A Writer’s Journey – Daily Writing Tips and Getting Past Discouragement
There is much to be said for the volume of output doing your daily writing.
It may be the biggest factor in determining eventual success in the field of writing. The simple truth is
that those who produce more material eventually produce better material on average than those who produce
less material. This applies to screenplays, novels, non-fiction, articles, blogs and practically any other
form of writing.
Why do we find this to be the case? It is probably a number of factors. Some general benefits of writing more
frequently are the following:
- Those who get more words down on the page become better writers because they have more practice.
- Those who produce more are able to get past their early “beginner” works and move onto a more
- Those who produce more content are often more visible, thus they receive more feedback as a result, which
allows them to improve.
- Those who write daily are better equipped to move past places where a lower volume writer might get stuck
– mainly because writing has become a habit.
- Those who produce more gain more confidence in their ability, which translates into better writing skills
- Those who write daily tend to be better acclimated to criticism and are able to incorporate the feedback
rather than taking it personal.
The above are just some of the reasons high-volume writers have more success than those who write sparingly.
If nothing else, sheer volume allows you to get past the fluff to the things you really want to say. And
that may be the best reason of all to write more instead of less.
What Happens When Discouraged
Some days we certainly have more to say, and feel more energy for daily writing than others. Discouragement
is a fact of life and one we must deal with constructively if we are ever to make progress. This is true
in writing just as it is in everything else. Thus, it helps to accept that you will become discouraged somewhere
along the journey of becoming a professional writer. It will happen. The only question is when. Knowing this,
it is important to understand how to handle it and what to learn from it and how to get past it.
Discouragement is usually a good sign. Often it comes from ourselves and our own evaluation of our progress
or lack thereof. Other times it will come from the comments from somebody else – perhaps a partner or another
writer. Many times the evaluation we make ourselves or that somebody else makes will be accurate. Then we
are forced to accept the fact that we are not as far along as we would like to be and our writing is not
at the level we expected. Once we can accept this and understand that it is part of the process, which EVERY
writer goes through then we can begin to move forward.
There are certain things you can do when you find yourself in the midst of discouragement about your writing.
One of the first things to do is to simply remind yourself that all writers go through this at some point
regardless of their talent level. It is a result of having high expectations and human failings. Knowing
that this is common to all writers it is helpful to remind yourself that the good writers get past these
discouraging times and continue to write and improve. You will not make any improvement if you cease writing.
Improvement only comes from practice and trying new things. Thus, feel the emotion and then begin writing
again. By actively writing you will eventually get past the point of discouragement or get beyond the wall
that you have placed in front of you.
For those who find themselves blocked by discouragement, it may be helpful to read a few books on the subject
to help you feel better about where you are on the journey of becoming a writer. Two very helpful books,
whether you are a neophyte or a veteran, are the following books by Ralph Keyes: