One of my goals this year was to write everyday. I didn’t make this a goal because I thought to be a writer you MUST write everyday, but I wanted to instill the habit. I wanted writing to more a part of my daily life. So I worked hard at this this year. And I have to say I was pretty successful! I gave myself a little star everyday I wrote. It’s the little things.
In the end did I write every single day? No. But nearly. And I learned some things I thought I’d share.
- Not everyday was going to be long novel writing session. It just wasn’t and that was okay. In fact these days might have been even more important. Some days, I did a free writing session in my journal (sometimes including my kids when I knew I wouldn’t have time alone that day). Sometimes I wrote blog posts or letters too.
- Not everyday was going to be great writing session. In fact they could really suck. Some days I sat down and typed out two hours worth of crap and I’m not just being hard on myself. It’s true. It wasn’t good. At all. BUT I had many more good writing sessions then bad. Writing everyday definitely improved my average.
- (For the most part) There is always time everyday to write. Even if you have only 15 minutes to freewrite. You can find the time to make new words. Time became easier to find as the year progressed and my habit grew.
- Writing became a priority. For better or worse, writing became a priority in my life this year. This is exactly what I wanted. Every week I planned out my next week. I usually wrote at night, but if I knew I had evening plans I’d schedule writing time during the day, on my lunch hour if I had to.
- I had to switch up my view. Writing so much I couldn’t just write on my couch everyday. I wrote outside the house at least once a month: coffee shop, park, museum. I loved these days.
- My instincts are getting better on first drafts. In the past year, I finished a first draft and started another and practice does make perfect (or at least better).
- The meaning of writing stretched…. Confession: Do grocery lists count as writing? Just kidding. (Though, man, I wish it did sometimes) On the days I really didn’t feel like writing, I wrote a letter to someone. “That is writing, right?” I told myself. But get this, I wrote some damn good letters! I treated them like a writing sessions.
- There were days I REALLY didn’t want to write, and those were some of my best writing sessions. Those days I made myself write anyway (because I wanted that damn star) and it was mind-blowing how productive they were. The brain is an interesting place.
- There are some days where not writing is okay. It’s more then okay actually sometimes it’s necessary. To take in life, to just experience, to just be, to refuel.
I don’t think it’s about writing everyday, but I’m glad I did it. The habit is there now. It sharpened my skills and made writing a priority. But there are days days I just need to think. Just experience and maybe just listen. And then write the next day. But maybe not. But I know this, if I miss a day of writing, I feel it. I ache for it. I need it like air.