What’s the single most important requirement for being a writer? Being able to write. No special classes, degrees or other qualifications are necessary. If you’re a writer, you write.
To take that a step further, if you’re serious about your writing, you write regularly. Sitting down with your work-in-progress every few months, when you feel inspired, only gets you so far. If you want to make progress with your projects and develop your skills, you need to write on a consistent basis.
What are the benefits of writing regularly, if not every day? Why do so many writers, including big names like Stephen King, Jim Butcher and Julia Cameron, sing its praises? What can regular writing do for you? Let’s break it down.
Benefits for Your Work-In-Progress
Make Strong, Steady Headway
Writing on a regular basis means more progress and an express ticket to a finished product. If you only wrote occasionally, imagine how long it would take you to complete that novel, finish that story, wrap up that screenplay. But if you work on it several times a week, if not every day? Your word count sky-rockets and your pages get polished at light speed.
Case in point: Zoe Ashwood finished one first draft in less than three months and another in less than two after she began writing every day. Congrats, Zoe!
It’s not all about progress though...
Become One With the Words
Writing regularly means that you get to spend more time on a project you love. Submerge yourself in your story world, cavort with your characters, paint magnificent pictures with words, and enjoy the process of writing.
And that’s not all...
Stop Dropping Those Threads
Working on your project often keeps your knowledge of where you are, what you’ve previously written and what you plan to write fresh in your mind. No forgetting details and dropping threads after months of ignoring a story. Woot!
Of course, practising your craft on a regular basis benefits more than just your current project—it also comes with benefits of the more technical variety, benefits that stay with you for the long-haul. Like these...
Benefits for Your Writing
Polish Your Skills
The more you write, the faster your skills improve. Need an example? Compare something you wrote recently to something you wrote a year or more ago. Since you've (presumably) had more practice since then, your understanding and mastery of the craft will have improved as well. Just imagine how much more practice you'd get if you wrote on a regular basis. (Impressive, right?)
Case in point: Since Jennefer Murphy started a daily writing practice, her writing has become far more descriptive and her individual style and voice have really come to the fore. Way to go, Jennefer!
Keep Your Knowledge Fresh
Let’s take the idea of practice to the next level. Just like regular exercise strengthens your muscles, writing regularly gives your creative muscles a wonderful work-out. All that technical knowledge of writing—story structure, plotting, character arcs, grammar and the like—stays fresh too. Remember: A rusty writer doesn't produce the best work, so make sure your skills are well oiled, my friend.
So we’ve covered the benefits of regular writing to your current project and your writing in general—what else is left? Someone you might not expect...
Benefits for Your Life Beyond Writing
Boost Your Well-Being
Writing feels good. Maybe not at the time (it’s not an easy calling, after all), but after you’ve put the pen down or stepped away from your screen, that feeling of accomplishment, of progress, of telling a story you long to tell, imbues your day. And that’s not all. Expressive writing has significant psychological benefits, like an increased sense of happiness and wellbeing, and who doesn’t want that?
Refine Your Self-Control
It takes a lot of self-discipline to write more often than not and it takes an awful lot to write every day, but if you manage it, that comes with some pretty incredible benefits, like providing you with willpower skills that are transferrable to other areas of your life.
Case in point: Before I started writing every day, I could barely motivate myself to exercise once a week. Now my strengthened self-discipline helps me to exercise for an hour, six days a week. Hurrah!
Do You Want to Write More Often?
Then let’s make it happen. If you’re struggling with the daily writing challenge and want to get your hands on the psychological know-how behind habit-building, then you’re invited to the latest class of the Writember Workshop.
What is Writember? In a nutshell, it’s a 30 day course that teaches you how to write every day and tackle the four greatest obstacles that stop writers forging a habit:
- An ineffective routine
- No motivation to write
- A lack of inspiration
- Poor self-discipline
Each day of the workshop, you’ll receive:
- A knowledge-packed lesson, based on one of the above-mentioned themes.
- A downloadable resource to support your learning.
- Actionable tasks to ensure the lesson makes a substantial change in your life.
Ready to make a serious change in your writing life? Take the first step and enrol on the Writember Workshop today.