1. Yuli Ban
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    Yuli Ban Member

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    Writing every day: application matters (even if you're a slacker millennial)

    Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by Yuli Ban, Oct 12, 2015.

    Ol' Yuli Baba hasn't been around these parts much, but I promise it's not because I hate y'all— Tali!Ban is the hater.

    I'm just trolling around to see if anyone has committed to writing a certain number of words a day, or maybe write for a certain bitta time. I've committed to it, and I've been consistent for about 10 days so far. I figured 5,000 words a day is a good challenge, kept on by the gynoid that lives in my head.

    Already, I'm seeing results. Dysthymia? Social anxiety? Pauperism? Child hunger? Donald Trump's candidacy? All solved, give or take a few. Just the act of putting mah soul onto a screen or crisp shits of paper is all I needed. Sure, not all of it has been narrative, but that's okay— if all I need is a journal, or some outlet, writing helps. It wound up helping me establish solid goals that I've been achieving without fail.

    So maybe it hasn't solved the issue of how to achieve peace on Earth, but it certainly has impacted my life. I'd go so far as to say it's the best damn choice I've ever made in my life (which isn't saying much; I'd actually need a life to begin with).

    I recommend it! Writing every day helps. Most of all, it gives you a base to work with— simply writing every day isn't going to help you improve; no, you're going to need to actually work on that, but it goes far in that department.

    Has anyone else tried anything similar?
     
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  2. Kittophoros
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    Kittophoros Member

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    Yep! I've set a very modest goal of working on a certain project for at least 500 words a day. I'm really set in my ways of editing as I go along, so I know I have to keep the word count low if I don't want to literally spend every waking moment at my computer. I think it's helped me learn to move past the fact that all I ever want to do is plan what I'm going to write and never actually do the writing.
     
  3. dedebird
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    dedebird Member

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    I haven't put a word count on myself yet. I plan to eventually, but for the moment I have just forced myself to sit down in front of my computer everyday. I feel like at this stage of my book if I just grinded out the words they wouldn't be very good. So instead I stare at the blinking line on my screen hoping something exciting happens.
     
  4. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a yearly word goal, but not a daily one. Life gets in the way too often, and I don't want to feel like a failure because I had to work late and came home really tired.

    And my yearly goal is based on 1K words a day. 5K would be really high, for me - I think for most people! Do you have a job? Family, social commitments, other hobbies? Basic tasks of feeding and bathing yourself?!? (I do 5K in a single day sometimes, but that would be on a weekend, on a day when writing is my chief task.)

    I'm not knocking your goal - if you can do it, and do it without burning out or abandoning all other aspects of your life, then, great! And I'm glad you're finding it rewarding.
     
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  5. Lifeline
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    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Supporter Contributor

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    For me, I try to achieve one scene, or two edited ones. But that changes a lot ;) depending on difficulty.
     
  6. nastyjman
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    nastyjman Contributing Member

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    Yep. I make it a habit to write everyday. If I'm drafting, I aim for 3 to 4 pages, which is roughly 1200 words. Right now, however, I'm working on my outline, which I don't consider as writing. To compensate, I either write on my journal or do copywork.
     
  7. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    I write everyday but I would never give myself a set number of words.

    Quality > Quantity

    I typically wake up at 6:30am to write and don't need to start getting ready for work until 9. Sometimes I get more done at night.
     
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  8. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I do work on my stories every day, but a lot of that involves research and thinking, visualising. I only actually write when I'm ready to. I have finished one long novel, and am at work on a second. It's not a career for me, but a very rewarding second life.
     
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  9. etherealcalc
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    etherealcalc Member

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    I've been trying to get into the swing of writing regularly. I have an incredibly busy schedule. That on top of health stuff makes it hard x___x So I've been using HabitBull for the past week. So long as I write a word down/edit a sentence/write a sentence, I count that as a success. I don't have high standards right now, because that's what kills the development of habits, but if I'm able to be continuous, I'm sure the quantity won't matter. “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”, as Confucius (probably) said.
     
  10. zoupskim
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    zoupskim Contributing Member Contributor

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    My goal everyday is to write until the voices stop.
     
  11. kateamedeo
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    kateamedeo Active Member

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    I have a goal of 333 words a day. I take a writing prompt and just write away, bad, good, doesn't matter. That's the 'freewriting' bit. Then I write about 2.000 words for the book I'm working on now. An occasional short story/scene creeps into my mind, write that down too.
    It all depends on time, though, some days are better than others, on some days I manage to get only those 333 words down but it's still something, keeps me going. Writing every day is the best habit I've developed over the past couple of months.
     
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  12. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Thanks @BayView, I really like the idea of a yearly goal and no idea why I never thought of it that way.

    I love running long distances. I remember putting a total km that I wanted to achieve by the end of the first year I got back into running to keep myself on track. It worked extremely well and if anything, made me run more when I was able to, just so I stayed ahead of target for when life got in the way.

    Fingers crossed it works for writing!
     
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  13. MichaelP
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    MichaelP Active Member

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    I always write at least 1,000 words/day, Monday through Friday. That number always always jumps to 1,500 or more, though. I also work to complete one story per week.
     
  14. PeterBr
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    PeterBr Member

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    I've had some success since the beginning of the new year in keep a habit journal and tracking each day I accomplish a habit. Reading has been one and I did the math recently to discover that if I continue reading 25 pages per day everyday for 340 days (take a couple weeks off for holidays/sick days/etc), that adds up to 8,500 pages per year, or on average, 34 books a year (assuming an average of 250 pages per book), which comes to 2.8 books per month. Not bad for a 15-20 minute per day effort.

    I think the same would apply to writing. Rather than writing 5000 words per day and then burning out a few weeks in (read this to see large tasks are more likely to cause you to fail early), narrow it something very manageable like 500 words/day. If you do this daily, again assuming 340 days per year, that's 170,000 words per year. At an average of 400 words per page (factoring in margins, etc), that's 425 pages per year, or two entire books at 213 pages each. Not bad for 500 words a day! Something to consider.

    One of my favourite quotes on this topic:

    "We first make our habits and then our habits make us." -John Dryden
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  15. PeterBr
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    PeterBr Member

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    Why is it a good habit for you? What other habits did you find useful?
     
  16. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    I've tried the regimen of writing every day, but it doesn't work for me. What works is thinking about a subject or a plot long enough that when I take keyboard in hand, the piece is largely done. And then it's a frantic process of capturing it in words, a process that disregards time and schedules.

    When I'm writing fiction, some characters start manifesting personalities that want to steer the plot away from what I originally had in mind, and I'm faced with the choice of re-casting the plot or sticking with the original plan. Almost always, the characters win.
     
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  17. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I should write every day. I completely believe that it's the best thing to push my writing forward. I absolutely don't believe that I'm a "write only when inspired" writer. I believe that I'm a "growl and flounce and whine and gnash your teeth until the daily quota of words are on the screen, whether you like it or not" writer.

    I still don't do it.

    I'm working on making myself make it happen.
     
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  18. brutemaw
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    brutemaw New Member

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    I'm the laziest of the laziest, but for some reason, I work better at night and tend to crank out four to five pages in a drabble journal I own. Seems like a great impulse to have, even if it's at 3am, but it helps me get that daily edge off when it comes to writing.A nice routine to fall into, and recommend to writers they find a similar habit.
     
  19. Chris_Bryant
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    Chris_Bryant Member

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    I do my best to write everyday. Some days are just too busy, so I don't sweat missing a day here and there.

    When it comes to free writing, I'm of a mind with Kenko: "After all, things thought but left unsaid only fester inside you." When I'm noodling around, I write out almost any thought I have in my head, and I carry the train only as far as it goes before another thought pops up. For me, it helps to get all my thoughts out on paper. Sometimes I'm surprised by going back into earlier thoughts and using little bits and pieces of ideas in a current work.

    When I'm writing with a focus or a work in mind, I'll try to get in at least 1,000 words per day. I believe in writing things out first and trying to get as much down as possible, then going back and editing through.
     
  20. TheRealStegblob
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    TheRealStegblob Active Member

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    I write when I'm ready to write. Sometimes that's every single day, sometimes it's months apart. That's just me, though.
     
  21. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    I thought writing every day was common knowledge?
     
  22. Lew
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    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think everyone on here is stupendously motivated! Good job all. @Yuli Ban, keep up the good work. 5K words is ambitious, but I have on occasion achieved that for particularly intense scenes. More often I do about 1K/day, 3 or 4 pages, a chapter a week, almost all at night 7-10PM. Right now I am mostly between books, so I am doing more logistical stuff, website setup, etc. Have a major distraction with freecell (addictive game!) but it also clears my mind, and sometimes allows me to structure some scene... at least that's my excuse. Also have about an hour's drive to work in the morning and an hour back, country road driving, autopilot set to 65, and that is great time to think about a scene, characters and their motivation, etc. My wife just started her WIP, and is falling into the same pattern after considerable effort to get started. Our writer's group gave her first chapter or two high praise, and that motivated her to believe in herself.

    Remember to take a few nights off. My Friday nights are sacred, no work, just beer, wine, and dumb movies with Karen. I try to not let it suck up all my Saturdays, though when I was in the home stretch to finish the last one, that often happened.
     
  23. Alejandro89
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    Alejandro89 Member

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    I have a strange biorhythm, during the last half of the year I can write a lot, and I mean a lot. During the first half, instead, I barely can string a sentence together, so I just revisit what I have written.
     
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  24. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Is there any chance that this is about day length?

    I've found that when the day length is turning--that is, when we're approaching an equinox, so that it goes from shorter to longer or longer to shorter--my sense of smell shifts. I know that because I collect perfume and blog about it (or I used to; now I blog about other things) so I have an ongoing record of what scents I liked when. I suspect that any number of other things also shift.

    The winter solstice is in late December in North America. From then until late June, day lengths increase. Then they decrease until late December again.

    By this theory, your creativity would be triggered by decreasing day lengths. I find myself imagining some sort of evolutionary benefit here. I could imagine that by default, mammals gathered food in the summer and lazed around in the winter. If your ancestors instead had a craving for creative activity in the winter, that creative activity may have had evolutionary rewards. But the same craving in the summer didn't have the evolutionary rewards, because in the summer you were "supposed" to be out there growing or gathering or hunting food.

    Do you want to be creative all year? If your creativity triggered by increasing day lengths, I'd suggest sitting in the evening in a room with LOTS OF BIG DAYLIGHT BULBS. In this case...I wonder if you could trigger more creativity by spending more time away from natural light (I previously incorrectly said "artificial light"), in the summer. However, that could be a recipe for depression.

    Anyway. Thoughts.
     
  25. Alejandro89
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    Alejandro89 Member

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    Interesting theory, the only thing is that in my case, where I live(Central America) days tend to remain the same length all year long. But I like the time to be able to go over my old material, if I wrote all year long I think I would end up with piles and piles of work I wouldnt have the time to check.
     

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