Write Every Day

Don’t write a lot. Just write often.

Spending five hours on a Saturday on a working project isn’t nearly as valuable as spending one hour per day for five days straight, or even 30 minutes per day every day of the week.

The idea is repetition – developing a discipline of showing up, making this a priority, and working through the Resistance.

It should come as no surprise that habits practiced once a week aren’t habits at all. They’re obligations. If you don’t do something, you often stop doing it altogether.

Jack Cheng writes the following in his blog post “30 Minutes a Day“:

When mastery is the goal, spending an exorbitant number of hours in one sitting will likely lead to burnout. We don’t go to the gym expecting to put on 20 pounds of muscle in a single, day-long workout. Instead, we do several short workouts a week, spread out over months. Our bodies need time to heal; our muscles time to grow. And the same goes for that muscle inside your skull. When trying to develop a new skill, the important thing isn’t how much you do; it’s how often you do it.

Also, another helpful resource on this is Behance’s “10 Laws of Productivity” article (where I found the reference to Jack Cheng’s post) on The 99 Percent website. Here’s a couple excerpts:

Trial and error is an essential part of any creative’s life. As Ze Frank says, usually when we execute an idea for the first time, it kinda sucks. The important thing is to synthesize the knowledge gained during the process to refine the idea, and create a new-and-improved version…

With projects that require a serious infusion of creative juice – developing a new business plan, writing a novel, or just learning a new skill – it’s incredibly important to maintain momentum. Just as when you run everyday, the exercise gets easier and easier, the same thing happens with your brain. Stimulate it regularly each day, and those juices start to flow more freely.

Best advice I’ve received all weekend. Of course blogging here and on my other blog forces me to write nearly everyday, but I’m learning that that isn’t enough. I’m opening back up a writing project that I put on the shelf a few months ago. It’s time to stop treating it as a hobby and turn it into a habit.

What about you? Is there something you’ve been putting off? Time to pick it back up?

Don’t wait until tomorrow. Get started now. Spend 30 minutes today taking it one step further in the development process. So what if it sucks? You need to get those juices flowing.

And then, do the same thing tomorrow… and the next day…


7 Comments on “Write Every Day”

  1. great advice. writing is certainly like a workout.

    hope you get to check out this site!

  2. thanks for the encouragement to keep going. I am striving to blog once per week, and also have a book outline that I need to get off the shelf and keep plugging away on.

  3. wanikki says:

    Jeff Goins

    Thank you for;

    “Don’t write a lot. Just write often.”

    Good sound advise

    Power to you

  4. JokiLoki22 says:

    I agree with this for sure; I try to do 1,000 words a day of creative writing, and, whenever possible, a blog post as well. Being out of town and just getting back today have limited my ability on the last one, but the creative writing has been coming along well. Thanks for the good article!

  5. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Jeff Goins, Jeff Goins. Jeff Goins said: Writing tip: "Don’t write a lot. Just write often." – http://ht.ly/29YAB […]

  6. Jeff,

  7. Jeff Goins says:

    Thanks for the comments, guys.

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