Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Time Management Tuesday: Don't Write Just Anything Every Day

As my two or three rabid followers are aware, I'm not a major fan of the write-every-day rule. I find it unrealistic and, worse, exclusionary. "Only those of you who can write every day, as I do, can be writers." Writing every day is very helpful in terms of keeping you in a mindset for a big writing project, but there are other ways you can do that. I'm a goal person. Focusing on the goal of completing a writing project is a more important use of time to me than being able to say I write every day.

So you can see why I was interested when I stumbled upon, The Most Underrated Writing Tip That Beats "Write Every Day" and Improves Your Writing: Learn How to Write, Every Day by Boateng Sekyere when I was randomly reading on Medium recently. According to one of Sekyere's other articles, he joined Medium the middle of last year. He's published a lot of articles there since then, with various Medium publications. Meaning his work is being accepted by someone, he's not just self-publishing on the platform. His work is meeting some standard, and, if you look down at the claps and comments icons at the bottom of his articles, he's getting responses from readers. So while we're not talking a sage on a stage here, he does have a specific kind of writing experience.

And he makes, I believe, a very valid point.

Just What Are You Writing Every Day?


When he began writing, Sekyere cranked out a 1,000 word article every day for 18 days.  He actually had a very good experience when he submitted one of them, because an editor got back to him with feedback. When Sekyere spent some time researching the editor's comments, he discovered that many of them related to basic writing rules. But he hadn't learned them before he started writing. "All I cared about was writing every day, as I had learned from some experts."
Doing the same thing every day doesn't do you much good, if you don't know what you're doing or how to do it. If you're writing every day, but you're writing wrong, the act is going to have limited value for you. Yeah, maybe you'll create some kind of habit--the habit of writing wrong every day. Yeah, you might complete a variety of writing projects--projects you'll have trouble finding publishers for, because, well, you've been doing it wrong.

So What Should You Be Doing Instead Of Writing Every Day?

  • Read, particularly in the genre you want to write.
  • Study, through whatever classes and workshops you can find and afford. We're not talking an MFA here.
  • Attend author talks, either in person or on-line.
  • Find and join a writer's group. Read up on how to give and take feedback at writer's group. Then go to the meetings
  • Try to work out your writing weaknesses and find books or articles that address them.

As Sekyere says, "Editors don't care that you write every day..." They want to see a good product. Learning how to create that is a better use of time than writing every day.

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