Write Every Day

I do a lot of work with self-improvement and creativity in and around my website at [chrisbrogan.com], and one really common "wish" I hear from friends and readers is constant: "I wish I could have the energy [ability/ skills / ideas] to write every day." Congratulations. I've granted your wish. Gather close. I'll tell you the secret. This is it. I won't mess with you.

The secret to writing every day is to write every day.

Let's look at the problems or the excuses or the reasons why people claim they aren't able to achieve their goal of writing every day. Time ranks first and foremost on most people's list of reasons why they can't write every day. They seem to never find time. You want time? Here's some time.

  • Cut back (stop!) watching TV.
  • Get your groceries delivered for $5 a week.
  • Give a kid $20 to mow the lawn.
  • Quit a few other pursuits (World of Warcraft, bowling team, online poker).
  • SCHEDULE time (harder to mess with time you've set aside).

Lack of talent, skill or ideas always follows "time" for excuses people tell me why they don't write daily. It's funny how this works: writers complain that they're not skilled enough writers, so they refuse to practice because they can't see their writing improving. When I don't put gasoline in the tank, my car stops working. Can you see the similarity in the arguments? Here are some tips for building your ability, your skills, and for finding ideas.

  • Read every day, not just in your genre or subject.
  • Write at least three paragraphs a day of total and utter bull5h!t. You now have permission to write the WORST story ever, a few paragraphs at a time. Or the worst article, or the worst business plan.
  • Copy pages from authors you love. Type from their page onto your screen and as you do, think about the way the sentences feel to your fingers and your eyes.
  • Pay attention to news related to your writing.
  • Befriend weirdos that like to talk. Their stories are your stories. (Poach with honor and ask them first).
  • Bring new subjects to the table daily.
  • Write angry! Write about what pisses you off.
  • Pretend you're someone else, and write from that perspective.

Most of the limitations and problems and reasons we put upon ourselves with regards to our lack of ability or time (or your excuse here) with writing are really just excuses. You are a writer and you're writing, or you're not a writer, and you're buying books on how to be a better writer. Writing is a verb. In fact, most of the things we want to do, and do more are usually verbs. Think about that for a moment. Verbs DO things. If you're passionate about writing, then write. If you're a reader who thinks you're a writer, you'll find your peace with that eventually, too.

And don't forget to consider the fact that what you love to read may not be what you were meant to write. I love stories that I'm not capable of writing. In fact, part of what draws me to them is that very truth. I can write articles about productivity all day, and yet, I'm not a big fan of most of the productivity literature out there. Write from your passion and the details will often find their way to solution, one way or another.

The secret to writing every day is to write every day, even if it's only to copy that sentence over and over for 20 minutes until inspiration hits. All the time you spend on other things is just that... time not spent writing. Writers write, and so should you.

--Chris Brogan writes far too much in a given day, splitting his efforts between here, [chrisbrogan.com], and Lifehack.org. He writes every day.

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Great tips

Hi chris

Great article, and some good tips here that I've never heard before. Everyone writing on this topic says you need to write every day. I've never heard anyone suggest that you copy a page from a book, use someone else's story, etc. before. But if it's just for your own personal "day notes", why not? Thanks.

--
Neal | http://porkpop.blogspot.com/

... and the sam e applies to

... and the same applies to sketching, drawing and painting! :)
I second every sentence you write!

Jester

Imagination is intelligence having fun!

On writing every day

I set a goal to do this two years ago. Simply put my goal was to write one page every day. It wasn't easy. Many days I would be running mad all day long and all night long with my day job and family etc. I would look at the clock and see 11pm staring back at me realizing I had yet to write. I wrote many pages late at night sitting on the edge of my bed because I was serious about this goal. Yeah, I wrote a lot of trash, but I trained myself to write every day. Now I rarely miss a day, and when I do I try not and obsess too much about it. For me the secret was setting aside a time and place to write each day. I found I could train myself by doing that to "be creative" almost on demand. The other thing that helped was starting a blog. That forced me to write something that I considered good enough to share and post it each day.

IMO there is no secret here. Like anything else in life you decide to do it and hold yourself accountable. If you slip up and miss, acknowledge the slip and start in again. Good old fashioned discipline and hard work.

That's just my opinion though. I could be wrong, right?

Daily writing

I used to write daily in my Morning pages journal, a technique for overcoming artist's block I readily learned from a book called "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron.

When blogging took off on the web, I found that writing on my daily photoblog (Picture of the Day) was even more rewarding, because suddenly there was a readership out there. Interaction, through commenting, has regularly provided me with useful feedback.

Peter Bryenton
http://www.brypix.com

your perspective on organizing

Interesting that I found your post on www.diyplanner.com

I am looking for ideas on how to organize my writing. I find that I like to write across four or five different areas (business, personal, lifes observations, family expereinces, etc) One day I write on one subject, the next day I feel compelled to write on another. Do you do anything to keep subject matter related writings together or do you just keep a chronological journal and search for it later as you try to piece prior writings together.

Any software solutions for this ?

write what you know most about

I initially started my blog only as a therapy after I moved to a different city and didn't have any friends nearby. It was mainly freestyle: I wrote what was on my mind. When a lot of people, some of whom I don't even know, started to visit and became regular readers, I decided I had had enough of writing about my lovelife and wanted to be more pertinent. My work is in editing and publishing, so I wrote mostly about my projects, injecting some relevant personal posts from time to time, on parenting, cooking, and other hobbies.

i need to know abt online dairy

Hello Chris,
i used to write dairy.. because of some problems stoped it.just know i read this.i am refreshed with ur words u know..i want to write online dairy ie , not in any book..i want to maintain online dairy..can u suggest me ..
good time
kiran.