You’ve decided that you want to become a professional writer. Now what? It’s so simple even the smartest folks overlook this crucial first step: write every day. Whether you write fantasy or nonfiction, there’s nothing magical about making it in the writing industry. There’s only the hard work of putting pen to page (fingers to keyboard nowadays). Find out why in this piece.
Why Create a Daily Writing Practice?
There are a few crucial gifts a daily practice can give you that are essential to becoming a professional writer.
Perhaps you love the process of writing. You may even get a rush of adrenaline when inspiration hits. On these days, you can sit down for hours letting the words pour out of you. But what you should know and have probably already realized is that writing isn’t all fairytales and flowers. If you want to get paid for your work sometime in the near future, creating a daily writing practice will help you understand the amount of time, effort, and patience that takes. The results will be one of the following.
- You’ll LOVE it. Despite the difficulties and challenges of sitting down and painstakingly putting word to page every single day, it’s completely worth the effort and you are ready to commit.
- You’ll HATE it. The thought of doing this for work KILLS your joy. You don’t want to be bound by commissioned titles or editor critiques. You just want to have fun!
- You’re good at it. Even though your heart doesn’t melt at the idea of a career in writing, you’ve got the skills and can see yourself making a decent living.
Ultimately, whatever you decide will be based off of your experience WRITING. You must try in order to know.
An ideal writer life would include a muse that sprinkles you with inspiration on a daily basis. Unfortunately, inspiration is the exception rather than the rule. Seasoned writers have a running list of content topics that usually stems from research, random thoughts, or personal experience. Your daily writing practice is your opportunity to make note of all this, mull over topics, create outlines, and sometimes begin fleshing things out.
Honing Your Craft
The old saying that “practice makes perfect” is a timeless piece of advice. The more time you put in to hone your writing, the easier it will be for you to write great content in the long run. The bodybuilder trains daily to sculpt her physique. You must do the same when it comes to your books, your blogs, and your copy. Not only will your writing get better. It will also take less time to complete than when you first began.
HOW TO CREATE A DAILY WRITING PRACTICE
Thankfully, there’s a way to create a daily writing practice that not only lets you decide if writing is the path for you, but also helps you figure out how it will fit into your life.
Create a Mini Writing Challenge
Choose a stretch of time, such as one month or as little as seven days to see if you can sustain a daily writing practice. This time will serve as a kickstart to your writing habit. At the end of the period, you can choose to do it again for the same amount of time, extend it, drop it, or make a full commitment to becoming a writer.
Look for holes in your schedule. If you have a day job or other responsibilities that require your attention, you must find space in your schedule to write. Use your lunch hour, spend some time before bed, or get up early. It doesn’t matter if you pencil it in or simply steal away during unscheduled time. Whatever works for you is fine, as long as you get it in!
In the beginning, keep it simple. Don’t try to write your novel or create intelligent blogs. Just write whatever comes to mind. Think of it as a daily writing journal where you can talk about anything and everything. This is your chance to start your writing path on a positive note, without any critics, without having to be good. Later, if you do decide to move forward with a career as an author, you’ll have the foundation and the confidence to do so.
If you don’t know where to start, start with “I don’t know what to write…” Any little bit counts. As noted above, it will get easier as the days pass.
START WRITING TODAY
If you’re seriously considering a career in writing, there’s no reason to hold off any longer. Either you will succeed or you won’t, but you won’t know until you start writing. Create your daily writing practice in order to find out.