Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

How to Write Every Day

The prospect of sitting down to write every day can be daunting. When viewed as a whole it feels insurmountable, too big to even start. But when you break it down into what it really is, a short (or not) break with your thoughts each day, it’s not so intimidating.

You don’t have to be a writer or a master diary keeper to write every day, and it certainly doesn’t have to be A Thing. 

How to write every day

How to Write Every Day

Create a simple daily writing habit with these tips.


1. Start small.

A single page. Five minutes. A short list – all great places to start. There’s nothing like the pressure of a blank page. Make your goal achievable without excessive struggle and you will actually build and keep your habit.

This month I’m doing 15 minutes of writing every day. It’s achievable, and even on the days where I can’t find words I can still get it done. Experiment to find what time/format works best for you, but always aim low. Set the bar at five minutes and pat yourself on the back when you write for 30.


2. Get inspired… or fake it.

Opening a blank page is like standing in front of an audience and forgetting your entire speech (I speak from experience). My brain freezes and my palms start to sweat. What am I supposed to say? Where did the words go? How much longer?

If coming up with your own topics feels overwhelming, there are a lot of journals that come with their own short prompts to get you started like the Five Minute Journal (also an app) or you can check out lists of prompts online (there are loads if you Google “Journal Prompts“).


3. Make time.

Once you decide how long you are going to write for each day, make room for it in your schedule. Even if you are planning on writing for five minutes, set aside the exact time you are going to write and make sure you hold yourself to it. Claiming you will just write when something comes to you or when you have a bit of extra time in the day will derail you (trust me) and make it difficult to actually do the work.

I’ve had the best luck with staying consistent (and remembering to write) when I add writing into my daily routine. Try writing as part of your morning or evening routine to start. It’s a great way to remind yourself that it’s time to write, and it makes it easier to stay consistent.


4. Sit down.

The hardest part is showing up. The first step to writing isn’t putting down words, it’s sitting down (or standing up) to write them.


5. Track it.

I’m a sucker for a good goal tracker. I love crossing off days or adding tick marks. Visualizing your progress can be powerful. It’s a nice reminder to get the work done. This doesn’t have to be fancy. A tally on a piece of scrap paper, a mark on your calendar, a habit app or notebook – whatever works for you.


6. Be accountable.

I get it – holding yourself accountable each day is exhausting. We all have so many things on our minds and even more on our to-do lists.

If you really want to write every day, make it a priority and hold yourself to it. Even better, team up with a friend and hold each other accountable. It’s a great way to stay motivated–you don’t want to let the other person down– and connected. You can also join already existing communities of daily writers like 750 words and NaNoWriMo.


7. Turn it off!

Put away the phone, turn off the Internet, cut the distractions. It’s hard enough to stay focused and actually write, don’t make it harder. If you do decide to write on your computer and need the Internet (be sure you aren’t lying to yourself here – Google Docs and Evernote both work without a connection), make sure you only have one tab open and don’t let yourself click away. Make it easier on yourself and turn off your notifications or close out of your email while you’re at it.


8. Come back.

Missing a day is not the end of the world. It’s also not an excuse to give up entirely. So you didn’t write for a day or two – shrug and move on. Pick up your notebook (or computer or typewriter or microphone) and get going. Today is a great day to write.

Leave a Reply