Write Every Day

Outtakes 181

Write Every Day

By Cait Collins

I’ve written often about writing something every day. I truly believe this is necessary. If an athlete does not train every day, he is not prepared for game day. So if a writer does not train or practice his craft every day, he is not prepared to endure the long days of production on his novel, story, or non-fiction work.

Let’s be honest, there are days when sitting down at the computer is a chore. There are so many interruptions. Our minds are clogged with the plumber ripping up the back yard to replace a section of pipe; a serious family problem; excessive over-time hours; or health problems. The book is not as important as dealing with life. And forcing words to appear on a computer screen is generally not productive. No matter what you write today, it will need to be rewritten tomorrow. Why not wait until your mind is clear to have that much need writing marathon? Believe me, allowing the opportunity to resolve some life issues before tackling the manuscript will make the writing better. There will be fewer mistakes to correct and a more polished piece to present to the critique group.

Instead of forcing work on a project, try a writing exercise. Here’s an example. Write a sentence. Begin the next sentence with the last word in the first sentence. The next line begins with the last word in the previous line. Continue along this line for five minutes. Write. Don’t think. Do not edit. Do not lift your pencil off the paper. You’ll be surprised at your creativity and imagery.

Another solution is to do research for your current work. Google that elusive fact you need for the next chapter. Or edit a section of your manuscript. Write a letter. Yes, write a good, old fashioned letter to a friend or relative. Address an envelope, slap a stamp in the corner and mail the letter.

The point is to write something every day.

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