Just like athletes workout on a regular basis to excel in their sport, writers should do the same thing. I have found that writing—or trying to write—everyday has improved my writing significantly. Writers have good days and bad days just like everyone else, but getting in the habit of pushing myself to write at least something every day, is so much help. Here are some things I have found.
1. Find a contest/group/challenge
I have been a part of both Go Teen Writers’ 100–4–100 challenges, and this has been great for me. One hundred words is not a lot at all, but it is the habit it creates that is so helpful. Finding something like this can help keep you accountable. And prize motivations once and a while are good too : )
2. Find a time and place
Family and school come before my writing, so writing at night after life slows down a bit and school is done, I write. This time is most productive for me. I also enjoy writing at the book store (where I am now) whenever I get the chance. But, when I don’t get to come here, I sit in an arm chair in our family room or at the desk in my room. Finding a time and place that benefits you the most is important.
3. Get someone to do it with you
Last 100–4–100 challenge my best friend did it with me. This time, my brother and my dad jumped in. It is so fun to toss around the latest ideas we have for our stories. Plus, it’s another person to keep you accountable. Finding a friend that can push you without it being a competition is a lot of fun and can keep you going.
4. Set your own goals
I would like to have the second draft of my novel done by the time this challenge is over, so I calculated how many words I would need to write every day. It’s a steep number so I will be okay if I don’t reach that goal. It’s okay to make challenging—not impossible—goals and miss them. As long as you tried your best, you can be happy with yourself.
5. If you’re on your first draft, know it won’t be perfect.
I struggled with this when I was writing my novella. I kept getting caught up with how horrible I thought my writing was, and it hindered my story from moving forward. I wrote on a sticky note and placed it on my wall. It says, “It’s the first draft. It’s supposed to be bad.” I still have that note in my binder.
I hope that some of you will try to start writing every day. Whether you are a published author, a writer striving for publication, someone writing for fun, or even a student who thinks your writing needs to improve. Whoever you are, writing something everyday can help you improve.
The contest for the free download of Go Teen Writers: How to turn your first draft book ends on Friday.