HOW TO BE A CONSISTENT WRITER

by - November 29, 2019


How many of us out there struggle with writing consistently? (Or even blogging consistently?)

I'm sure there are a lot of us. Two years ago, I was a MUCH different writer. I had a huge burst of inspiration when I was 12, and I wrote 50+ stories in a year or so (not kiddingI was completing a short story or two every week).

You might say I wrote consistently, but honestly, I didn't. Sure, I was writing a lot, but it wasn't really the disciple of consistency because I had SO MUCH INSPIRATION AND IDEAS that I was having a BLAST writing.

But then, that burst of inspiration went away, and I wasn't writing very much.

So here I was, a gal who loved to write, but didn't do much writing until she was really inspired.

Sound familiar?

Today, I'm going to share with you some tips on how to be a CONSISTENT writer!

Let's go!

WHY IS CONSISTENCY SO IMPORTANT?

As writers, we've all experienced writer's block at one time or another.

Jaquelle Crowe, author of This Changes Everything: How the Gospel Transforms the Teen Years, says, "Consistency is critical." We can't give up writing when writer's block strikes.

I'll give you the honest truth right now.

Consistency requires discipline.

Not fun to hear, right? While some of us are very disciplined people, there are others who really struggle with it. That's okay, because we can cultivate that discipline if we really want it.

Why should you want to be a consistent writer, anyway? Why is it SO important?

Consistency is so important because it will make you a BETTER writer.

Want proof?

I started taking dance classes when I was three years old. Now, I am a better dancer because I started young and stayed with it for so long. If I had started dancing only a year ago, I wouldn't be as good of a dancer as I am now because I wouldn't have practiced. I wouldn't have improved.

It's the same with writing. Practicing (aka writing consistently) is going to make you a MUCH better writer.


WHAT DOES CONSISTENCY LOOK LIKE?

You're probably wondering what in the world consistency looks like. You very likely have a crazy schedule already, and you dread realizing that consistency means...writing every day.

THAT'S NOT TRUE!

Consistency does NOT mean every single day. It means writing often. It means practicing. It means making a schedule and sticking with it.

So what does that schedule look like for me?

I used to be able to write every day. Now, with my busier schedule (and yes, the fact that I don't always make it a priority), I don't write every single day. I do tend to write several times a week, though.

What does a writing schedule look like for you?

Right now, you could be waiting for that burst of inspiration to get you motivated to write. Or you might be a consistent writer who needs a better plan.

I can't be the one who gives you a writing schedule. You're going to have to figure that out on your own.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • If you're a beginner writer, try writing one or two times each week.
  • If you've been writing for six months, or want to have a challenge, try aiming for 3-4 times each week.
  • If you've been writing for quite a while, try writing up to five or six times each week.
Right now, in my busy schedule, I usually write 4-6 times each week, depending on the week. Remember that some weeks are going to be crazier or more relaxed than others, so don't feel like you HAVE to stick with your schedulebecause life happens.

The main point of this section is this: Consistency does NOT mean writing every day. It means writing often. Find a schedule that works for you. Keep in mind that you might have to change your schedule when you get into a new season of life.

NOT FEELING INSPIRED TO WRITE??


In June 2018, I wrote a guest post, titled, "When Your Inspiration Well is Dry," which you can read here. I outline three things that keep me going when I feel uninspired to write.


If you want a fun exercise to get you writing, try WORD SPRINTS!

How do word sprints work?

  • Get a partner (or do it by yourself).
  • Set a time. Usually 25 minutes is good, but if you want to shoot for a different amount of time, go right ahead!
  • For that set amount of time, write as many words as you can.
  • Whoever writes the most amount of words in that time slot wins the sprint! (Or, if you are sprinting by yourself, try to beat your goal or record!)
The point of a word sprint is to make you write. If you want to win the sprint, you have to write the most words, so you can't simply stare at a blank page or blinking cursor. Just write. You can always edit later.

FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE―AND ENCOURAGEMENT

If writing were easy, everyone would do it. But writing is hard. Writing is amazing too.

Push through writer's block. It wants to keep you from writing. Tell it, "No! I'm not allowing you to reign today! I'm going to write whether you interfere or not."

Here's a quote I love by Jodi Picoult*:

"You can always edit a bad page. You can't edit a blank page."
(*I do not know this person nor endorse any of her works. I merely love her writing quote.)

Just write, even if it's horrible. Remember that you can always go back and edit later.

If you are feeling discouraged, remember WHY you write. Why did you start writing in the first place? Was it fun? What's your favorite part of writing? Focus on the good aspects of writing. Your attitude will influence your writing tremendously. Find inspiring writing quotes and write down your favorites to remember.

When you finish your rough draft, don't go back and edit right away. Leave your work for a certain amount of time (even a month or two) before going to edit. That way, you'll have a fresh and mind and be ready to edit!






















what about you?
What are YOUR thoughts on consistency? Are you a consistent writer? How has consistency helped YOU improve your writing?

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