How Does Writing Regularly Improve My Writing and My Writing Career?

If there’s one piece of writing advice writers agree on, it’s that writing regularly improves your writing, boosting your writing career in return.

But don’t let this scare you. Writing regularly doesn’t have to mean 1000 or 2000 words every day. Whatever you can manage is fine. If you need to take a couple of days off to rest and feel refreshed, that’s okay too.

The idea is to get as much writing done as possible. Develop a routine that works for you. J.P. Choquette wrote her novel using 15-minute blocks. Copyblogger’s Brian Clark has a great post called 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer where all 10 steps include writing.

There are days I write 5000 words. There are days I barely manage 50. However, it’s rare that I’m not writing at all. If I’m not, I’m either working on other writing tasks, reading about writing or suffering from a physical condition that requires me to “cheat” with a speech-to-text software.

I’ve been writing regularly for years, and I keep improving in so many ways. So let’s take a look at the positive outcomes of writing regularly:

It refreshes your knowledge of grammar, punctuation and style, making you a more efficient proofreader.

Let’s face it: using English correctly while being entertaining can turn into an ordeal. Sure, as bloggers, we are allowed to break some rules and conventions here and there. And we are expected (thankfully!) to be friendly and informal.

But consciously committing writing sins, aka doing stuff that would make your old-fashioned English teachers frown big time, is different than ignoring or not knowing your basics.

That said, not everyone has a great command or memory of all punctuation rules. Yeah, it’s common sense to put a period at the end of a sentence or finish a question with a question mark, but what about the trickier stuff like hyphens and dashes?

For instance, a lot of people misuse the semicolon. Some are downright afraid of it, which has even inspired grammar comics. Speaking of grammar comics, Matthew Inman’s The Oatmeal is one fun and free way to refresh your knowledge. Two other great and more comprehensive resources are GrammarGirl and GrammarBook.

The point is, the more you write, the easier and more instinctive rules become. You might occasionally have to do some studying to remind yourself of some stuff, but after a while it becomes automatic. It helps your proofreading process as well, preventing you from submitting queries or articles riddled with errors.

It teaches you to become a better editor.

We talked about proofreading. Now let’s talk about editing: cutting the irrelevant, unnecessary or boring stuff, choosing the right words, formatting, and so on.

As you write more (and of course reading a lot helps with this too), you’ll develop an eye on what flows better. Editing will become a part of the fun, as opposed to a chore. You’ll also catch your mistakes or the unsatisfactory parts faster.

It increases your writing speed.

Because you’ll finish your drafts and editing faster, you’ll get more writing done in a shorter time. You can use that extra time for relaxation, marketing, learning about the craft, or writing more.

Deadlines don’t freak you out.

Many unforeseen things can happen in addition to your daily hurdles. After all, a lot of freelance writers have other responsibilities, issues, and social lives to manage.

And while you’re advised to take on projects with deadlines you are certain you can meet, knowing you can get the writing out of the way faster will give you confidence, comfort, and the chance to take on more gigs.

Finding ideas becomes a blast.

Clients and editors usually depend on you to pitch ideas, so easily finding sellable ideas means more income and a better portfolio.

But even the best of us can occasionally feel blocked, so below are some posts to help with your brainstorming efforts:

Stuck With Rotten Blog Post Ideas? Here Are 6 Ways to Make Them Fresh

Finding Article Ideas & Writing About Them: 30 Inspiration Tips for Writers

You can increase your rates and find better clients.

You write well, and you write fast. You find the time to update your blog (if you have one) regularly, and you get bylines from great publications (online, offline or both).

What client wouldn’t want you?

You can work on your dream projects.

You’ll finally have the time to start developing that e-course or plotting that novel you’ve always wanted. Most writers have dream projects they put on hold due to lack of time and other resources. Writing faster (and better) will help you accomplish this goal as well.

What about you? In what ways writing regularly has improved your writing career?

Pinar Tarhan's been working as a freelance writer and blogger for over five years. She is a firm believer in big dreams and realizing them. Her work has been published in Women On Writing, Be a Freelance Blogger, Make a Living Writing and Brazen Careerist among others. You can share her passion on her blog, Addicted to Writing, and catch her on Twitter.

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Hi Raspal, I use Dragon Dictate. It’s very good, though I’m still not as comfortable with it as I’m with typing. It also requires a bit of practice and works better in quiet environments. I guess for editing, you need to be in the mood. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes I detest it. I suppose it becomes a bit more challenging if an editor gives you your work back for more revisions, or a professional reader makes notes about your story you don’t agree with. I like it more than I used to. I use Word’s grammar and spell check, print it out and read it aloud if I can, and recently I’ve been using Grammarly. Sometimes I use Mac’s reading function to listen to what I wrote. You’re bound to miss something, so I don’t trust just one of these methods, I use a mixture. Thanks for commenting! I’ll check out your post.Reply to Pinar
Hi Pinar, Do you use dragon naturally speaking or some other software for speech to text? How good does it work? I have tried dictation.io which works to a good extent. It’s all online and free, using Google speech API. I too suffer from some physical conditions which don’t let me write for a long time. I just have to pass those times. Sometimes, I do use dashes in place of the comma and it seems better (some people maybe more confused reading about the three dashes — en dash, em dash and the hyphen). As for the semicolon, I avoid it. Many years ago, I had read two grammar rules: 1. Use short sentences. 2. Use direct speech. I don’t follow #2 100% of the time, but have always used #1. This removes the need of using the semicolon in most cases. Editing for me, is boring, and takes TOO much time and too many instances. Nevertheless, I edit many times, because I like everything to be perfect. Recently started using Scrivener and seem to like it. Which text editor do you use? Let me add one of my own post for curing writer’s block, to your list: 21 Ways to get Post Ideas for your Blog It’s also available as a freely downloadable PDF at the above link. Very interesting read, Pinar. Thank a lot.Reply to Raspal
Hi Sabita, I’m so glad you found my post helpful. It all takes a lot of practice, and grammar isn’t different. And deciding on a schedule and sticking to it is a great idea. So far, while I’ve been able to write regularly, I couldn’t stick to a consistent schedule with my blogs, and my traffic and engagement suffered from it. When you are a writer, there’s always something to work on.Reply to Pinar
Hi Pinar, I’ve those low days when I desperately need the kick in my emotional ass to start pouring words. Your post came right in time. I’m also confessing here that many of the guest posts I’ve written so far are a result of I keeping a schedule to write. Being a non-native writer, I’ve worked on the grammar part pretty much with practice. I should better get down to it more seriously. SabitaReply to Sabita
I know it’s so hard to keep up with everything we have to do. And even if we could delegate, reading and writing are the two things we wouldn’t delegate anyway. I definitely need to post more on my blog as well. Today I finally edited and published my first piece in February. I try to read a lot, and I definitely read a lot of blog posts, but I need to spend more time reading screenplays as well to improve my fiction further. I’m so glad you found this helpful Elna, and I hope we find the time to catch up with our to-read and to-write lists.Reply to Pinar
Pinar, Great post! I find, though, that I need to get back into reading more, than writing more. I seem to make the same mistakes in my writing and writing more is helping me remedy some mistakes, but not all of them. But, since Christmas, I haven’t done much guest posting and since I’m doing a spotlight series of successful freelance writers on my blog, I’m not even writing on my blog! So the only writing I am doing is for clients at the moment. I just needed this post to kick me in the butt and start making blog posts and guest posts! Thanks Pinar.Reply to Elna
Hi Alicia, I’m glad you liked it. I couldn’t not write regularly even if I wanted to, and even if sometimes things get in the way for a while, I get right back on the track after sorting things out. It’s a great motivator when you are inspired more often and can tick off more things of your to-do/to-write lists:)Reply to Pinar
Great answer, Pinar! I think increasing your rates and your client base is a really good one. When you write regularly, you get the benefit of improving your skills AND gaining portfolio clips, which can both help in this case.Reply to Alicia