Even if you spend a lot of your writing time working on your current project, you can benefit from establishing a writing practice.
Obviously, working regularly on a project is one kind of practice. In this post, I’m talking about writing for writing’s sake.
That means writing to keep your brain tuned up. It means keeping your writing abilities front and center so you can call on them when you need them.
How does a writing practice help your current project?
You know that you are going to spend some time on your work-in-progress this week.
Maybe not every day, but on a regular basis.
And when you sit down to work on your project then you want to be able to just get down to it. You want the words to flow, to make it as easy as possible.
That’s where sitting down for some practice, every day (or as often as possible) can help.
Maybe your daily practice is 50 words, maybe it is 100, or 1000. The numbers are not as important as the consistency of your practice.
It doesn’t have to be practice with a specific type of writing and it doesn’t have to have anything to do with your current project. You grab a timer, perhaps a writing prompt, and you just write any old nonsense that comes to mind.
This is practice, not perfection.
It doesn’t have to be good, you don’t have to do anything with it.
So, don’t worry too much about the results. Maybe useful bits will come of it, maybe not, but you will have inches toward making the writing process easier for yourself.
Remember, that bakers don’t mourn every burnt cake and athletes don’t freak out about every practice shot. They just make corrections and do it again until they get it right.
As writers, we tend to be hard on ourselves. We get a bit precious about our words. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can recognize that not every word is sacred, actually every word is practice.
Get your brain on your side.
When you get in the habit of writing every day, or almost every day, your brain learns what it is supposed to do.
It will start to see that you *can* find the words you need when you need them.
Your writing skill will be sharp and it will be right there, waiting for you to turn it on.
That means that there will be fewer internal obstacles to working on your project.
That’s not to say that you won’t ever struggle, but your struggle will have more faith mixed in.
You will know that you have written about so many different things before that the time will come when you will be able to write about this thing, too.
So, when you have a bit of trouble with one part of your project, you will frame it differently. It won’t be ‘I’m stuck, I can’t work.’ Instead you will think more like ‘I am having trouble with this part, how can I get things moving?
And I think that’s a good thing for you and for your writing.