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Writing Daily Is Crappy Advice, Really. Here’s Why

ByAzleen Abdul Rahim
on

If you are a frequent Medium and other publishing platforms reader, you probably come across numerous self-help articles about the power of writing daily. According to those articles, the habit will help you to become a better writer. That’s their main context usually. Yes, it sounds inspiring. But practically, it is pretty much too good to be true. And it’s not an easy thing to do. In my opinion, this habit is more harmful than good as you are going to put yourself under unnecessary pressure.

My gig, my pace

Personally, I can write every day but most of the articles written will sound average. Nothing special about them. The perspective, the title and the narrative are exactly the same as others. That’s right. But, if I were given two days to write an article, I can do it more delicately. And the readers will see the real beauty of the story. The quality, it’s just going to be awesome. 

Good writers are pretty much storytellers who write engaging stories. Creativity, ideas and building a great narrative structure of a story take time. They can’t be forced. And you can’t rush the process either. That’s why I said the idea that you, as a writer, must churn out words day after day, regardless of inspiration or motivation, is a flawed concept. Writing is an art form that requires one special ingredient—genuine inspiration. It’s about capturing thoughts and emotions and translating them into beautiful structures or compelling narratives using the right tones. 

It’s not about the number of words written but rather the impact those chosen words have on the reader. A single, well-crafted sentence can have a far greater impact than a thousand words of mediocre content. You can never deliver powerful insights, opinions or stories if you pressure yourself to write daily. 

From a blank screen of my Google Docs, I usually start by drafting my article through bullet points. I translate everything in my head by writing everything there. The next step is to arrange those bullet points, creating a structured story flow using the introduction-body-conclusion format. After that is done, I will add a few more bullet points which contexts I believe are missing. This missing pieces need to support the already-available narrative written. Then, I expand those bullet points into proper sentences. Here, I begin to add up more conversational words to ensure each paragraph and sentence has a proper ‘handshake’. Finally, I refine the narrative further, edit selected words or sentences making them better and proofread. 

I’m not sure about other writers, but this is my internal writing process. 

To recap

I believe writing is a deeply personal affair. When I write on marketing strategy, entrepreneurship or life, the format is not a one-size-fits-all thing. I need to think of how to best for me to write the introduction, the body, the conclusion and stuff in between. This requires time, more reading and a little experience. 

Don’t fall for that crappy concept that writing daily will help you become a better writer. Almost daily is okay but not daily. Just don’t. Writing daily is a completely flawed and misguided concept. Screw the quantity. Write something meaningful instead. You may need easily two days at least to come up with a great and engaging story. If you really wish to have a self-imposed deadline, I would say come up with only two or a maximum of three articles per week. This might keep you busy week-in-week-out.

That being said, rather than blindly following the “write every day” advice, find your own rhythm. Write when you are inspired. Write a meaningful story, opinion or ideas. And please do not put any unnecessary pressure on yourself.

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