Earlier this year, I purposely ended my daily streak of over a year on DuoLingo. For months, I had lost my interest in learning Italian especially since my app was running the same lesson over and over for months. I was putting in the bare minimum to be able to meet my streak. The only reason I was doing it was to protect my streak.
What does this have to do with writing? There are so many articles that are sharing that the author wrote every day for X time or tips for you to establish a daily writing habit. It can easily make you feel like you have to write every day to be serious or to make money. You don’t. Let’s break down the benefits and consequences of a daily writing habit and a better way to balance your writing habit.
I likely do not need to convince you that if you want to get better at writing or make money writing, you should write consistently. Writing consistently can help you practice and improve your craft, produce consistent content, and help you build an audience.
The bigger question is does writing consistently mean writing daily? When we are trying to build a habit, for some reason daily just seems like the right frequency. Certain habits should absolutely be completed daily like brushing your teeth, but does writing daily actually help? When it comes to working, humans have typically agreed that doing it every day is too much. We get weekends from work. We get rest days from workouts. The rest helps us to generate higher quality and quantity.
From my experience, I think daily is too high of a frequency to sustain writing unless you both really love writing and are doing it full-time. Writing takes effort both creative effort and logical effort. Therefore, while writing daily can be very helpful, it can also easily lead to burnout and a decrease in writing quality.
If writing every day isn’t sustainable for you, a good question is does it need to be? You could create a daily habit for a month and then scale back afterward. This may work well depending on your goals.