Life gets busy!
One thing that almost anybody will tell a new author is that it is important to write every single day – even if it is not related to your story. Write in a journal, write a short story, or just write down ideas for a story about which you have been thinking.
What if you have no time to write?
I tried to make it a point to write something, anything, every day to make progress towards my story. The problem, though, is that I was going to college full-time while working full-time.
After I would do my schoolwork, I would try to write, but I would not have the energy to write anything productive, or I would want to spend time with my family. If I did force myself to work on my story, it turned out really disorganized. I had a hard time even getting my mind engaged in the story.
I ended up admitting defeat. Although, thinking about it now, the only thing defeated was my own presumptuous goal.
Thinking back on it, I was writing almost every day. Even if it was boring schoolwork, I was writing. And it helped. It helped keep my writing skills fresh in my mind, and it gave me plenty of opportunities to practice writing, grammar, and creating rough drafts.
If you are in a similar situation, do not beat yourself up. Do what you can do, but set realistic goals. I finally caved in and had to put down almost all personal writing projects until I finished school, but I did take all school assignments as challenges to better my writing.
And then, one day, out of nowhere, it was over. That’s right, this wanna-be author is now a college grad. 😀
My first week without school, I had planned on writing a short story, but a mistake made me extremely discouraged (I will write about that in a future blog). And then, I realized how quickly distractions can crop up to keep me too busy to write.
Then, I tried to write every day before bed, and I realized I would put it off until I was too tired to write anything decent. So, I modified my plan again, this time deciding to write as soon as I get home from work and finish dinner. The goal is to just write something I want to write. It could be a paragraph or a few pages, whatever I feel like that day.
Finally, I had made a goal that I could reach, and set limits for myself that would force me to do it everyday, without being a burden.
In five days of writing, I have completed 3,000 words towards a short story. Some days, I wrote for nearly two hours, and other days just for a few minutes – but every day I wrote, and every day I felt accomplished.
There you have it, my latest lesson: Write every day. Make a goal, make a plan, and then adapt those plans and goals until they work. If you slip up, do not beat yourself up over it, just try to write the next day.
What advice do you have about writing daily that you want to share? Leave a comment about it!