left over for anything else. If we challenge ourselves we can always find a little bit more time for writing. Ask yourself the following questions:
How much time would you like for writing during the weekdays?
Do you have time at school for free time? How long and how often? Can you use that for writing?
What other slots do you have in your daily schedule for writing? Here are some suggestions:
– Getting up a little bit earlier in the morning
– Writing on the bus (if this won’t make you queasy)
– Writing on your lunch break at school
– Writing at home after homework (TV and screen time is fun, but it takes away from writing time. At our house, we save it for the weekends)
4. Set daily writing goals.
How much writing would you like to get done each day? It can be really helpful to set a target, and challenge yourself to reach it. You can decide to fill at least one journal page ever day. If you write on a computer or laptop, you can set a daily word count to reach. You can aim to create two or three fun lists each day, or a poem each day. These goals can be posted in your writing space to help keep you on track.
5. Set bigger goals.
Once you get into the flow of writing each day, you can set bigger goals for yourself. Start with a monthly timeline at first, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. For example, I’m aiming for three or four posts each month with my blog. By setting a bigger goal, I’m encouraged to take my daily writing more seriously so I can reach it. Once you’re hitting those monthly goals, you can knock those REALLY big goals out of the park. This year, I’m aiming to get my novel on the road to publishing and off my desk once and for all.
6. Don’t worry about perfection.
Here’s the most important tip: stop worrying about the quality of writing as you write. This is one of the hardest lessons for new writers. Not a single successful writer produces great writing on the first try. That’s why ‘editing’ was invented. We write every day to get the ideas flowing, to get into a practice. Can you imagine putting on skates for the first time and being able to pull off a triple axle? Of course not, that would be impossible. Writing is just the same as any other activity, you have to practice to get good at it, and the more you practice, the better you get. When you get that little voice prickling in your head about your work not being good enough, what can you tell it to make it scram?