zen habits : breathe

Why You Should Write Daily

By Leo Babauta

One of the most instrumental changes in my life has been writing every single day.

For many years I was a writer who didn’t write that regularly. It was always on the back of my mind to write, but I didn’t find the time.

Then I started this blog in January 2007, and have written pretty much every day since then.

It was life-changing.

I recommend daily writing for anyone, not just writers. Here’s what I’ve found from my daily habit:

And that’s just the start. The full benefits of this regular habit are, ironically, not something you can put into words, but something that must be experienced to be known.

How to Write Daily

There are various ways to get into the daily writing habit, but here’s what I’d recommend based on my experience:

  1. Commit to writing daily. Many people try to write a few times a week, or once a week. That’s too infrequent and it won’t become a habit that way. Instead, tell yourself, “I’m going to write every single day, no exceptions”. And then actually stick to this commitment.
  2. Set aside the time. Really important. You have to block off a small chunk of time for this, or it won’t happen. I suggest morning, as soon as you can, so that other things don’t get in the way. However, if you’re a night owl, late nights are fine too, as long as you’re not too tired.
  3. Start small. OK, you knew I was going to say this, but it’s really important. All you have to do is start writing each day — you don’t have to write 1,000 words or anything. Just start, and how much you do doesn’t matter. Once the habit is in place, you can lengthen it, but for now just start.
  4. Blog. You can write in a journal or text document just for yourself, but I highly recommend blogging. Get a free account at WordPress.com or Tumblr, and just start. Why blog? Because it really helps you to write regularly, and forces you to think in different ways, when you have an audience. Even if the audience is small. It’s scary, I know, but just do it. You’ll grow comfortable with it over time, and you should never let fear stop you from doing something amazing.
  5. Shut down distractions. The writer is best friends with distraction. He knows its powerful call, and must master the urge to follow it. So shut down everything that isn’t your writing tool, all tabs, all email programs and social media, and just write.

That’s all you need to get started. Over time, you’ll learn the power of interaction with your audience, and draw inspiration and lessons from the audience. But for now, just get started.



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