Those of you attempting my December Writing Challenge probably already have some good reasons for giving it a go. You have a deadline looming, you’re excited about a new project, and so on. But some of you may be resisting on the grounds that it’s not necessary to write every day in order to become a better writer, or to succeed at your craft. And to you I say, very true. However…
Even if daily writing isn’t necessary, there are some excellent arguments for making writing a part of your day-to-day routine. Our brains are trainable things, and respond well to repetition. The more frequently we practice something, the more likely we are to improve as our brains begin to understand what we expect of them.
Creativity is a funny thing. Everyone approaches it in their own way. However, writers who show up at their desks every day, at the same time when possible, find that things pop into their head just a little bit easier. Not always, of course, but more often than not. Thinking creatively becomes a habit, because we’ve trained our creative muscles to perform on demand.
Beyond that, daily writing makes you more productive. Even if you acknowledge that not every day’s writing is gold, you will find that the more you write, the more useable materials you produce. Ray Bradbury used to write a short story every week. He defied up-and-coming writers to produce 52 terrible short stories over the course of the year; something was bound to succeed. At the very least, over the course of that year, the writer would learn what worked and what didn’t, where they needed to focus their attention, and what sort of projects suited their interests and talent.
Finally, why write every day in December? Yes, it’s a busy month. Yes, you could put off this challenge until after the holidays. But that goes against the general point of this challenge. I’m daring you to write daily even when life is at its most hectic. If you can pull this off, come January 1st, when everyone is groaning through their hangovers and trying to kickstart their New Year’s Resolutions, you will have a whole month’s head start. You’ll have a month of writing daily under your belt, the words you’ve produced, and a wonderful new habit to help you continue advancing your writing in 2014.
So think about it. And then go write.