It's been nearly a week since I wrote my last post. Last Monday we celebrated our completed challenge to do something new every day and then write about it for an entire year. That's right. I wrote one blog post daily for 365 days in a row.
The day after, I headed out to the country to visit my family. I was forced to take a blogging break since I wouldn't have internet access. I felt a little surge of anxiety as I left my laptop (AKA my third child) on my desk and got into the car.
Taking a little break from blogging felt freeing at first. I now realize, I would have felt better if I had kept writing, even if it was just a sentence or two that only I would see. Writing is brain food and I was hungry.
To prevent starvation, or stagnation for that matter, I'm sharing my 10 things you should know about writing every day.
1. Just do it. The slogan made famous by Nike is popular for a reason. I can procrastinate like it's nobody's business. I looked at writing as something that had to be accomplished right up there with sleeping and eating. Carve out time to write every day.
2. Know that you're going to fail. Everything you write won't be a success. You'll have hits and misses all of the time. Sometimes you'll write something that you love and it will seem to fall dead in the water. This happens. A lot. Don't let it stop you.
3. There are days when you will hate the thought of writing. Many times I was like a toddler. "I don't want to write. Ugh. Can someone write this for me? I don't even know what to say. My stuff is so boring." I then sucked it up and I did it. Writing is like exercise for your brain. Sometimes you don't want to do it, but afterward, you're glad you did.
4. Those days will be balanced out by the days when you can't wait to write. Other times you'll be so excited to write something, you'll have a million ideas in your head and you can't wait to get started. I think this is your brain's way of helping you get through #3.
5. Write for yourself first. I'm not under contract to write about sports, celebrities, news, etc. Trust me, I understand that writing about sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll (or twerking) has the potential to bring in more readers. If you enjoy writing about those things, or if you love writing about caterpillars, be true to yourself. It will show in your writing and you'll feel good about it.
6. If you have a great idea, don't wait. Write it. Many times, an idea has popped into my head and I can't wait to write about it. Then I wait, and it fizzles. Suddenly, I can't remember all of the exciting stuff I wanted to write about. If you are pumped about a topic, try at least jotting things down as soon as you can.
7. You'll become a better writer. I'm no Charles Dickens (sorry to break the news). Shortly before I started my blog I proclaimed myself to be a terrible writer. Don't compare yourself to other writers. Compare your progress only against yourself and I guarantee you'll see improvement.
8. Writing every day forces you to look at the world differently. After starting our 365-day challenge, I started looking for ideas. Everything became something to try or fodder for writing. It also makes you take on the perspective of others and wonder about the flip side of any topic.
9. Write, write, write, then edit. This is one of the best pieces of advice I've ever received. I used to be one of those people that over thought everything I was writing. Don't worry about grammar or whether or not your writing even makes sense. Write in a stream of consciousness then go back and edit.
10. It will never be perfect. You can tweak your writing over and over again. You can add, delete and change what you wrote in a million different ways. This behavior will make you insane. Embrace what you've written, move on and write again tomorrow.
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