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Day by Day: the daily writing habit


Stephen King says that he writes every day, even Christmas.  Initially, that struck me as rather excessive. I couldn't help but wonder why one would feel compelled to write every single day. However, as I embarked on my "30 days to 70 K" challenge, I began to understand the wisdom behind the practice.

For 21 consecutive days, I faithfully sat down to write and each day, fulfilled my word count goal—usually exceeding it. Something unexpected and a little extraordinary occurred during this time. I fell into a writing rhythm that made starting each day easier. For me, starting is the hardest part and the moment when I am the most vulnerable to my own doubts and self-sabotage. Strangely though, the commitment to daily writing, without the option to skip a day, seemed to make the process less daunting.

In my past writing projects, there were times when I felt disheartened, and my typical response was to put the novel aside and take a break. However, when I committed to the "30Daysto70K" challenge and shared my writing goals publicly, quitting became a more visible decision. Even though I had moments of contemplating giving up, particularly in the early stages of the challenge, the idea of admitting failure and not reaching my "30 days to 70 K" goal drove me to persevere. And I'm glad of it.

I recently took a brief hiatus from the daily writing. Five days off. We moved and the demands of packing, moving, and unpacking necessitated a five-day break. Tonight, I returned to my writing desk, and I must admit, it was quite a challenge. I felt that I had lost touch with everything about the book. I had to revisit my work – rereading portions of the synopsis and outline, reacquainting myself with the characters' personalities, their goals, and the intricacies of the plot. After five days away, it felt like returning to a neglected exercise routine. My writing muscles were sluggish, and doubt crept in. Could I truly pick up where I had left off?

I began tonight's writing with trepidation all the while questioning my ability to continue. It seemed impossible. However, as I pressed on, I found my rhythm once again, and the words began to flow, or at least trudge, across the page. I kept going until I had written 3462 words. I'm now back on track, fully immersed in the world of my story.

Now I see why Stephen King writes every day. It's not merely about meeting a daily word count or upholding a self-imposed challenge; it's about maintaining that vital connection with one's story, characters, and creative spirit.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I eagerly embrace it as another opportunity to write, for I've discovered that the act of writing each day is the key to unlocking the mysteries within.

By the way, I'm at 62,700 words on my 30Daysto70K. That means 7,300 to go. The clock it ticking and time is up on February 2. Wish me luck.

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