The skill for writing every day is a level 63 Writer class ability that can be gained through the “Trials of the Publisher” sidequest, or by inputting the Konami code on the title page of your book.
Writing everyday is hard, and no one will tell you otherwise. We all live in a world with so much vying for our time that setting aside to work on, what for most of us, is a passion project, can seem daunting, if not impossible. This little piece of advice is being written for folks who haven’t made writing their full time career, but if you have, and still struggle to write every day, feel free to stick around. So, for the record, I am unemployed. Even if I was, I believe I could still find the time to work on my writing every day. Why? Because when we care about something, we make the time to do it. So find the time. If you have to cut back on your gaming, or Netflix or whatever, do it. But that’s just the first step. It’s all well and good to find the time, but you also have to be able to stick to it. The best way to do this is to do what all my high school teachers kept telling me: Get it routined, and set goals.
Start with the routine. Find a series of actions you can do the same way every day that all lead up to you starting writing. For me, I start making lunch at 11:30 AM, finish eating around noon, get some iced coffee, then sit down, turn on Spotify and begin writing. I do this every day, five days a week. And to my surprise, it actually worked. Every time I get coffee, I start needing to write. It doesn’t really matter if your routine mirrors mine in any way, what matters is that it’s repeatable, simple for you to do, and that you do it every day until you can’t imagine a day without it.
A routine is great and all, but finding time for it is the tough part. I have the advantage of not having a day job, but most people aren’t like me in that regard. For you who work jobs, look at how you spend your free time- for me it was video games -and then, as much as it hurts to do so, rip a chunk of time out of that and devote that to writing. Maybe you can’t give up your free time for some reason, that’s fine, maybe writing is how you spend your break at work. It doesn’t really matter to me where you pull the time out, but I recommend not screwing with your sleeping time, everyone needs that, just find yourself a chunk of time somewhere, and even if it hurts to lose that, once you get your routine all set up, you’ll really get into it and start looking forward to it each day.
So what if you’ve already done all this, but still struggle with actually putting text on the page? I’m going to be blunt here: Shut up and write. I don’t care how shit it is, I don’t care if it’s the worst thing ever put to print. Once your ideas, no matter how poorly communicated, are out on paper, you can start working with them and making them truly amazing. If you want to keep making excuses, feel free to, just don’t expect that story to write itself. The only time that counts as writing time is when you’re actually putting words down (or possibly working on your platform. I’m still on the fence about that). So don’t lie to yourself and say that watching Youtube videos, or reading social media feeds somehow counts, it really doesn’t, and all that energy spent on making excuses could be put into writing.
Next, let’s talk goal setting. Goals are important because they are a tangible way to see your growth and progress. They also help you push yourself and keep you on task. I’ll level with you here, I’m not as good at setting goals as I wish I was, but let me go over what I’ve found works. First, you’re going to want to pick an interval of time. Something long enough to accomplish bigger goals, but short enough that it stays fresh in your memory and doesn’t just fade into the background. I like to set seasonal goals, but I’ve seen people do new goals every two weeks. The interval of time doesn’t really matter as long as it’s comfortable for you, and pushes you meet your goals. Now what sort of stuff should you aim to accomplish? Anything. Literally anything that pertains to your career as a writer. That said, you might want to break bigger things up into smaller goals. Giving yourself three months to write a whole book is kind of unrealistic, don’t you think? Finally, you want to add a little incentive. Go public with your goals. I’ve been told people are more inclined to really try their hardest when they have the public breathing down their necks. If you have a platform, publicly display them and be honest with your followers when the time comes about which you did or didn’t complete. But you’ll meet all your goals, won’t you?
Lastly, let’s talk failure. So you followed all my advice, but you still couldn’t meet your goals, you didn’t write every day, and you missed your routine. Maybe you feel like you let yourself and everyone else down. That’s fine. Don’t worry about it. You may have screwed up today, or this quarter, or this year, but your next chance to not screw stuff up is coming. Don’t you want to take that opportunity and do everything better? To put this part in plain english so it cannot be misinterpreted: Screwing this stuff up doesn’t matter in the long run, because you can always try again, and as long as you keep trying to write every day, and keep walking toward your goals, it’s unfair and unreasonable to call yourself a failure. Now get out there, and start working on the next best story ever written.