What do you think about writing 500-800 words every day? I’m not talking about sending 25 emails or dozens of tweets. I’m talking about cold, hard words on paper.
If the idea of writing every day scares you, that’s totally normal. It’s hard to write every day! But the more you do it, the better you’ll become. And, eventually, you’ll be able to hammer out a quality blog post in under an hour.
[Tweet “Like any skill, practice makes perfect. The key is committing to writing each day.”]
Here are my tips for how to commit to writing every day:
Be Strategic About When You Write
Your creativity will ebb and flow throughout the day. There are times when you will fly through a post, and times when you’ll just stare at the screen. Understand your patterns and schedule time to write accordingly.
Personally, I am most productive in the morning. I save all my heavy writing for 8am-12pm, and I reserve the afternoon for editing, research, analysis, and more administrative tasks. I’ve learned the hard way that I just can’t write a new blog post at 4pm.
Start with the Middle
We’ve been conditioned to start a post by writing the beginning. Makes sense, right? Well, the introduction can sometimes be the hardest part to write. And, there are times when you just won’t be able to write the introduction without doing the research and seeing where the post takes you.
For the majority of blog posts I write, I never start with the introduction. I start writing the meat of the post. I begin with the bullet points, the tips, the data; whatever the post is actually about. Then, I’ll go back and write the introduction.
Try Free Writing
If you only need to publish two blog posts a week, you may be wondering what else you’re going to write about on all those other days. You don’t really need to be writing about anything specific at all. The point is simply to write, not to produce a masterful blog post each and every day.
Free writing is powerful exercise to improve your writing skills. You have to write nonstop for a certain amount of time (it’s important that this exercise has a time constraint). The goal is to keep your pen moving. You could write about what you’re thinking, how your day is going, what the weather is like. And if you run out of things to write about, you can write about how you don’t know what to write about! Seriously.
If you’re new to free writing, start with a five-minute exercise. Then work your way up.
Know When to Stop
There will be a time when you’ll run into a wall. Where you’ll feel like there is nothing happening upstairs. This happens to every writer, but the key is to recognize it and just stop writing. If you force yourself to continue, you’ll become angry and waste your time.
I can’t tell you how many times I stare at a blank page in the afternoon, with no idea what to write. Then, the next morning, I bang out 300 words in twenty minutes. The next time you can’t find inspiration, step away and do something else instead. Come back to your writing project another time.
Like anything, writing gets easier the more you do it. You may have to force yourself to put pen to paper (or put fingers to keyboard?) in the beginning. But, after a few weeks, you’ll fall into a rhythm and understand what you need to write more efficiently. Some may need complete silence, while others may need music. Some may write in the morning, while others may write at night. There is no right or wrong way for writing every day, as long as it works for you.