You’re writing a book, and of course you want to finish it. Here’s what ensures that you’ll do that: write every day.
In The Wait of the World’s on Dan Brown – WSJ.com bestselling author Dan Brown is quoted on his working habits:
“… ‘For me, writing is a discipline, much like playing a musical instrument; it requires constant practice and honing of skills. For this reason, I write seven days a week. So, my routine begins at around 4:00 AM every morning, when there are no distractions.'”
Writing your book every day: tips to help
1. Schedule time to write, even if it’s only five minutes
If you can turn daily writing into a habit, you’ll not only have more fun with your writing, but you’ll also complete your book.
Avoid making heavy demands on yourself while you’re developing your writing habit. Schedule five minutes. Anyone can spend five minutes a day writing. Inevitably, sooner or later, your five minutes will become ten, then 20.
2. Change your writing tools, and/ or your location if you’re feeling stuck
Big tip: each and every book you write is a new journey. Some books will flow out of you — you’ll love your writing, because it’s so easy. Other books will be tortuous. You’ll struggle. I’ve no idea why that is, it just happens.
If you’re struggling, commit to your book. Tell yourself that no matter how crappy this book is, you’ll finish it. The voice which says “this is junk” in your head is just your inner editor, who is often wrong. Ignore your editor while you’re writing. Invite him back later.
You will struggle. It’s normal. On the days when you don’t feel like writing, or hate your characters, or think your plot is pure drivel, change your writing tools. Handwrite your daily stint. Or write on your phone.
Change your location, too. On days I truly don’t want to write, I take myself into the city, and write in a coffee shop, or in an art gallery’s restaurant. The words always flow.
3. Tell yourself you’re a writer, and writers write
Don’t want to write? Write anyway. Moods come and go, and moods are treacherous. Here’s how to outwit a “don’t wanna” mood. Make writing the first thing you do every day — this helps many writers. I get up around five each morning, and write for a couple of hours. When you get up early, your inner editor is still asleep.
The night before, put your alarm clock on the other side of the room, so that you need to get out of bed to turn it off. Tell yourself that as soon as you hear the alarm, you’ll get out of bed, without fail. Amazingly enough, you’ll do it. 🙂
4. Before you go to bed, read the last chapter you wrote, and outline the next scene (fiction) or chapter (nonfiction)
Your aim when you sit down to write is to WRITE. If you don’t know what comes next, you’ll spend a lot of time thinking, and before you know it, you’ll decide that what you’re writing is junk, you’re approaching the book from the wrong direction, your character is a moron… yadda, yadda…
Avoid this by outlining the next day’s writing the night before. Tip: by “outline” I mean write a few sentences, that’s all. No need for a “real” outline. (Forget about “real” outlines, if you haven’t done so already. :-))
Happy writing… 🙂 Write every day, and you WILL finish your book.
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels.More info →
I developed the tactics and strategies in this book to help myself. My students have found them essential to producing both fiction and nonfiction almost effortlessly.More info →
Resources to build your writing career
Updated: April 20, 2019