The Only Real Reason to Write Daily

Todd Brison

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I twisted my fingers together and stared at the screen. I wrote a sentence and then deleted it. I fiddled to find the perfect ideal adjective. At the end of a grueling hour, I glanced down at the bottom of my word document.

143 words.”

I slammed my laptop shut. It would be better tomorrow. It wasn’t.

The next day, I spent two hours. My count still didn’t peak 1,000 words. If you’re also a writer, you might read that sentence and say “It’s okay Todd. You don’t have to write thousands of words to write well.” You’d be correct. The problem? I wasn’t writing well.

This is not the story of how I started writing. Instead, this scene took place nearly a decade after I began writing professionally.

Nearly four years after I blew up on Medium, and three years after my writing projects had reached millions of people across the world, I found myself struggling to string sentences together. Some of that work (and a fairly big chunk of my first book) revolved around themes like vanquishing writer’s block. I had written massive guides on writing.

In less than five years, I’d published two books and written nearly 1,000 posts on various platforms.

None of that held a candle to the blinking cursor on my nearly blank page.

What was happening?

Many writers have hailed the benefits of writing daily. They say it will make you prolific. They say it will help you finally write a book. They will say it helps you flesh out your ideas. Those are nice benefits. They aren’t the best one.

The only real reason to write daily is because it makes you feel like a writer.

Here’s a good analogy: rules of fiction writing dictate the main character must –- for one reason or another — be the only person who can vanquish the antagonist. Only after our hero embraces her unique ability can she fulfil her purpose.

In other words, when the protagonist feels like a hero, the tables turn.

What’s the difference between real life and fantasy? Easy: the villain never goes away. The sun rises and so too does the blank page, cackling at another chance to defeat you.

This means that every day you must feel like a writer.

If you feel like a writer, victory is well within your reach. If you do not feel like a writer, nothing else matters. I had a degree that said I could write. I had good ideas. I had an impressive resume of past work.

None of it mattered when I felt like a fraud. In fact, all of those credentials made me feel worse.

I finally found my groove again. I got into the rhythm. It didn’t happen by reading. It didn’t happen by learning new lessons. It didn’t happen because I found some “simple hack.” I just remembered the single most important choice you can make for a writing career is this: Each day, sit down. Each day, write. Each day, do what you must to feel like a writer.

The rest often takes care of itself.

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Dickson, TN
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