09 January 2012

Do You (Or Should You) Write Everyday?


Okay, lately I have been managing to write everyday.
Wow. I mean everyday. Okay, yesterday it was more like a sentence or two...but for the most part, I've been really getting the pages out and it feels good. And the funny thing is, I've noticed all sorts of bloggers reporting their New Year Resolutions, and I thought of the one I usually make during the year and that is...to write everyday.

But this year it was different. I didn't promise to write everyday. Instead, I told myself, I would finish writing my book by the end of February. I came back to a novel I had put to the side for a long time. I started from Chapter 9 around mid-December, and recently I figured out that I have to write a chapter a week to reach my goal...and that means I have a lot of work to do tonight, and tomorrow.

So, to meet my goal, I've had to write everyday - and so far, so good (knock on wood...wait, does formica count?)

Anyways...

So, since Mondays are my..."involve the blogo-/write-o-sphere" in my posts, I thought I would ask the question, "Do you write everyday? Why or why not?"

And you know what? I realized a lot of people write everyday! I'm glad to know that I've been one of "those people" lately too, otherwise I would have gotten madly competitive.

But why?

Here's what everyone said...

1) To release those inner demons

@ALFetherlin said, "I write everyday because I need the release. Writing helps me get my demons. Then, I run after I write. Very theraputic."

I would say every writer has their share of inner demons...or if not demons, troubles, burdens, issues, or just circumstances that get locked in your head and you need to get out of your head for a while...and I can understand the need to release everything, or escape from it. And writing can do that.

2) Habit (and thankfully, it's a good one!)

@BlkHoleSun said, "Yes...it was a personal goal at first, now it's a habit."

I can't say I write because it's a habit...I blog because it's a habit. But for me, since I have this goal in front of me, and I have told a TON of other people, I really want to meet my own expectations. But, writing can become a habit...just you have to get into the habit of it (ha ha).

@LASbauer agreed, saying, "I try to! Sometimes it is the blog of the week, others it is writing fiction, but I try to write at least 10 min every day."

Lately I'm beginning to feel the same way! If I can write at least ten minutes or write a page, I will feel really good.

3) Recognition

@PropheticKleenx admitted, "Yes...I write daily, sadly no one reads me..."

Okay, despite how depressing that is, isn't that why we all write? To be read? Recognized? And sometimes that can be a strong motivator to get our butts in the chair and write.

4) Responsibility

@ebonstorm said, "When I am being responsible, I write everyday just like a job. Its the only way to meet my schedule and responsibilities."

I'm thinking that by approaching writing like a regular job that you must go to everyday (otherwise...you know...you get fired), you end up handling it more responsibily. It becomes more than just a "past time," it becomes a way of life.

5) To Stay Connected to Our Work in Progress (WIP)

@DianaPazWrites told me, "I TRY to write every day, even if it's just an hour before the kids wake..If I don't write, I feel distance from my WIP and I lose momentum. But sometimes I sleep in, and between work, DH, and kids, sometimes I miss my writing time. It happens."

Okay, Diana was one of the first (and only) people who admitted that they sometimes miss their writing time (and me too sometimes!), and I was glad to here that I'm not alone! But she's absolutely right, by writing regularly you do stay connected to the story and what is going on...otherwise (and this has happened to me) you become way lost and completely lose track.

Mari Miniatt (from Google Plus) completely agreed and says, "Write everyday, even if it's only a couple of words. When I have a horrible work schedule, that is what I can do...Days off, I can churn out a couple of thousands of words. If I stop for any length of time (barring sickness), it takes me longer to get back to my creative spark."

...and then I began to realize how important it is to write everyday for that reason alone...because even more people began to agree...

Rebecca Enzor said, "I don't write everyday, but I DO storyline everyday. I think about the story, even if I'm not ready to commit to what I'm mulling about in my head (that can change daily)."



6) Keeping our Writing Muscle Fit

 On Google Plus, Cindy Marie Jenkins, said, "I write for at least an hour every day. In order to stay on target with both work-related writing and my own pursuits, I let that hour be for the pure fun of blogging if need be. I set aside at least an hour to write every day, which always encourages me to continue to finish the work and also to continue writing. I liken it to ballet dancers who go to class or at the Barre every day; keeping the muscles tone makes it easier to "fit in" writing every day."

Exactly! Writing everyday keeps that writing muscle "fit," and it keeps us connected to the process! If you don't move your body, you aren't keeping your heart healthy, and if you aren't writing, you aren't keeping your "muse" or your writing muscle healthy.

7) To Reach Our Goals

James Femmer told me, "I certainly aim for writing every day. My main problem is distractions, as I have ADD tendencies. My best tool against it is music. I will usually create playlists inspired by the characters or scenes in the story I'm writing, kind of like 'if it were a movie this would be the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack'. I put on my earbuds and shut the rest of the world out.

Does writing every day help me? It helps me feel like I'm going to reach my goal eventually. A day I don't write is a day I'm no closer to the finish line. That's what keeps me doing it daily. If I don't I tend to get depressed. Writing is my purpose in life."

Isn't that truth? Writing is [our] purpose in life. We must write everyday and sometimes just knowing we are close to our goal is worth it. I think if i wasn't almost done with the book I was writing, I probably wouldn't have as much gumption, but the end is near, and I'm really glad! So, yes, that can definitely be a motivator to write everyday.

8) Because It's Part of Our Life (And Our Family's Life)

Kai Strand concluded my question with, "I try to do at least a writing related thing each weekday. Marketing, blogging, research for submissions and of course, writing. If I have a classroom visit scheduled, I count that as writing related. I try to do more writing than the rest of it. Really the only thing that gets in the way of that is family. They're always the priority. "
If you are one of the lucky ones and make a living off of what you write, you have a different sort of dedication and that is to keep the income coming in and writing is the only way to do that. Now, this is an inspiration for me to keep it up...


Now, reader, it's your turn...do you write everyday? How come?

Thank you to everyone who responded to my question. Make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus where you can answer my question and I will feature you in my next post! Make sure you check out all of these awesome writers and check out their websites (and Twitter pages!).

26 comments:

  1. There are a lot of great ideas for keeping up with daily writing here. I like the idea of writing because it's our purpose, especially. :) And wow, thank you for using my comments in your blog post! I feel all speshul. <3

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  2. If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing. Writing is such a distraction to my every day work and personal life that I must leave it alone in order to maintain a successful marriage and career.

    Sad, isn't it?

    I only have opportunity to really concentrate on my writing about once or twice per week and that saddens me.

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  3. @Diane
    I too write ALL the time, inside my head and on paper. In midst of a conversation I will yell 'wait, pause' and grab my ever-ready notebook to jot down whatever it was the conversation had just inspired.
    My friends and family are used to my writing out loud. They tolerate it, I supposed, because I can jump right back into the conversation as though I hadn't just been plotting a murder or how to get to the murder.

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  4. Great post! I love how you incorporated all the feedback from other people.

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  5. I loved this post! Writing every day has become natural for me, as I try to keep a pretty strict deadline about getting things finished. It wasn't at first, though, and it took me a while to get into my groove.

    I liked the point you made about releasing our "inner demons." I find that when I write, I feel better. So I guess for me, it is very therapeutic.

    Best of luck getting that book finished!!

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  6. Thanks for quoting me! I have to let you know, I don't always make it everyday, which is why the time limit is so short. I figure I'm more likely to write for ten minutes on those really crazy days, than for an hour. :)

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  7. Nicole,

    Great idea for a blog! I enjoyed reading everyone's responses, too. I try to write daily (I suppose I do if you count e-mailing and blogging). I try to keep a regular journal and it helps to at least get the ideas flowing and the rust out of my brain. If I get distracted by life (like kids, etc) then I am at least thinking about writing. Sometimes I make up dialogue or outline while I'm cooking or cleaning, so really it never shuts off. I suppose I'm constantly writing, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Writing is like breathing, and I just couldn't live without it. Nicole, congratulations on writing daily; it is a great habit to get into.

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  8. Yes! Writing everyday is good for so many reasons. First writing is part of who I am, so if I don't write, I feel off. Second, writing everyday makes me a better writer. Practice makes... better. Third, I get more accomplished writing everyday. Fourth, sticking to a schedule is great for me. I schedule everything. I could keep going, but I think you get the picture.

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  9. I'm writing when I'm not just blogging, or volunteering or taking someone somewhere or shopping or at church or walking or riding my bike or swimming or talking on the phone or taking a shower or cooking a meal or....LOL

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  10. I joined a blog challenge in which I have to write everyday and I thought it was going to be tough. I love it! I find it’s easier to be creative when I'm writing everyday. And now I have the discipline to write even when the writing bug hasn’t bitten me. Great post!

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  11. Hi, new follower from the blog hop. :)

    Looking forward to browsing around. :)

    praisesofawifeandmommy.blogspot.com

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  12. Yay I'm quoted! Thanks for using my feedback.

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  13. I enjoyed reading your post. I find that writing relaxes me. Not sure how good I am at it but still, it is relaxing. I am new follower from blog hop. Hope you stop by for a visit and follow..http://mavesfaves.blogspot.com/ Happy Tuesday

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  14. I would LOVE to be able to write everyday, but I just can't. I just don't have the time. I have a very high stress job, and over a 2 hour commute. I sneak in blogging time during lunch or early in the AM over coffee. But, writting I save for the weekends or down time (like traveling). I usually spend the entire time on planes writting (I still have blog posts from my last flight in Sept). I wish I had more time to write becuase I find it almost like theraphy... and I also am trying to write a book. to make up for my none writting weeks, I force myself to write at least 1500 each weekend day

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  15. i don't write everyday anymore, but i know if i have to i can do it. these days i allow inspiration to move me. but it's a cycle. after a while, either a long or short while, my inspiration seems to dry up. then i sometimes reclaim the discipline of writing everyday. hemingway wrote 500 words a day. jack london did 1,500, i think. writing everyday is only for serious writers, truly.

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  16. I'm not really writing at all at this stage, since I'm in editing mode. But I do edit every day.

    When I write, I tend to write in fits and starts, since I'm a pantser. I need to wait for my muse to catch up with my writing every now and then. ;-)

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  17. @Diana Paz - Aww, no problem! Thank you for responding to my question! I know - the fact that it's our "purpose" sounds so cool, doesn't it?

    @Diane Carlisle - Me too!!! If I don't write, I'll feel guilty for NOT writing...and then that will take up as much head space than if I actually wrote! Yah, although I write everyday, it's a challenge...I'm amazed I kept it up so far.

    @AL Fetherlin - I've done the same!!! I've actually taken words from my family and wrote it down and used it in a story! They are so used to it by now!! :)

    @Tonja - Thank you!! I'nm glad you enjoyed it!!

    @Vicki Orians - It does take a little getting used to, but it's so worth it! It is theraputic, too, isn't it?? Something else takes our brain for a while and that is really nice! Thank you on wishing me luck!! I feel like it will finally be done this year and I'm so glad!

    @Lara Schiffbauer - Thank you for responding! And hey, ten minutes is still something! I wrote two sentences the other day and I counted it as a writing session! :)

    @Lena Winfrey Seder - Thank you, it's been so new to me, I can't believe I've kept up with it. And ALL Forms of writing, even if it's your head or in an email count - it's getting words on paper and keeping that muscle working!

    @Kelly Hashway - Yes, I know exactly what you mean, too! If I Don't write, it feels weird! (And I like practice makes better...we'd all love perfect, but perfect doesn't exist! Better does, though!)

    @momto8 - YAY!!! EXACTLY!!!

    @The Desert Rocks - LOL, I know what you mean!!! ....or paying bills...or doing laundry...or cleaning up...or blogging...etc, etc, etc,. :)

    @Rena J Traxel - Thanks!! And good for you for taking on the challenge!!!

    @Praises from a Wife and Mommy! - Thanks, welcome! :)

    @inurbase - you're welcome! Thank you for responding!!

    @Maves Faves - Thank you for following me! And you're very right, writing can be very relaxing, it's a way of sorting out thoughts and just letting your mind run free for a while!

    @Hilary - WOW, still writing 1500 words on the weekend is awesome!!! That's still a lot!!! And I've been in high stress jobs and those completely take away my ability to write. My job is pretty low stress right now, so that's been why I can write so much! Good for you!

    @Ed Pilolla - I can be the same way. This writing project I have now really has me going, but short stories or very new writing projects can slow down my progress. I'm determined to finish the novel I have now because it's been an unfinished novel for ten years (started when I was 15) and it means a lot to get it done before it becomes the 11 year novel. :)

    @Misha Gericke - Oh good for you for being a pantser!! :) I thought I was, and I can be sometimes, but I do so much better when I plan...even though it takes time. Good luck with your work! :)

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  18. nice post
    new follower of ur blog
    follow my blog
    http://glamorousgirlblog.blogspot.com/

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  19. Great post! I love everyone's follow ups to the post.

    Thank you for stopping by and linking up with the Get Wired Blog Hop. I am following you.

    Have a beautiful day!

    Vickie
    http://victoriasvoice44.blogspot.com

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  20. I find things to write about in nearly every happening throughout the day so if I'm not writing, I'm usually thinking about writing something. One of the things I found interesting above was the guy who listens to music while writing. My husband can do that. In order to write at my best, i can't have any noise in the background. I am too easily distracted so it's tough for me to write unless I tune everyone and everything out in the background. Then it's the same as it being completely quiet.

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  21. I write every day, but I don't "write" every day. I'm between books and aside from the occasional short story, my fictional outlets are limited at the time being, so I try to find other ways to keep the words flowing. :)

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  22. Great reasons and ideas. I don't write every day (work late, cook, spend time with family - not excuses, just reasons). My goal is to write every other day but I have to be in the mood. Sometimes the mood strikes at the worst of times...

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  23. Wow, did this resonate with me! I know I should write every day, I know I feel better when I do - but I don't. I sit and stew and those demons have no release. It's so stupid, I'm like a petulant child, stamping her foot. I will not write, I will not write...

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  24. oh.. and thank you for the great resources!

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  25. Great post, I totally get what you're saying.

    I think I've gotten into the habit of writing everyday without really intending to. It just kinda happened that way. And I'd say that writing everyday is a good thing.

    And actually, I think that just maybe, its something I have to do everyday. This is happened once or twice when I was without a computer or notebook closeby. I can feel myself almost experiencing withdrawal symptoms cuz I need to get away for a couple minutes a day just to write. I can't keep stuff inside, especially when its begging to be written down.

    I think the question to really ask is if you should write everyday, what should you be writing? Is it in general or does it mean writing in the story you're working on or something specific like that?
    For me, it's definitely writing everyday in general, although when I started a short story in December, I forced myself to write something everyday or else the whole thing could just fall apart.

    I'll be sure to be checking into this blog from now. I like what I see 8-)

    those interested, here's the address for mine:

    http://romantasyland.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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