How to Develop a Writing Practice

Writing relaxes me and provides an outlet to explore concepts and ideas. Without writing, those same ideas would distract me during meetings or conversations with friends. Writing makes me feel happy and keeps me sane, so I know I should do it regularly. But I’ve struggled for years to find adequate time to write. I finally succeeded when I developed an intentional writing practice.

Whether you want to write more frequently for work or for pleasure, an intentional writing practice will help motivate you to start – and continue – to write. It works for writing a novel, a song, a journal, or a business proposal. Here’s how you can develop your own.

Be Realistic About Your Schedule

If you struggle to make ten minutes for yourself every day, planning to spend an hour each day writing is probably unrealistic. Map out your daily or weekly schedule and look for inefficiencies or activities you could eliminate or reschedule. You might be surprised where you waste time on activities that provide little value or joy. Use the time you identify for writing. Having a set time every day or at least several times a week will be the most beneficial.

It’s also important to consider what time of day you’re most inclined to write. My boss’s habit of waking up at five every morning to write for an hour would never work for me because I feel more creative in the evening. Scheduling time to write when you won’t be in the mood to write won’t get you far. Think about when your mind is clearest and the times of day you’ve done your best work in the past and aim to write then.

Take Inspiration from Renowned Authors

Published authors struggle with busy schedules, too. Your packed calendar may seem daunting, but parents, teachers, and doctors have all found time to write and become published authors, which means your schedule can allow for writing. Coordinate with your partner at home or write on days or times when work is less likely to weigh on you.

Plenty of authors struggle with writer’s block, and authors’ strategies for overcoming those self-created hurdles vary widely, meaning at least one will probably work for you. John Steinbeck told The Paris Review he would write as if addressing a friend. Other writers swear by going outside. Our founder, New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder addresses how writers’ block often stems from a fear of failure. If that’s relatable, you can find his suggestions on how to work through that fear in his Curse of the Blinking Cursor writing tip.

Declare Your Commitment to Writing

When I struggle with internal motivation to write, I tell people I’m working on a project. Their follow-up questions help me flesh out ideas, but what I value most is when they ask me how a project is going a month later. It only takes a couple awkward conversations with friends and relatives before I feel I must write if for no other reason than to have updates for people. Don’t be afraid or feel guilty for asking people to hold you accountable.

Conclusion

Writing more frequently is the best way to become a better writer. Finding time to write regularly and learning to use that time well is key to finishing your writing projects. These tips can help you find time and stay motivated, the two most critical pieces of accomplishing anything—including writing.

Stay focused on writing regularly and don’t let ugly or cumbersome first drafts hold you back. With editing tools like WordRake, you have an automated editor who will tirelessly review your drafts. WordRake will scan your document and alert you to winding and confused phrases and high-level grammatical mistakes. WordRake won’t judge your writing, but it will help you make it shine. Try it free for seven days.

About the Author

Caroline Engle is WordRake’s Marketing Communications Specialist. She convinced WordRake to hire her as an intern after placing in editing competitions and writing a novel in a month. When she isn’t editing or writing copy, coordinating conference logistics, or helping improve WordRake’s functionality, she’s reading, going on ten-mile walks, or looking up flight prices. Connect with her on LinkedIn here.

 

 

Our Story

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WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggested changes appear in the familiar track-changes style. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.