By: Charlotte Rains Dixon
So, you have a book…or an article…or a story that you’d like to write. (Right? Because otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.) And you need to get that book finished, that story done. How to accomplish such a thing? How to make room in your schedule to get it written?
To my mind, there are two ways to get your writing done, and writers fall naturally into either group, because of need or temperament. I have strong opinions on which works best. But if there’s anything I’ve learned in fifteen years of teaching writing and nine years of blogging, it’s that there’s not one way that works for every writer. The best I can do is offer options and opinions and let you figure it out for yourself.
The first group, and I count myself among them, are those writers who prefer to write every day, or as close to it as possible. The second group write in great chunks of time as their schedule allows. Let’s look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.
If you’re at all like me, you prefer this schedule. Aiming for writing every day means you’ll hit at least five days of the week, right? This is the standard advice that most of us preach, I think with good reason. Such as:
–This schedule is the best way to get and maintain momentum on a project. If you’re writing every day, you watch your word count grow regularly, which is hugely encouraging.
–Your story stays in your head. I don’t know about you, but my brain is so full of random bits I’ve picked up lord knows where that I lose the train of story very easily. If I’m writing every day, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time I sit down to write. This story is right there, waiting for me.
–You don’t even have to write a lot to pile up the pages. If you manage to eke out three pages a day, that’s 90 pages—a third of a novel—at the end of a month.
–Your writing will become more facile. The more you write, the easier it is. Writing is like anything else: the more you do it, the more adept you become at it. And if you’re writing every day, you’ll hone your skills quickly.
–You will learn more about writing more quickly. As above, the more you write the more you realize how much you don’t know—and what you need to learn. Writing every day helps you learn it.
–There’s magic in making a daily commitment. There just is. You begin to take yourself, and your writing, much more seriously.
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