It's Just As Difficult As You Think
The secret of successful writers: Write every single day.
Now that’s a scary thought when you first start. Writing every day takes up time. It takes brainpower and perseverance that could scare most people away at first glance. Just like building any habit, there’s a painful uphill climb before you even begin to see results.
I promise it’s well worth it, though. I’ve written every single day for two months now.
I’m the most productive I’ve ever been. I’m the most creative I’ve ever been. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.
Especially with a platform like Medium, writing every day, or at least being active on the platform every day, can help you quickly build a following. If you’ve joined the Partner Program, you’re able to make some money off of your efforts.
But don’t just take it from me. Let’s see if any famous authors decided writing every day was beneficial.
When I’m in writing mode for a novel, I get up at 4:00 am and work for five to six hours. In the afternoon, I run for 10km or swim for 1500m (or do both), then I read a bit and listen to some music. I go to bed at 9:00 pm. I keep to this routine every day without variation. The repetition itself becomes an important thing; it’s a form of mesmerism. I mesmerize myself to reach a deeper state of mind. But to hold to such repetition for so long — six months to a year — requires a good amount of mental and physical strength. In that sense, writing a long novel is like survival training. Physical strength is as necessary as artistic sensitivity.”
Haruki Murakami — Japanese novelist and translator. An essential asset to the Japanese literature of the 20th century, Haruki has received several noted awards for his fiction and non-fiction works. He was also referred to as one of the world’s greatest living novelists by The Guardian.
Stephen King would set a daily goal of about 2,000 words. This would add up to about 180,000 words in three months of writing. He also said that three months was the maximum amount of time it should take someone to finish the first draft. If it takes longer, it will get tougher and tougher to delve back into the story with the right frame of mind. In addition, King would often become involved in marathon writing sessions. He wrote The Running Man in one week.
Jack London’s most well-known novel, The Call of the Wild, was a classic. He committed to writing 1500 words every single day
“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”
Michael Crichton wrote 10,000 words every single day. (That’s a lot…) He wrote several novels that were later turned into films. Jurassic Park was just one of the popular ones.
“Books aren’t written — they’re rewritten. Including your own. It is one of the hardest things to accept, especially after the seventh rewrite hasn’t quite done it.”
If you aspire to write something that touches people as these authors did, then keep on reading.
Tips to get started:
1. Write down every thought that comes to you. View everything as something you can write about
2. Don’t beat yourself up if your writing isn’t perfect. Just write.
3. Don’t be afraid to start small. A published couple of words or thoughts is better than the feeling of defeat that comes from not meeting your goal.
4. Read something whenever you feel stuck. The War of Art by Stephen Pressfield is an inspirational book that’s given me ideas on what to write when all I felt utterly empty and blank.
The beauty of writing every day far outweighs the pain of resistance you will feel. Writing every day is the spark that has fueled my quickly growing fire to create something great. Publishing every day has taught me that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to and overcome any formidable obstacle.
You can too.