How I Find Time to Write Every Day | PROBLOGGER WRITING CHALLENGE

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If you’re a semi-regular reader, or if you’re a follower on any of my social media accounts, you’ve probably noticed something about me: I write. A lot. Like, every day.

I suppose that’s not an entirely unique quality for a writer to have. But I’m sure, for some who do follow me, it’s annoying. Or weirdly inspiring. Or I’m just putting words in your mouth again. Sorry, my bad.

Maybe you’re one of those who wonders how I do it—write so much, I mean. Honestly, I’ve been waiting for the chance to let you in on a few of my secrets. Once again, Darren Rowse has pushed that door wide open. Today, I’ve been challenged to be honest. To show you how I balance my life as an aspiring, apparently prolific writer with, well, everything else.

I create a schedule, so I know what’s coming when 

It’s not easy to wake up and decide you’re going to write an article, a blog post and a few good tweets (what? That takes some effort). Sometimes you just don’t feel like it. Honestly, lately, I haven’t felt like it at all. Yet I still post here daily, among other things. So what’s my strategy for overcoming the “I don’t feel like writing” mindset? Planning ahead. Come on, you knew that was coming.

I plan my weeks out every Sunday night. I know when I have an article due and I make sure to work on it multiple days in a row, a little at a time, if I know I’m going to be swamped with other projects. I have some specific days on Novelty Revisions dedicated to specific topics (i.e., Solution Saturday, discussion days and my midweek novel updates). I always try to write 1,000 words of my book. I make sure I know what’s coming every day so that I’m ready, and motivated, even when I’d rather be doing something else. 

I write a little in a lot of different places

I’ll admit, it does get boring, writing what feels like the same thing over and over again. I don’t think I would be able to keep up a daily blog and make steady progress on writing a novel if I only stuck to those things, never branching out to do anything else.

So I try to contribute regularly to multiple publications, such as Lifehack and College Lifestyles (I don’t write as much there lately, but I’m behind the scenes, trust me). Basically, I write anywhere I can, as often as I can. Does that take a lot of time? Of course. But it’s a lot easier to write a few paragraphs for one article, switch over to some fiction writing and then move on to pitching some new ideas somewhere else than it would be to just focus on one thing. I get a lot more done that way, and I’m less likely to suffer a gap in my productivity. 

I make it a priority

“I’ll just write it later” is not a phrase I allow myself to use very often. Yes, school and work, relationships, keeping up with too many YouTube subscriptions—that’s all important. But writing is always near the top of my prioritized to-do list, if it’s currently not holding the top spot.

If you want to be a writer, that’s just what you have to do. Look at John Green: he just started a social media hiatus to focus on writing for awhile. WHO DOES THAT? Someone dedicated to their work. Someone who recognizes how important it is. I live by the same philosophy—no, I won’t be going on a social media hiatus anytime soon. But my writing is like work to me. I do it every day because it is just as important to me as school or family or friends.

If I have something temporarily more important to do, like study or go watch a soccer game, most of the time, I’ll put my writing aside for the time being. That might mean staying up later to get it done last, or waking up earlier to get it done first. It is that important to me.

It’s not about writing when you feel like it or when you have a free moment. It’s about finding time to write regardless of what else might be going on. I find time daily. That probably aggravates some people. Fine. It’s not going to stop me from writing as often as I can, and you shouldn’t let anything stand in your way, either.

Maybe writing every day isn’t your thing. That’s okay. But once it becomes a habit, it’s kind of hard to function without it.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.

At 70,000 Words, I’ve Learned a Few Things About Writing Daily

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It’s very rare that I self-implement a goal to write every day when it’s not November or July. But that’s what I’ve been doing over the past month or so: writing daily, working on a novel I started brainstorming three years ago.

I just passed 70,000 words today, and yes, I’m exhausted. It has not been an easy journey. Sometimes I just want to take a day off.

But I don’t. Because even though there are days I hate what I’m writing and I just want to do something else instead, there are also days I’m reminded why I write as often, and as much, as I do.

I’ve learned a few things since I started writing daily. I wanted, in my current state of mental exhaustion, to share them with you.

 1. The 1K you wrote today might be harder, or easier, than the 1K you write tomorrow.

There are days you’ll crank out a thousand words, or whatever word or page count goal you’ve set for yourself that day, before you’re ready to stop writing. Those are the days you have to train yourself to hold back, to move onto another priority and save the next chapter for tomorrow.

Then there are some days working toward your goal is almost painful. You might struggle to punch out every single letter of every single word you write. But getting through those days is ten thousand times more satisfying than the easy days. If writing were easy all the time, you might not find as much fulfillment in it as you do right now.

 2. Some days, meeting your goal will take you 30 minutes; other days, it will take you three hours.

Making time for writing can actually be considered a skill we can all work on refining as we embark on our respective writing journeys. It’s hard. Some days, though, you’ll sit down to write 500 words and do it without looking at your clock once. These days, it’s easy to check writing off your to-do list and (hopefully) move on to the next task.

This won’t always happen, though. There will be days you write 50 words, check Facebook, watch five YouTube videos, write 100 more words, check your email, feed your cat, maybe even forget about going back to writing. It doesn’t all have to happen at once, but sometimes when it doesn’t, the struggle is real and it’s starting to bring you down. Expect to have these days. Plan for them. If you don’t end up meeting your goal for that day, it’s okay. Try again tomorrow.

 3. There will be days writing does not feel like work. Embrace them.

When you’re first starting out as a writer, you’re not getting paid to do what you enjoy. Even years of experience don’t always pay off the way you secretly hope they will. You’ll have days where this reality really starts weighing heavily on you. Why am I not good enough? You’ll ask yourself. Don’t I have something important to say?

You’ll also have days, however, where being able to sit down and write, even if only for a few minutes in the evenings, is a dream come true. So it’s just a hobby right now. That’s okay. Allow yourself to enjoy those moments where it’s just you and your art, and the joy and satisfaction that comes with it. It’s okay to have fun. It’s okay to let yourself escape into a world you created and explore.

I hope these reminders can encourage you to keep working toward your goals. Even if your only goal is to write a haiku, my hope for you today is that you make some progress. Writing is not always easy or fun or rewarding. But sometimes it is. And it’s those moments that make it worth it.

Love&hugs, Meg<3

Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.

Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine.  She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink. Follow Meg on Twitter.