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Writing

How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Nov 8, 2020 • 3 min read

If you’re an aspiring writer, or simply want to become a better writer, developing a daily writing practice is useful for exercising your writing skills but can be difficult to maintain.

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What Are the Benefits of Writing Every Day?

Writing improves with practice, and writing on a daily basis means a lot of practice. When you write every day, you train your brain to think faster and more efficiently, allowing you to put out better writing more frequently. Freelance writing, creative writing, and academic writing can all benefit from the practice of writing daily. A writing routine may be hard work at first, but if you stay consistent, you’ll see your writing skills improve.

How to Develop a Daily Writing Practice

Whether you’re novel writing, creating the first draft of a non-fiction short story, or looking to become a full-time freelance writer, you’ll need to get motivated. If you’re looking to create a daily writing habit and become a more productive and successful writer, here are a few daily writing tips you can follow:

  1. Make a schedule. Calendar in an amount of time every day you can dedicate to your writing life to get into the habit of writing. If you’re serious about becoming a great writer, your writing time should be treated seriously—and a scheduled writing session is the first step in getting into a routine.
  2. Create a space. Give yourself a designated writing space or place where you can focus on the task at hand. A distraction-free zone will work best, but write where you can be comfortable and productive, as it will only serve to benefit your writing process.
  3. Set a daily goal. Start your writing goals small. You could set your goal at five pages, or you could set it at fifty (even famous fiction writer Stephen King only gives himself a daily goal of six pages). Giving yourself a page or word count to meet each day can help you set reasonable expectations for your progress.
  4. Consider it a daily habit. Viewing writing as a discipline can make it feel like a harsh punishment, but considering it a habit—something ingrained in you that you cannot help but do—can get you into the spirit of writing more often. Whether you’re trying to write a number of words in a single day or get as much on the page as you can in five minutes, just showing up to write every day can be enough to get into the habit. You could even try blogging or journaling just to get into the practice of having something to write about daily.
  5. Do freewriting. Sometimes all your writing muscle needs is a little exercise. In freewriting, the writer follows the impulses of their own mind, allowing thoughts and inspiration to appear to them without premeditation. If you find yourself stuck on a writing project, or need inspiration, put your pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and put down whichever words come to mind. Don’t worry about typos, editing, or rewriting during this process, just write—it’s better than staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page.
  6. Try morning writing. Kick-start your writing first thing in the morning—try to get into a new habit of getting in some morning pages before starting your day. Some writers find it easier to get their writing done first, as it completes their goal and frees up the rest of the day for other productive activities (as well as preventing procrastination).
  7. Join a writing group. Writing groups or workshops can give you other people to work with and help hold you accountable. A group can keep you writing frequently by giving out writing prompts, assignments, or just good advice. You don’t have to take writing advice given by others, but feedback can inform or inspire you further in your work, keeping you motivated to become a good writer and breaking through any writer’s block or insecurities you might have.
  8. Be fearless. Sometimes the only thing stopping a writer from writing is themselves. Insecurity and a lack of confidence can lead to inhibition or fear that creates stagnation in your own writing process. When you start writing, keep writing, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. It probably won’t be perfect (or even good if it’s your first time writing), but that’s okay—the more you write, the better you will become.
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