Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beginning Writers Should Write Every Day

If you're just starting out as a writer, writing at least a little every day should become commonplace for you. This sounds like a lot of work, and it can be, but it's a habit you need to pick up.

Writing is a lot more work than most people commonly believe. It takes a lot of emotional energy, and it takes time to work at the craft and to become better at it. It's also something easy to forget about, to set aside. After all, most beginning writers aren't getting paid anything for their writing. Usually they're slaving away at their own material in hopes it will be picked up by some editor or publisher. Unfortunately, a writer often has to submit an article or story to many editors or publishers before the story is picked up, if it is ever accepted at all. Rejection is common to writers, even the best, and must be dealt with. How to deal with rejection? Write more. You're skills will improve and the more stories you have to submit the better your chances of becoming published.

But why write every day? That sounds kind of drastic, doesn't it? No, not really. If you are a beginning writer, you need to work on building a habit of writing, of how to get into the correction frame for writing. Many professional writers can do this at the drop of a hat by just sitting down at the keyboard. Other writers have to have a little routine to work up to their writing. Maybe they align some pens on a desk before them, or perhaps they read a little from a favorite author. Whatever it is, it helps that particular writer to move ahead with the day's work.

By writing every day, you are helping to build your skills, but more importantly you are getting your body and mind familiar with writing. You are also making writing not seem like so much of a daunting task.

You don't have to start big. Even if you're working on an extended project such as a novel or screenplay, try just writing 200 words a day. That's not much. You could probably scribble or type out 200 words in five minutes or less. Try that for a week. I'd bet at least on one of those days you'll find yourself wanting to write more than that 200 words; you'll feel the joy and urgency of writing more. Allow yourself to. Next thing you know, you've got a thousand words. Maybe 2,000. Or even more. Eventually you might want to work up to writing a thousand words a day, or possibly even 5,000 a day if you have the time and tolerance for sitting and typing that long.

Eventually, perhaps after months or years, you'll find you won't have to write every day. You can skip a day. Or maybe take weekends off. You might even get to the point where you can go without writing for weeks or months at a time, then can jump right back into it with no problems. That will mean you have reached a plateau many wish for.

Keep in mind most professional writers don't write every single day, though they might write often. They have other duties to perform related to their work. They have interviews to attend, book signings, editing to do, and a thousand other tasks. But most professional writers, especially novelists, will have worked out some kind of unofficial schedule for themselves. They might not write this month because they're on a book tour, but next month they'll write five days a week with weekends off. Something like that is a goal you should reach for if you want to make it as a published, professional writer.

Writing can be scary, but by making a habit of it, you slowly remove that fear. That can help you to focus on your writing.

Good luck!

No comments:

Post a Comment