Do You Write Every Day?

Odds are, if you’re an aspiring author, you have probably received (or given) the advice to write every day. There are, of course, many benefits to daily writing: You’re constantly making progress––even if it’s just a tiny bit! Plus, it’s like exercise: The more you do it, the stronger you get.

But admittedly, I don’t write every day. I try to write every day. Sometimes that means I write 1,000 words. Sometimes I just open Scrivener, stare at the document for a while, and end up closing it again.

So, what’s holding me back? I wish I could write every single day, no matter how busy I am. But there are some days when I feel too tired, or I feel like my writing sucks, or I don’t know where to go with the story––or a combination of all these things.

The rational part of me realizes that I should write anyway, even if it’s just two words, even if it sucks. Plus, I feel bad if I don’t write for several days in a row. But sometimes it’s hard to get past that little voice in my head whining about how it’s too hard, how I’ll never finish this story, how I’ll never be “good enough”.

As difficult as it can be, though, I try to conquer those fears every day. Even if I feel stuck, I try to get something down on paper. Some days I don’t. But on the days I do, I always feel good about it, even if the writing isn’t perfect. If anything, at least I’m practicing and (hopefully) improving. I’ve never felt like anything I’ve written has been a waste of my time––because all of it, every single word, has been a learning experience.

How about you guys? 

  • Do you write every day?
  • If you do: how do you do it?
  • Do you have a specific time/place dedicated to writing?

30 thoughts on “Do You Write Every Day?

      1. I have a full time job. I’m also picky about silence when I write. I tend to wake up earlier than everyone else, and manage a couple thousand words before they get up on Saturday. The commute during the week helps me to work out story bugs, that way I’m ready when the weekend comes.

  1. I try very hard to write every day. I’ve missed 3 days since November 1st so I like to think I’m doing pretty well.

    I make myself sit until I write at least something. It might not be much, but I will make myself write at least a sentence before I’m allowed to call it quits for the day. I also have a spreadsheet to track how much I write every day, and post my progress to my blog. Knowing other people will see that I did not write is pretty good motivation to write at least a little bit.

    I don’t have a specific time I write, but I have a playlist I made that I play every time I want to write. My two writing places are at my desk and the right side of the couch. Writing anywhere else feels really weird.

    1. Whoa, that’s an impressive writing streak! I have missed far more than three days of writing in that time, hahaha. That sounds like a good idea … I think I should force myself to at least write a sentence a day. At least that’s better than writing nothing at all.

      I also have a spreadsheet for keeping track of writing progress (I love spreadsheets!) and it does help me a bit. I’ve noticed how you post about your daily writing progress and I like that idea––maybe I will try doing that at some point. I do posts about my monthly progress but maybe that’s not enough, haha. 😀

      Nice! I can write just about anywhere (as long as no one is looking over my shoulder, lol) but I do seem to always gravitate towards one side of the couch, too. 😛

  2. I try to write every day, it’s just not always creative writing. At the very least I’ll journal. Right now I’m using to keep me motivated but I’m 99% sure it’s a 30 day trial… so after that I’ll probably go back to jotting things down wherever. If I’m just on my phone I type into Evernote, which conveniently syncs with my laptop.

    1. I love journaling, and it’s a great way to keep up the habit of writing. 🙂 Lately I’ve at least been jotting down some notes on things that happen each day. I use 750words too––and I think it’s free because I get emails from them every day and it’s been like a couple years now, haha. The problem is I just tend to ignore/delete their emails, though. 😛 Sometimes I just write a paragraph or two on my phone, also, which can be surprisingly helpful!

      1. I saw something on their about page that it became a paid thing in 2013 and anyone who had an account before that point was grandfathered in for free. But I’m not sure if that’s for the whole thing or just certain features.

  3. I can go weeks or months without writing anything. When I’m ready to write, I do it. It really bothers me that there’s such a sense of obligation about it that some authors try to impose. Writing daily is fine if you want to do it and can manage it. Otherwise… I suspect that a lot of the “experts” insisting we write every day are commercial writers who make a living from it and assume that’s what everyone else is trying to do.

    1. There are some weeks/months where I don’t write, either––although I do try to make an attempt every day, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Hmm yes that’s a good point. It’s probably more important to write every day if you’re a commercial/full-time author. Although as an unpublished author, I still find it helpful just in terms of practicing and making progress. 🙂

  4. I write every day, just not in any one project. Between emails at work, plans, schedules, texts, and the blog, I’m constantly putting words to page. Now, about those novel drafts lying around my hard drive, lol…

  5. Jay Argall

    I’ve never been able to write every day. Even during NaNoWriMo, I inevitably end up missing a day or two. I don’t have any specific writing locations, so I end up writing pretty much everywhere I can use my laptop.

  6. I get up at five so I can write. It sucks. I hate it. But I can at least call myself a writer because I am writing. Something. Sometimes it’s just comments on other people’s blog. Sometimes it’s comments on my blog. Sometimes I just get up and watch HGTV because I can’t bring myself to open a document. shrug. But it makes it easier to get up the next day and put something into the laptop.

    1. Wow, that’s some impressive dedication! I think I go to bed too late to pull that off (and I love sleep too much), lol. But I usually don’t have to get up for work until around 9, so maybe if I got up a bit before that I could manage to squeeze some writing in. 😉

  7. I try to write every day but sometimes little dramas and big dramas can mean that i dont even do any editing but I do find that I keep a notebook, okay lots of them, I`m a notebook fan girl. I write in the notebook, little jots or phrases that keep me inspired. Plus I you tube, music is a big part of my writing process and a particular song or playlist will help me get over the mental block that my head puts me in. Every night I go to bed and think what I`ve written is rubbish but I reached the stage now, thankfully, when I tell my head to shut the f up and go to sleep.

    1. That’s a lot of words! I tried to do freelance for a while and I just found it too stressful/exhausting, so I have a lot of respect for writers who manage to do it full-time. 🙂 250 is a good goal; I’ve found that on days I really don’t feel like writing, I can at least write that much. Every little bit counts!

  8. Hi there, I have read a couple of posts on your blog and so far I am loving it. I try to write every day as well. I do not write in one single project every day, but I do complete some kind of writing related activity everyday. I find that having the right atmosphere is important to getting the motivation to write. If I am in a distracting environment, it is nearly impossible for me to make any progress.

    1. Thank you! That’s a good approach … On days when I feel really stuck, I try to at least do some kind of journaling, brainstorming, outlining, and/or research. At least those things help me to keep my writing in mind, even if I’m not actively adding to my WIP. And I agree, environment definitely plays an important role!

  9. I don’t write every day. I have in the past, and it’s wonderful. But I need to continue editing my novels. I already have eight of the silly things, and they need to be published. Otherwise, at least for me, this was merely an exercise in self-indulgence.

    I have, however, set myself a goal of blogging a new short story every Monday.

    Today I spent a lot of time thinking of plots and characters. I’ve got two stories percolating as a result of this, and that’s important, too. When I finally sit down to write it, hopefully it will explode out of me.

    I’ve done it the other way, too, grinding it out because, y’know, I’m a grown-up and all. And that’s productive to a certain extent.

    But you can burn yourself out, forcing yourself. I know because I’ve done it.

    I think the important thing is to find what works for you. And that will change from time to time.

    Don’t force yourself to anyone else’s schedule. Find what works best for you, and realize that this will change from time to time. 🙂

    1. I also have a problem where I write too much and don’t edit enough. I’ve written 9 books and I’m nearly done with a 10th––but of all those books, none of them are fit to be published. 😛 I always seem to give up somewhere in the editing stage because I get too frustrated. Hopefully that won’t happen again with my current WIP.

      You’re right, thinking about your story and planning it are very important, too. And I agree, it’s important not to burn out by overwriting.

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