Writing as often as possible is the best way to improve your writing. Granted there is more to it such as asking people to critique your work and rewriting, among other things. But a great way to improve the speed at which you write is to simply write more often. Your mind will organize thoughts better and you will find sentences leaping from the keyboard to the screen. Having said that and risking ridicule as a hypocrite, you can write too often.
It sounds like a crazy notion since I just said writing more often will improve your skills, but give me a moment to explain. There is a difference between practicing and just plain trying too hard. A writer at practice should:
- Set aside time every day to write beyond assignments and blogging
- Pick a random topic and write 300 to 500 words about that topic blindly
- Ask friends or other writers to critique their work
- Take breaks and spend time with friends and family
Those are things a writer should do every day or at least four or five days a week. I try to take weekends off, but that is me and you may find weekends are the best time for you to write. Writing too often becomes a problems when writing is all you do because you believe more work submitted is more work sold. That just is not the way it works.
Let us look at another topic for a moment like weight lifting. If you go to the gym seven days a week and lift weights for ten hours every day- you will do more harm to your body than good. The same applies to writing. If you write constantly and do not take breaks to enjoy life, you will burn yourself out and eventually stop writing all together.
I follow a simple routine to keep my sanity intact:
- Write in the mornings
- Interviews or marketing at lunch or early afternoon
- About an hour before bed I write for an hour about anything (no research – just adlib)
- Every other waking moment is devoted to fun
Stop now and set aside some time for fun, friends, family, a walk or whatever you enjoy doing or whomever you enjoy spending time with. Let me know what your writing routine is in the comments section.