How (and Why) to Write Every Day
I just completed a solid month of writing (at least) 3 pages of words a day. It feels amazing.
Why? For a couple of reasons. One is that I never thought I would be a writer, and now I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily a GOOD writer, but that’s not the point. I can get better, and I’m more likely to as I keep this habit going. Another reason is that it has boosted my ability to get motivated on other things, things that have been sitting dormant for way too long. Proving to myself that I can do something that I felt was a bit out of my reach has emboldened me to reach a little further. And thirdly, pouring out my words on to the digital page has aided me in clarifying my thoughts, documenting my goals and action steps toward the goals, and producing more ideas. This is a tremendous boost to my general productivity.
Do I recommend writing for everyone? YES!
“Reason 1: Writing gets the gunk out
Just like flossing removes gunk from between your teeth, writing removes gunk from between your brain cells. So if something is waking you up in the middle of the night, try writing it down.
By writing a personal diary or journal, you can release pent up emotions like sadness, anger, or bitterness. You can write happy things down too — I try to write down one thing that I’m grateful each day, for example.
Reason 2: Writing builds authority
Writing a blog about cycling made people think I was an expert. Think about the people you admire in your field: you probably know of their work because they write about it. Writing makes you an expert.
Writing unlocks doors too. Instead of asking someone you admire if you can “pick your brains about something over coffee”, you can ask to interview them for your blog. Much better.
Reason 3: Writing makes ideas better
By writing down an idea so that someone else can understand it, it becomes clearer to yourself.
The act of writing forces you to get to the core of an idea. If your thinking is muddy, your writing will be too. But if you’ve found a way to write it down clearly, you can be sure that you’re onto something good.”
With that in mind, here are a few tools that may help get you started:
This is the one I use, since I signed up early enough to be grandfathered into the free subscription. This service allows for keeping a private journal, which can be a great scratchpad for later use, if needed. Currently it costs $5 a month, but there are a few nice perks. I like the fact that you need to write 750 words per day to not “break the chain”, a real motivation for some folks. Once the day is over, it’s over and you can’t add or subtract from the text written for that day, enforcing the idea of doing it every day.On top of that, their tracking system has some neat features you might find helpful.
This is similar to 750 words, but there’s no charge. Also private, Daypage also allows for multiple journals, and you can collaborate with others on specific journals, which may be useful. The timeline is there, but it’s more flexible about editing. The word count is prominent, and the interface is nice.
This is one of my favorite writing apps for windows. It goes full screen and minimal, so you end up with a distraction-free environment. It is free, portable and easily customized for your viewing pleasure.
I’m including this one because I love the idea. It turns writing into a game with rewards for writing all at once. It allows you to choose the amount you write, and then pits you against an opponent who battles with you until you reach your word count. There are level-ups and rewards with some cute graphics.
It’s still way too buggy to be practical for me, but it is free and you may find it just the thing to help get motivated. If you know of a better writing game, let me know!
That’s what I have for now. Let me know in the comments if you like any of these, or, even better, what your preferred method of writing tool is. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
And, as always, thanks for your time.