This is where I write.
My writing has always been circumstantial. I wrote when I had the opportunity. Otherwise I didn’t.
It was random and sporadic at best. And as a result I wasn’t getting any better at it.
I’ve realized that I need to develop a consistent ritual of deliberate practice to improve my writing. The ritual will evolve over time, hopefully with my writing, but it needs to start somewhere. And it needs to start now.
Here goes nothing:
Write 1,000 words/day.
This is the backbone of my practice. Every morning (except weekends/holidays), the first thing I’ll do is sit down and write 750 words using a technique called free writing:
This technique is designed to prime the pump, to get something flowing, even if it makes no sense.
Just write, stream-of-consciousness style, anything that comes into your head. Don’t think about style, grammar, or punctuation. Just keep writing. If an old nursery rhyme or silly song surfaces, write that.
Before long, you will have emptied your brain of the clutter and some ideas that make sense will come to the surface. Voila! You’re writing! — Copyblogger
Why 1,000? Many of the greats used to sit down and write 3 long hand pages every morning, which works out to about 750 words. I think 1,000 sounds better.
Post at least once/week.
I was tempted to try to post everyday. You could make an argument that my skills would develop faster that way. But I can’t help but think a daily posting schedule will force me to release ideas before their time has come.
I do, however, see the benefit in developing a habit of writing everyday. That’s why I’ve committed to writing 1,000 words every morning.
And I do see the risk in not having a minimum post frequency. It’s too easy to give yourself excuses to delay. Before you know it, days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months (not that I have experience with this…).
So I’ll post once/week at a minimum. But if I’ve got 2-3 posts ready to go on a given week, I’ll release all of them.
Focus on the writing.
If I listened to the conventional advice on blogging, I’d have picked a topic, defined a narrow audience, and started writing for that specific niche.
That makes sense for someone who’s looking to attract readers and build an audience. And I do that elsewhere. But here I’m strictly interested in becoming a better writer.
I do need readers. But not a lot of them. Just enough to provide meaningful feedback.
To that end, a few that care are far more effective than a lot that don’t.
That’s why I’ve intentionally left this as open ended as possible. So the writing will tell me where to take it.
There may be a time to add constraints. But not yet. Right now, it’s just about the writing.