So many people get overwhelmed when someone gives them the advice to write every day. It can be overwhelming if you are thinking you have to write some brilliant sonnet every day to be a real writer. For me, however, this advice simply means that you should practice writing every day in some form or another.
Do I work on a novel or a play or a poem every day? No. Do I write in my journal every day? Most days, but not every day. Do I write every day? Yes, definitely. And some of you are probably writing every day, too, without realizing it.
Blogging and Social Media Count
If you are spending time thoughtfully constructing sentences, organizing information, re-reading, and editing, you are practicing the craft of writing. It doesn’t matter if you do this in your journal, on Microsoft Word, or on Facebook. I wouldn’t say all social media updates qualify as practicing writing, but certainly, you’ve spent an hour drafting an e-mail or an hour writing a blog. These things count!
The Benefits of Journaling
You may not be writing something creative or even revising or working on your technique. However, writing \ a list of the events of the day and how you felt about them or even some stream of consciousness about how much you love cereal can certainly help. When we journal, it not only helps us become better writers, but it helps us to be able to organize the information in our heads. Some people journal who don’t even like creative writing, and that’s simply their tool to process the world, like therapy. It’s good for your soul. I’ve been journaling obsessively since I was 11 or 12, and it has helped me tremendously. If nothing else, I never look at a blank page or blank word document and come up short. I can always write something. And even if it’s not very good, it’s a lot easier to work with words that suck than no words. It’s hard to make a sculpture with no materials to start with.
Short Exercises Help
Even if you don’t have time to write 20 pages every day, I am sure you have 15 minutes on your lunch break or in the morning to do a quick 400-word writing exercise. Jot down a conversation between two people. Write about a cool location you’d like to visit. Write about your favorite movie. Write a CD review. Write about your favorite celebrity mullet. It doesn’t matter. No matter what you write, you can practice writing every day, and it doesn’t have to be difficult or overwhelming. When you do practice writing every day, that will make working on that great American novel even easier when you get around to it. 🙂