My Six Strategies for Writing Daily
On the first day of this month, I started a 30-day writing challenge. I am currently on day 20! As I am getting closer to the finish line, I decided to dedicate today’s post to explain the strategies that have helped me to write consistently.
1. Show up every day: Something is fascinating about showing up and sitting down to write, even when I do not know what to write about. After some minutes of writing the first lines of my text, a big group of ideas starts to appear in my mind as if I had done a magic trick. By committing to creating something, I am training my brain to work and improve the way it expresses thoughts.
2. Read every day: Reading is not negotiable when you decide to write.
Praxis instructor, Dan Sanchez says: “Reading is what feeds our mind, it activates the neurolinguistic part of our brain that creates content”. In my personal experience, I confirmed that this is true. I write faster and in a more compelling way after reading a book or interesting blog posts for at least 40 minutes. In contrast, I noticed that during the days I did not read, it was more complicated for me to put my ideas together. For this reason, I integrated reading in my life as a daily routine.
3. Write about specific points of view, not general subjects: This is a lesson I learned this week in a Praxis session. Dan Sanchez explained that it is very complicated to talk about a broad subject without having a defined thesis on our texts. I experienced it myself when I wrote a blog post this week about jazz music. I found myself mentioning different ideas that described what jazz is. As this is a very general topic, my post sounded pointless and unclear. Once I narrowed the focus and centered my ideas into explaining why I see jazz as an expression of mixed cultures, I noticed significant progress in my post.
Something helpful for me is to write about topics I am passionate about or a new skill I am learning. Writing feels more natural, almost like a conversation when I write about these types of things. Of course, I want to challenge myself to write different content in the future. But while I am doing this 30-day writing challenge, I prefer to focus on topics that are more familiar to me.
4. Brainstorm my ideas before starting my text: Once I decide the topic of my manuscript, I always write a list of possible ideas that I am going to develop as I write. Later I start to connect them and delete the useless ones. After that, I create paragraphs that support those ideas, and I start working on improving the quality of them.
5. Have a break when experiencing writer’s block: Every time I am experiencing writer’s block, I stop and set a timer on my phone for 5 minutes. During that time, I do squats, or I jog around my apartment until the alarm sounds. Then, I sit down again to write. The exercise helps my blood to circulate better on my brain, and it reduces my level of stress. After that, I notice that my ideas flow more easily.
6. Learn to receive feedback: I have learned to detach myself from my work and not to be too emotional about it. When I receive positive feedback, I congratulate myself, but I know that it does not mean that I am an expert writer already. I need to keep working and improving. When I receive criticism about my work, I do not judge or punish myself for that neither. I take into account the suggestions and try to learn from the mistakes I made. Receiving feedback is very valuable because it lets me recognize my areas of strength and weaknesses.
Writing is a magnificent journey of self-improvement. I am still amazed by the benefits that daily writing is bringing to my life and my career. If you are an aspiring writer, I encourage you to follow these tips and start your own writing challenge!