Columns > Published on January 20th, 2015

5 Ways To Write A Page A Day In 2015

Resolutions are so full of hope and positivity, but are they realistic? I tell myself I'm going to go to the gym three times a week, but a few weeks into the new year, I remember how comfortable my bed is and how delicious Doritos taste, and that these things are vastly better than the gym, overrun with treadmills and sweaty people. 

Let's not use the word 'resolution.' 

As I settle into 2015, I find myself thinking more about what I already have, what makes me happiest, and less about what I need to change. My identity as a writer is extremely important to me, and that is what I want to focus on most this year. Perhaps you feel the same? Here are five ways you can celebrate your writerly side.

1. Find the time of day that works best for you

For the record, every writer should have at least one or two terrible poems under his/her belt (I have many. So many).

As much as you may want to believe you can write well at any time of the day, that's probably not the case. Some of us write best in the morning with a cup of coffee, and some of us write best at night with a glass of wine. You might not know your preference because of daily obligations that tend to run your life: work, family, socializing, and attempting to maintain a healthy lifestyle through it all. But, it's important. Instead of writing whenever you "get a moment" or "find some downtime," make 2015 the year writing becomes a true priority. In the past, I have gone days or weeks without writing a single word because whenever I got that downtime, I wanted to use it to actually relax! If I decide to make writing just as crucial as my day job and social life, I will inevitably do it more. Allow yourself the time to discover when you write best. Wake up early, stay up late—try it all until something clicks. Then, set aside that time of day for your creative work. You deserve it.

2. Invest in a 365-page notebook

Or, a notebook that is at least 365 pages. Now, write out each date, from January 1 to December 31, on the top of each blank page. This will hold you accountable for writing at least a page a day this year. Or, maybe you'll draw a weird picture. Who knows. You'll be putting pen to paper, though, and that's what counts. If you take writing seriously at all, this shouldn't be a difficult task, and hopefully just pushing yourself to fill up one page a day will trigger more ideas in your fantastic brain, and you'll move the party to another notebook or your laptop. 

3. Treat. Yo. Self.

An episode of your favorite television show. A dinner date. A beach day.  Instead of doing these things in lieu of writing, why not reward yourself with them? When I get off work, it's all too tempting to lock my door, snuggle up, and let Netflix take over. What if the only way to this final, comfortable destination was through an hour of writing? It's a new year; that show will be even more enjoyable after you've let your creativity run loose. You can truly treat yo self, guilt free! Earning things is the greatest, right?

4. Have someone check-in with you

Nothing lights a fire under my writerly bum like a deadline, especially when it comes in the form of the eyes of someone I trust and respect. It's very easy to put off writing when no one knows about your goals. In school, I had the luxury of professors who had to read my work. Naturally, I was writing all the time. Post-graduation, having someone read my work is a much bigger deal, to me and to that person. That's someone's time! Think about the writers, readers, and people whose opinions matter to you. Is there someone who might be willing to hold you to your desired writing schedule? Sometimes all you need is a friendly reminder.

5. Try a new form

Many writers label themselves as one thing. A novelist. An essayist. A playwright. If you're not writing as much as you want to be, try your hand at another form. One of the best ways to inspire creativity is to try something new. Scrap it later if you want, or it could be you'll discover you were meant to write in that new form all along! For the record, every writer should have at least one or two terrible poems under his/her belt (I have many. So many). There are no rules when it comes to the art you make. It's all yours. Go places with it!

All this talk about writing more is making me want to write more! Pardon me, but I've got a new story to start.

How will you write more in 2015?

About the author

Christine J. Schmidt is a writer originally from New Jersey. After receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase, she worked at Seattle Repertory Theatre as their artistic literary intern. She recently left Brooklyn, where she was a bookseller and events host at WORD, to reside in Los Angeles. She has previously written for New York Theatre Review, and her plays have been read and produced at theaters in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Washington. Coffee is her favorite thing.

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