There is a myth that pervades the writing world that you HAVE to write every single day.
If you don’t, then you won’t be successful or good…or make money!
That is NOT true.
Let’s talk about this.
While I have long thought, written, and advised that writing more often is essential to improving, the main thing anyone can take away from my advice is:
Consistency is the true path to success.
I do not write every day.
Not on my blog, for my next book, or in my journal.
Depending on my clients and deadlines, not even for clients! (To be fair, I mostly do editing these days.)
Consistency is the only real way to create a sustainable, profitable writing career.
Some writers may prefer a writing schedule that has them writing every day. But that is certainly not the only way to be successful.
I post on my Medium blog once each week. Sometimes more than once, if I am struck by a good idea.
But I strive to always post one new blog per week.
Not because I cannot write more but because that is a schedule and expectation I can actually meet every single week.
When I’ve tried to commit to more than that in the past, it will be okay for a few weeks, but then I get busy or run out of ideas or hit writer’s block or don’t feel like writing that day, and I stop.
A sustainable writing schedule is more important (to me) than money right this moment.
When I’m working on a new book (I’ve written 6!), my goal is not to finish it right this moment and get it away from me — my goal is to actually write a good book.
And I know myself well enough to know that a daily several-hour writing commitment is not going to happen. I might try for a couple of days, but that will quickly lead to burnout for me.
I’ll get bored of it and just chuck the proverbial ball into the shed and ignore it until I kind of lose passion for the topic.
Instead, I create a sustainable writing schedule that I can actually stick to and continue with over time.
Building a profitable writing business is always a longer-term goal, not an overnight implementation.
Listen, I got clients right away when I started freelancing. Meaning I started making money ASAP.
But if I’d stopped there and didn’t continue to market my business, refine my offerings, raise my prices, and improve my skills, I would not have been able to continue.
Because those first few clients paid me peanuts! I didn’t know what to charge, I was saying yes to any project that came along, and I allowed clients to scope creep.
Because I hadn’t figured it all out yet.
I HAD to take a longer view. Raising my prices and knowing my worth. Putting a contract in place with revision limits. Figuring out the things I LIKED doing and no longer doing the things I didn’t enjoy.
My business has evolved significantly over the years.
I no longer even offer weekly blogging! I mainly do editing work these days and very little actual writing for clients.
But it all takes time.
Consistently giving clients high-quality work products.
Consistently marketing myself.
Consistently asking for referrals.
Consistently providing top-notch customer service to clients.
Consistently valuing my time and not over-committing or under-charging.
Consistently producing personal writing on a schedule that works for me.
…consistently making money and running a profitable business.