As I set myself the task of writing every day for a year, I thought I’d better justify the commitment.
In this post, I’ve conjured up 10 reasons why I should write every day.
Hopefully, they provide you with the justification and inspiration to giving it a go too.
1 — You will become a better writer
There’s no evidence or science behind this but I’ve been writing for years now.
When I was first getting started, I often found myself with nothing to write about or feeling I wouldn’t do a subject justice.
Here’s the thing: when you write often, you can become a subject matter commentator across a range of topics.
Here’s another thing: even if you don’t feel confident writing about a topic, you have the power to ask people to contribute.
Here’s the best thing: when you write regularly enough, people will ask you to write for them or about them.
2 — You will become a quicker writer
As you set about your task of writing every day, you’ll find yourself wanting to get it out of the way. Not every day. But sometimes.
Writing quickly isn’t the be-all and end-all. And it shouldn’t be your goal as a writer or even for this challenge.
Here’s the thing: it certainly helps.
For example, some days, I am able to bill multiple days of work because I can draft 5,000 words.
My “day” rate is usually based on 1500–2000 words. This might be my advertised or agreed day rate. It might just be what I want/need to earn per day.
But, by writing efficiently, I more often than not bill more than a day’s worth of writing.
Here’s another thing: when you master the art of writing quickly (without making a hash of it), you have time for other activities like content promotion or prospecting your next client.
Here’s the best thing: even if you fail to become a quicker writer, nobody cares. Aside from “breaking news” journalists, quick writing is rarely rewarded by anybody other than yourself.
3 — You will learn what works and doesn’t work
As you start your task of writing every day, you’ll pick up on habits and quirks in your writing that make things more enjoyable (or less enjoyable).
Here’s the thing: this passage of self-exploration will guide the rest of your writing life. If you’re committed to writing every day, you’ll want to make this a happy part of your day. Apply the best bits and work on removing the parts you don’t enjoy.
Here’s another thing: what works for you might work for others. When you learn something about yourself, share that information on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Clubhouse. I know few people who don’t enjoy helping others.
Here’s the best thing: if something isn’t working, you can change it. Even if you’re writing for a client or an employer, the process of writing is a personal one. If it doesn’t work, don’t do it!
4 — Your portfolio will grow and expand
While you could write about the same thing every day, the choice is yours.
You could use your non-client time to create new content that you don’t usually write about.
Here’s the thing: we often get stuck in our ways when writing. “I’m a B2B tech writer” is something that goes through my mind a lot of the time.
But, in 2019, I started a football magazine on Medium. It was not only refreshing but gave me a batch of articles I could share with a new type of client.
Here’s another thing: if you write for fun, or are using this task of writing every day as a hobby, you don’t need to write about anything. You can write about yourself. You could dedicate this time to writing everything that is great about you and turn this into your CV or your sales pitch.
Here’s the best thing: whatever you end up writing by writing every day, you have created content that someone is going to read. That’s what a portfolio is.
5 — You have so much content to reference
Picture the scene.
You’re on day 100 of writing every day and you need some data, or an opinion, or maybe an image.
By now, you’ve written so much original content that you can quote your own work.
Here’s the thing: being able to quote your own work makes the referencing process quick and easy. Remember reason 2 which says you’ll become a quicker writer?
Here’s another thing: with a bank of content on your own site, you can start to link all that content together. The power of internal linking for search engine optimization (SEO) often goes under the radar.
But, as Andy Crestodina points out in his book, Content Chemistry:
“Internal links are the underrated workhorse of SEO and UX. They’re easy to make and easy to manage.”
What is internal linking?
An internal link is a link from one page to another page on the same domain.
For example, I have written a blog post suggesting 8 Content Marketing Books.
The link added above links to that post on this blog. That’s an internal link.
Again, borrowed from Andy Crestodina, the benefits of internal linking include:
- They pass authority from one page to another (search optimization)
- They guide visitors to high-value, relevant content (usability / UX)
- They prompt visitors to act, as calls-to-action (conversion optimization)
Here’s the best thing: You don’t need to be an SEO expert to start doing this. Adding an internal link is easy.
How to add an internal link on Medium
On Medium, highlight your desired text and hit CTRL+ K on your keyboard. Or CMD+K for Mac users.
And if you don’t care about SEO and are writing for fun, don’t bother!
6 — You create a cadence that is great for SEO
Even if SEO isn’t of any interest to you, the cadence and the content bank you are working on will be doing something for your SEO in the background.
Here’s the thing: if you produce content that people share, Google (or any search engine) rewards you for this.
When people link to your content from their site, it lets search engines know this is something people want to see. That’s SEO working at its most basic level.
Here’s another thing: when you’re starting a blog for the first time (personal or business), you need to form a cadence. Writing one post and expecting millions of people to read it won’t happen overnight.
But, when you’re writing every day, your blog will start to get noticed on social media, in private communities, and eventually on search engines.
Here’s the best thing: even if you don’t care about SEO, your cadence can be rewarded without you putting in any effort!
7 — You make writing an everyday task
Think about all the things you do every single day.
You walk the dog. You make breakfast. You check social media.
These are everyday tasks.
Here’s the thing: walking your dog wasn’t an everyday task until you did it every day. The same applies to writing.
Here’s another thing: you make (and eat) breakfast without thinking about it. Reaching for the cereal can be the same as powering up your laptop. Boiling an egg can be the same as writing 200 words. When writing becomes routine, it’s exactly that.
Here’s the best thing: the most routine things we do happen early on in the day. If you can factor in writing at the beginning of your day, it’s already done!
8 — You have an outlet to release every single day
Only last week, my friend James asked me for the best platform to “do some writing.”
As a writer, I thought he was asking the right person. I told him how Medium works and explained how he could use local SEO to help promote his business.
After I waffled on, he explained he just wanted an outlet to let off some steam.
Here’s the thing: whether you want to make money, raise awareness, or find a place for your thoughts, writing helps all these.
Here’s another thing: you don’t have to do this online. If you are writing to help with your mental health or put the world to rights, it can be in a journal.
For Christmas, I got a Mind Journal.
I’ve never thought of myself as suffering from any issues or needing any help. But, the process of turning to my journal and having something to write about every day, is a relief I didn’t know I could benefit from.
Here’s the best thing: you don’t even need to spend money on a journal or blogging platform (though it helps). A normal diary, a piece of paper, or a Word document is all you need.
9 — You can write whatever you like
Writing every day will likely mean you end up writing for yourself.
Even if you’re a writer by trade, everyday writing means you’ll have days where you don’t have a client or a publisher.
Here’s the thing: writing for yourself means you have free reign to write anything.
Here’s another thing: ideas you pitched for a guest post, to a journalist, or to a client have a home. If you’re certain the piece will do well, you now have the platform to write it and find out!
Here’s the best thing: it could become your best work. Over Christmas, I committed to creating my State of Content Marketing Report. While I didn’t get paid by a client or publication, it is work I was passionate about and am extremely proud of.
You might just uncover a gem when the shackles are removed.
10 — You will become a better person
Forget the first 9 reasons documented here.
Or roll them up into one big reason.
I firmly believe that writing every day will help you become a better person.
It may not happen immediately. It may even take a considerable amount of time.
But, give it a go, eh?