How often do you sit down and write? Once in a blue moon, or every day like clockwork? Today I want to share two compelling reasons why I think it’s important to write every day.
Good writing means working at it
Firstly, if you want to get better at something, it stands to reason that you need to work at it. Perhaps you’re one of those writers who believes that writing is all about waiting for inspiration to strike. I, on the other hand, believe that the more often we sit down to write, the more likely inspiration will jump up and bite us on the nose.
I watched a really interesting TED Talk recently by psychologist Adam Grant, about his research into the habits of original thinkers.
One of the things he discovered is that highly original people are extremely prolific. But what’s surprising is that a lot of what they produce is not particularly brilliant. He says: “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most.”
I love this idea of embracing failure – it makes it seem far less daunting!
So the more we create, the better we get. Or as Adam Grant puts it: “The more output you churn out, the more variety you get and the better your chances of stumbling on something truly original.” Which I think is what we all ultimately want as writers – to be original.
Grant adds that highly original people feel doubt just as much as the next person, but they don’t let it hold them back. Because more than anything they fear the failure of never having tried. That’s what spurs them on to come up with more ideas and to keep working on them. I’ll write more about how to overcome a nagging fear of failure in a future email, but in the meantime, take a look at Adam Grant’s TED Talk, it’s inspiring.
Develop a writing habit
The second compelling reason I think it’s important to write every day is because it’s much easier to get around to doing something if we turn it into a habit. And writing every day, helps you turn writing into a habit.
So if you’re someone who wants to write but often struggle to get around to it, try turning it into a habit, and you massively increase your chances of getting it done. Habits guru, James Clear, says: “if you want to master a habit, you want to start with repetition, not perfection. You don’t need to map out every feature of a new habit, you just need to practise it.”
And as an added bonus, I’ve personally found that the more I write, the more I want to write. Whereas the less I write, the bigger the hurdle it seems in my mind.
So there you have it. If you want to become a better writer, develop the habit of writing every day and keep churning out ideas and working on them. Don’t try to learn everything about the art of writing up front – just start writing. And don’t worry if your ideas are good or bad, instead tap into your fear of never having tried in the first place.
A quick caveat, to end with. When I say every day, for me that means 5 or 6 days a week. I do allow myself a break at weekends!
If you want to read more about developing a daily writing habit, you can read an article I wrote about it here.
Get in touch!
What sort of writer are you? Do you like to write every day or just once in a while? Get in touch, as I love hearing from my readers about how they write.
By the way, if there’s anything that you’re struggling with, drop me a line as I might be able to address your issue in a future post.
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