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19 Easy Rules To Write Something Every Day

All of this works, I swear.

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1. Find some time every day to write.

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This is sometimes the hardest part.

2. If your nights are busy, do it first thing in the morning. Wake up earlier if you have to!

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3. You don't have to write every day – maybe you only do this on weekdays, or you always skip Fridays – but come up with a regular schedule. Treat it like a part time job.

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4. If you feel groggy when you wake up, you should embrace that. Try to tap into the free-form creativity of your dreaming mind.

5. Don't give yourself too much time to write. Having a limited amount of time will give you a sense of urgency. Deadlines are good.

6. The thing you write doesn't have to be a long thing, or part of a big project. Just get something out of your head and on to a page.

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7. Don't be too precious about what you write. The point is to write something, not to write the best thing ever.

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8. Follow Anne Lamott's advice and write "shitty first draft" at the top of the page to remind yourself that you can always edit later.

9. Don't be too hard on yourself. Everyone has good days and bad days.

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10. Focus on improving the baseline quality of your writing, so the very worst you can do gets increasingly tolerable.

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11. If you need an audience to justify writing, then you should make your writing exercise a public blog.

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12. Try to write as naturally as you can. This is how you find your voice.

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But maybe sometimes try to write like someone else, so you can figure out their tricks.

13. Don't give in to writer's block.

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14. If you feel blocked, work through it. This is the best way to learn new strategies for writing.

15. If you need a prompt to get around writer's block, try using Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies. A lot of the strategies are specific to music, but most of them are helpful in some way.

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16. If you feel distracted by the internet, use an app like Freedom to block your access for a set amount of time.

17. Once you get into a groove of writing every day, figure out what formulas work for you. Use them when you feel blocked, and abandon them when you're in the zone.

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18. Again, this is the most important thing: Write as often as you possibly can.

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19. You know how professional writers always say the best way to become a successful writer is to write every day? This is exactly what they are talking about.

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You can do this.

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