Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of discussion on social media among the writing community about whether writers should write every day or if that is an unrealistic goal that “shames” anyone who can’t find the time to do it.
I’d like to put in my two cents on the topic.
I’ve long supported the idea of writing every day—but probably not the way you might think.
As a busy person myself, I know how difficult—nay, impossible—it is to carve out the time every single day to sit down and spend hours cranking out entire chapters or fulfilling a set quota (like, say, 1,000 words).
I would never suggest that any writer force him-/herself to do this. To try to do so is a perfect recipe for burnout, and before long, writing will feel like a chore, not the thing you’ve dreamed about doing your whole life.
Instead, what I advocate is that you do your best to write at least ONE SENTENCE A DAY.
And before you start whining that it’s hard to write the “perfect sentence,” let me remind you: Nobody said anything about “perfect.” ANY sentence will do.
I readily admit that there have been days when my own one sentence for a given day was a mere single word: Recently, I recall a day when my “sentence” for the day was, “Wow!” Literally. Just one word.
What’s the point of writing if you’re only advancing your work by one sentence (or even one word), you might ask?
Writing at least one sentence a day helps keep your head in your work in progress. It keeps your story (or memoir or whatever you’re writing) fresh in your mind. If nothing else, it adds a (miniscule) amount to your overall word count.
Most important, writing even one sentence a day makes you FEEL like a writer—and that’s something we could all use, especially at those too-frequent moments when we feel like everything we’re writing is garbage and it won’t be long before the world finds out we’re nothing but imposters.
Best of all, you can handle one sentence a day no matter how busy or sick or stressed out you are. (And if you CAN’T handle typing or scribbling the word Wow, like I did, to achieve this daily goal, you have MUCH bigger problems—ones I can’t help you with!)
I urge you to try it. One sentence a day may seem like nothing, but it adds up. Fast. Trust me. I’ve written my last 8 books using this method.
Sure, I write more than one sentence when I have time and feel up to it. But I never force myself to do more than that when life just isn’t cooperating.
In fact, I believe one sentence a day works so well that I think we should start a movement among the writing community: #onesentenceaday.
To kick it off, I’ll be posting MY one sentence (or my FIRST sentence, if I happen to write more that day) on social media every day for the next year—no matter how bad that sentence is, or how out of context or disjointed. I’ll post it just to prove that it CAN be done.
And I invite you to join me.
There’s nothing more empowering for a writer than to write, and one sentence a day is the perfect way to get started.
#onesentenceaday #writing community #amwriting #awriterslife