I frequently read that writers should write everyday. That we should carve out a few hours in the morning to write and just write.
I feel like this is part of the romanticization of the writer. Yes, I would love to write everyday, and yes I’d love to be awake at 5 in the morning to write. I can’t do that though. I’m a college student who typically goes to sleep at one or two in the morning. I can’t physically get up before the sun rises. On top of that I have coursework to do, and friends to be with. I write when I can, but writing everyday is a bigger commitment than I can make. Over the summer, I might get into the habit, but I can’t guarantee it will stick when I go back to school.
So while I think it’s important to try to write everyday, I don’t always think that it’s practical. What I think it a better goal than writing everyday is to be a writer everyday. To try to do one thing each day that will either get you thinking about writing in a meaningful way or get you writing.
You should read books carefully, looking for tips on how to write good characters and scenes. Read in the genre you want to write in. Read outside of it. Look for good writers. Look for bad writers. You can learn from both.
You should read books or blogs on writing. You don’t know everything there is to know, and it’s nice to get second opinions on what’s good and what’s not good in writing (for example: how should you write characters who have a different race or sexual orientation than you? How do you get away from using clichés and tropes? And so on).
You should learn about your craft from books and blogs. Learn the best ways to structure plots and sub plots. Learn how to create a character arc.
You should come up with your own writing prompts and do them. If you like the prompts, then share them with other writers (if you want to).
You should edit what you’re working on. It will help make those pieces stronger and keep you in the writing mindset.
You should find a critique buddy. Edit their work while they edit yours. It’s a good way to get feedback and to learn from someone else.
But remember, you are a writer. Act like it.