Writing Every Day (Discipline, Part 1)

Athletes exercise every day. Students are encouraged to study every day. Musicians practice every day.

Therefore, writers should write every day.

Most likely, you’ve heard that advice before. It’s maybe the most said writing advice ever. And there are many reasons for that, and many good things that come from taking this advice. But there’s one benefit that, to me, seems to be overlooked.

Now, I understand that it’s difficult, or even impossible, for some to do this. That’s fine. This isn’t one of those follow-it-to-the-letter type of things, but rather a follow-the-spirit-of-it thing. 

Writing is like any other discipline. Just as athletes exercise, musicians practice, scholars study, and emergency response teams run through scenarios, so a writer must write.

Writing every day is like doing scales on the piano every day – it’s not just to add to the specific WIP, or piece, but to overall improve your writing technique. The more you write, the easier it becomes, no matter what you’re writing. Just as an athlete doesn’t exercise specifically for one game, but does it strengthen his own abilities, you need to improve your writing, not just what you’re writing.

It’s not easy. I don’t always manage it, writing-wise or music-wise. But it does make a difference.