Writing every day doesn't really seem like a challenge, does it? Not until you actually make a goal to sit down and do it.
For 2017, I set a goal to write 600,000 words in a year. That's a lot of words. And it requires me to basically write one NaNoWriMo every month. Looking at it that way, it's incredibly overwhelming. Even breaking it down into 10,000 word short stories, I still have to write five of them.
Why did I do this to myself again?
However, as of Saturday, I am at 22,000 words for January. That's considerably more than I thought I would have by now, thanks to rewriting and editing portions of short stories to post on Wattpad.
I thought I'd share what has worked for me to help me get to writing every day (or, at least a few days a week).
1. Set a routine.
The most important thing for writing, for me, is to have a routine. As an example, I write most of my blog posts on Saturday and Sunday mornings; if I don't have my week scheduled out by then, most likely, it's not going to happen. (Prime example, this post was supposed to go out last Friday.) I tend to write more in the evenings as well--especially after 6 or 7pm. (This may be because that's when my son goes to bed!)
2. Make yourself accountable.
Accountability is a big thing. If you want to write 1,000 words a day, you need to hold yourself to it: no procrastinating, no getting out of it. Be accountable for how much you're writing and notice the patterns that form when you decide not to.
That all being said, accountability means more than just making yourself write. It means being kind to yourself. Having a hard time? Not enjoying the story you're writing? Then, why do it? Seriously. If you hate it, fix it. If you need to take a day off, take a day off--but be ready to jump right back into it.
3. If you don't feel like writing, editing is a good fall back option.
There have been a few days (probably half of January, actually) where I just didn't want to write. So I worked on editing and rewriting portions of my NaNoWriMo novel! Writing from scratch is a mentally exhausting activity. So when in doubt, I work on editing something I've been working on for a while; it still accomplishes the task of "writing," but without the mental fatigue.
4. Start as many works as you need to.
Right now, I have about five short stories I'm working on. That seems like a lot, right? But I find that I need variety when it comes to writing. Also, I always get a really good idea once I'm running out of mental steam for what I'm working on. (Sort of like during NaNoWriMo, I always get about 100 better ideas for novels...) I let myself start a new story--or a new outline, if that's what I want to do--in the middle of working on something else, if only for the fact that it helps me actually get to writing.
5. Tell your friends.
Tell your friends, or your family, or your dog, that you want to write more. Ask them to talk to you about it. If you don't have friends or family that you want to talk to about writing (trust me, I understand), tell Twitter! Or Instagram! Writing communities on social media can be some of the most supportive, amazing communities out there. Community support will help you achieve your goal, because nothing is better than support.