Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Three Ways I Keep Writing

For me, the next few days are sort of exciting, in terms of personal writing milestones. A year ago today, I wrote my blog post titled "The Seinfeld Chain" which was the origin of my Daily Writing Chain and, eventually, what brought me to write the book "Write Every Day."

I started formally writing every day on September 1st, 2011. With the leap day earlier this year, that means that tomorrow (August 30th, 2012) will be my 365th consecutive day of writing with August 31st then marking the end of one calendar year of writing every day and September 1st starting a new year.

In honor of all of this, I've marked down the price of Write Every Day to 99 cents (and its equivalent in other countries) for the next few days. The price will go back up to $3.99 on the 2nd of September. So, if you have been on the fence about purchasing Write Every Day, now is a great time to go for it!

This past year hasn't always been easy for me, either on the writing side (lots of rejections before starting to get some sales) or on the personal side (it started with major unplanned home repairs and saw multiple other issues including serious health issues to both one of my parents and one of my wife's parents). And yet, I've written every day during that time. Here are three things that helped me along the way:

  1. Be part of a community. I've actually been involved in multiple writing communities in the past year. (In fact, this was one of the things I commented on in that original Seinfeld Chain blog post.) This has been super-helpful in any number of ways: critique partners, people to celebrate with, virtual shoulders to cry on, advice regarding markets to submit to, etc. If I'd been trying to do this on my own, I'm 100% certain I would've given up somewhere along the way. You do have to make sure to not let your community time displace your writing time to an unhealthy extent, but as long as it's kept in balance, it can be a real boost.
  2. Be willing to try different things. For my daily writing goal I set out to write at least 500 words but I've always given myself options on how I can get to those words. Most days it's involved writing new fiction, but many days I've written my words either as blog posts or as critiques for other writers. Even within my fiction writing, I've experimented a fair amount with different styles and approaches to stories during that time. And the first draft of "Write Every Day" was written while I felt a need to decrease my focus temporarily from fiction writing.
  3. Be patient and always work to improve your writing. Hoping to be an overnight success in writing is a sure way to get frustrated. At least in the short fiction world, it's common for people to submit dozens of stories to professional markets before making a sale at that level. Remembering that it's a long career is key. As is working to always get better at what you do. Listen to what people say about what you've written. Read a lot. Listen to what people say about the things you've read. All of this is part of improving your craft and being a better writer.
Those three things can help you out whether you're writing every day or using some other form of routine. Many of the things I wrote about in "Write Every Day" are the same -- you can use them either to develop a daily writing routine or to develop a different routine, if that's what works best for you. If you haven't yet checked out my book, I hope you'll consider purchasing it while it's on sale these next few days.


  1. Yay! Thanks for the celebratory price break. I've been working on writing fresh prose / raw word count daily for the last month or so. I think I'm just about ready to make it official and start a chain. Can't wait to read the book.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. Enjoy the discounted price and I hope that you find the book to be very useful!