A lot of writers will tell you that they write every day. Regardless of quantity, I find this to be very important. Because if you get out of it, getting back in will damn near kill you. Trust me. I know. I’ve just been through the process myself. I’m absolute shit at taking my own advice, as anyone who knows me will tell you. But writing every day is one of the few frequently told tips that’s actually worth a damn.
When you write every day, somehow something changes. I know a lot of writers rely on the muse. And that’s good and bad. Some days you’ll undoubtedly write more than others, depending on your varying mental state. But to borrow a concept from Stephen King, your muse needs to know where to find you. The consistency makes it easier for him or her to keep that appointment. And it makes them more apt to visit you regularly as well. Which helps, even if being that consistent seems like a pain in the balls to actually maintain. It is at first I’m not going to lie to you.
But just writing every day isn’t enough. Writing at a fairly consistent time makes a difference too. It becomes second nature, whether it’s at night, or in the morning, or on your lunch break. I tend to piddle at writing during the day if my workload isn’t too intense. Don’t tell my boss I told you that. Alright, so he probably knows. But I still get up an hour earlier than I have to to be at work on time and write from about 10pm to at least midnight. Some days I don’t get a thousand words out of that time. Some days I can get six or seven thousand. I never know what kind of writing day it’s going to be until it’s over. But that’s okay. Because I know I’m going to write. Regardless of how much, just knowing that is important. You don’t have to pencil it in that way, once it becomes habit. You’re more apt to get more done if it’s habit too.
My quality improves tremendously when I keep a streak going of writing every day. I feel more like a writer when I work at it this much. It feels like a more active part of my life if it’s something I have no choice but to think about every day. Which I sort of do whether I’m writing every day or not, but the amount and depth change depending on whether or not I’m actually going to write that day. The more you do something, and the more actively you do it, the better you get at it. I don’t subscribe to the hour amount that makes you an expert, because that’s not how progress works. Actively trying to get better is what makes you better, not just going through the motions. Turns out, the motions are really boring. And they’ll read that way too.
The more frequently I write, the more in tune I feel with myself, in a sense. With my inner voice. I don’t know if this is a universal thing, but it probably is. Maybe it’s that the inner voice is seeing its way out of me through my narrators and characters. I don’t know. I feel just a little bit less at war with myself, which is kind of nice. I think we could all use a bit more of that, don’t you?