This is hardly original advice. Many people have said it before. But it is so crucially essential that I say it here again. Write every day. Every single day. Only by writing every day does the mind slip more naturally into writing mode when faced with a keyboard and screen. Only by writing every day does the story expand to a living, breathing essence, a thing of dimensional vibrancy that seems almost real, so very nearly real, existing all around, both within and without, until the barrier between life and story dissolves, and the writer finds herself existing in a realm of multiple realities, of endless possibilities. Only by writing every day does a person become that writer.
This advice can be difficult to follow. Time. People are so busy, with multiple commitments, work, family, and social, getting little enough sleep as it is, that yet one more daily task seems too great a burden. The best strategy is setting a realistic goal, a minimum number of words per day. Whatever that minimum may be. There is no right or wrong figure. Whatever can be reasonably accomplished, however limited.
Let’s do a little math. Take a very low word number per day, say 250 words. Seems like almost nothing. Even for slow writers like me, 250 words can be written without difficulty, in maybe half an hour. For fast writers, 250 words can take mere minutes. Multiply 250 words per day by 365 days. The result? 91,250 words. That’s a novel. In one year, writing only 250 words per day, an entire novel will appear. Think about that. A year goes by so fast. It will fly by whether or not words are written, so isn’t it far better to have a novel completed at the end? Two years, two novels. Five years, five novels. All from writing 250 words per day. Rather amazing.
Be gentle. Be forgiving of the effort. Even if the words written on a given day seem terrible, that is perfectly fine. They are written, they exist there on screen or paper, and that is the most important part of being a writer. Writing. Even when the result is discouraging, it is far better than having done nothing. And, as any writer knows, editing is much easier than the initial creation. Any writing, no matter how seemingly bad in the moment, can be tweaked and polished later. So allow the writing to be bad on off days. Give permission to have written badly, if that’s what happens. It’s all good. Forgive. No worries.
You are a writer.