A series of posts where I try out various Writing Tips to see if they help or hinder my development of a writing habit.
When I first tried to write every day I felt a bit lost. I wasn't sure what counted as writing every day. What was a reasonable goal to set? I've tried word counts before (during Nanowrimo at least), but that turned out to be a failed process for me. I kept on checking my word count to make sure that I met my daily goal and I would be disappointed if I didn't. Having that number in mind actually distracted me from the actual purpose of what I was doing: writing!
And then one of the writing websites that I've followed for a few years: DIYMFA and its creator Gabriela Pereira shared some great news. She was publishing a book based on her DIYMFA 101 program. When she launched her program a few years ago, I wanted to sign up but I didn't have the funds or the time to do it. I regret it very much now. But the next best thing was to be an advance reader for her book, which I eagerly signed up for. She generously hosted a master class to her "Street Team" members and the title of the class hit true to home from the start: "Stop Dreaming Start Doing". She outlined a lot of great tips to becoming a writer, but one of the ideas that stayed with me was this quote by Samuel Beckett: "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." She was giving me permission to fail, but what matters is that I try again.
She said during the class that even if you just start writing for 15 minutes a day, that counts and that's a variable you can track to see if it works for you. Mind blown! You mean I don't HAVE to write a set number of words every day? I can write for 15 minutes and call it a day? And I might be able to get a novel from this? That amazed me.
So I set a simple goal of writing for 15 minutes a day, and I found that this goal was what worked for me. I didn't have the pressure of meeting a word count, and I could write freely in that time. Just by committing myself to 15 minutes a day, I found myself writing 15, 30, 60 minutes a day, depending on what other commitments I had.
I challenge you to find a goal that works for YOU. It might be word count, it might be time or it might be writing 1 page a day. Find what works for you and just start writing.