How to Write Consistently

"The funny thing is that, although writing has been my actual job for several years now, I still seem to have to fight for time in which to do it. Some people do not seem to grasp that I still have to sit down in peace and write the books, apparently believing that they pop up like mushrooms without my connivance. I must therefore guard the time alotted to writing as a Hungarian Horntail guards its firstborn egg." --J.K. Rowling
Photo credit: The Ticker Collector on Flickr

Last week I wrote about the benefits of writing blog posts consistently—not just for the readers, but for the writer as well. Most will agree that writing consistently in one manner or another is important, especially for writers, but writing on a consistent basis isn't always as easy as it sounds.

Everyone has their own challenges—even those who write professionally often struggle to find the time to write, as evidenced by the quote I used above, and those of us who don't write professionally often have just as much difficulty (if not more) in finding the time during the course of our busy lives to sit down and write.

But the key to writing consistently is accepting that you don't need to write thousands of words in every sitting. Sometimes all it takes to write a few hundred words is a couple of ten minute breaks scattered throughout the day—and as I mentioned in my post on writing a novel 500 words a day, writing in small chunks is just as productive and helpful as writing in large, hour-long sections.

"I don't have the time" isn't a valid excuse—even ten minutes before breakfast and ten minutes before bed is better than nothing at all. Even just training yourself to write a hundred words a day helps to hone your writing skill slowly over time.


If you truly want to hone your skill as a writer, then your writing time is sacred. Don't let it slip away from you—hold on to it as if today were your last day on Earth and you'd never be able to write again. Guard those precious moments and do the work that writers do.


Because as long as you continue to hone your craft, you'll one day look back and realize just how far you've come.


What tips do you have for writing consistently?

15 comments:

Lisa Shambrook said...

Great advice. I write something every day if I can, even if it's only a diary entry on those ultra busy days. I try to vary it from online writing prompts, to journals, editing WIP, creative writing, blogposts and sometimes just making notes or bits and pieces.
I find it more difficult to include reading actual books, rather than a handful of blogs, but reading is just as important to hone my craft!

Lev Raphael said...

Acknowledge that musing about a book in the showerr, on the treadmill, during aerobics, while walking the dogs is writing. It's more free form, less directed perhaps, but it's the kind of work you need to do between times sitting at your keyboard--and it's crucial.

Daphne Gray-Grant said...

You make a really important point, Lev. So much about writing is NOT done at the keyboard. That said, we also need to spend time at the keyboard every day.

Ava Jae said...

Fantastic point about reading--a writer who doesn't read is like a director who doesn't watch movies or a musician who doesn't listen to music. Reading is an integral part of developing your skills as a writer.

Ava Jae said...

I really like that point, Lev. As Daphne said, it's also important to get to the keyboard and write, but the thoughts and writings you put into the process between computer writing sessions is just as important.

Angela Anderson said...

I recently decided to join a group of online bloggers in a 'fast draft' session (two weeks of writing 5k words a day). I've found I really need to push myself to make time for writing. It seems to come easiest at the butt crack of dawn when I'm high on my third cup of coffee :)

nickieanderson.blogspot.com

Grace Robinson said...

Another great post, Ava. Kind of good to hear, actually, that even famous, talented, professional writers like Rowling still struggle sometimes with writing consistently.

What's also interesting (and slightly odd) is that my blog posts seem to sort of parallel yours sometimes; I'm about to put up a post tonight that is on a similar theme. This isn't the first time this has happened, either. I write a blog entry, save it in my wordpress drafts, then check out your blog to discover that you just posted about a similar topic! I swear I'm not trying to copy you! :-P

Ah, well. Great minds thinking alike and all that, I guess... ;-)

Ava Jae said...

How exciting! Consistency is certainly a requirement if you want to get a fast draft completed in a couple of weeks. Best of luck!

Ava Jae said...

Thank you, Grace! I thought the quote from Rowling was an interesting one, as I for one certainly didn't imagine finding the time to write would be a challenge for writers like Rowling.


And too funny about the blog post topics! I do recall you mentioning this to me in the past...I suppose our minds work on similar wavelengths. :)

Steph (Tara Wills) said...

I read both of your blogs and i have noticed this parallelism while posting your topics recently, like those blog posts about characters :D funny, weird and interesting

Steph (Tara Wills) said...

being a reader of both of your blogs, I could notice the parallelism of your posts recently, interesting, weird and funny at same time, but yes great minds and great writers can usually think the same way, and thanks for the tips :D

Ava Jae said...

You're very welcome, Steph! Thanks for stopping by! ^_^

Emilyann Girdner said...

Very true. I've been trying to increase my daily writing, but really I struggle more with fitting in reading although I know it is just as important.

www.anythingimagined.blogspot.com

ATA said...

Thanks for a very useful interesting advice!

Ava Jae said...

You're very welcome! :)

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