You’ve probably heard writing gurus, professional writers, and writing teachers all say it time and time again:

If you want to be a great writer, you have to write every day.

But is that true?

I’ve been asked this a lot. The question often comes from people who are just starting out in their writing journey who feel daunted by the prospect of writing every day. That can be for a lot of different reasons, like:

  • They’re busy with work/school/family
  • They don’t know what they’ll write about
  • They’ve got many other projects that need their attention

and so on.

So what’s the truth?

To get better at writing you do need to practice.

Writing is a skill, and like with anything else, we need to practice. Now, it doesn’t matter if you’re just starting out, if you’ve got ten years of freelancing under your belt, or if you’re a professional novelist, everyone needs to practice.

Practice is especially important for people who are just beginning their writing journey though because this is where you can lay your foundation for writing, start good writing habits like writing often, and hopefully progress quickly.

There is no quick fix in writing. We have to make a lot of mistakes, and we have to learn to handle a lot of different skills like grammar, appropriate use of imagery, tenses, voice, characterisation and so on. That’s why practicing often is important–because it lets you do something that can rapidly improve our writing ability:

Mistakes = learning opportunities. Make plenty early on for chances to grow. #writingtip Click To Tweet

But what if I don’t have time to practice everyday?

You take your writing seriously, you try to practice as and when you can, but your life is really busy at the moment and you just can’t find the time every day to get in those words.

If this sounds like you, don’t worry.

Here’s the good thing about writing practice:  every little bit counts . So even if you can only sit down for half an hour, or even fifteen minutes, twice a week, that is going to help develop your writing skills. True, you might not progress as quickly as if you were writing every day, but so long as you are practicing you are making progress.

Don't let the fear of not writing enough prevent you from writing at all. #writingtip Click To Tweet

You can only start from the place you start in, can only devote as much time as you can devote. As long as you are putting one foot in front of the other and heading toward your goal–whatever that may be–you are making progress.

 Your writing progress isn’t a race, it’s a journey to find out what matters to you and what you want to share.   

Go at your own pace and, above all, enjoy your writing–because that is what will put fuel in your tank and keep you coming back to practice as often as you can.